Invasive Species Centre

Invasive Species Centre

December 09, 2014 11:01 ET

Invasive Species Centre Welcomes New Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations

SAULT STE. MARIE, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Dec. 9, 2014) -

Editors Note: There are 2 photos associated with this press release.

The Invasive Species Centre commends the Government of Canada for advancing much-needed regulations to support the prevention, early detection, rapid response and eradication of aquatic invasive species in Canada. These regulations were announced by the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on December 5, 2014 in London, Ontario.

The proposed Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations lists the priority aquatic invasive species that pose the highest risk to Canada's environment and economy. The proposed Regulations would give Canada the authority to ban activities such as possessing, transporting, importing and releasing listed high risk aquatic invasive species and enable rapid response actions to address urgent threats. Importantly, these regulations give new tools to the Canada Border Services Agency to enforce prohibitions at the border.

"Aquatic invasive species threaten Canada's lakes, streams and rivers by altering habitat and endangering the species that are native to our regions," said Invasive Species Centre Executive Director, Dilhari Fernando. "These regulations, once approved and implemented, will provide a national framework to allow federal, provincial and territorial authorities to work together to prevent the introduction of new aquatic invasive species and stop the spread of existing invasives."

In Canada, there are currently no comprehensive regulations that address aquatic invasive species on a national scale. At this time, a patchwork of regulations and policies have been put in place by provinces and territories, within in their own jurisdictions, to address the risks posed by aquatic invasive species. "The regulations proposed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada will establish a much-needed national framework that will align with the efforts of provinces and territories, and ideally, will facilitate resource sharing between different levels of government and with other interested groups such as conservation organizations", Ms. Fernando said. "These regulations have a strong focus on prevention. While prevention and response have a cost, but it is not as high as managing the irreversible economic and environmental repercussions of aquatic invasive species once they become established in Canada's waterways. Prevention is the key."

Canadians have the opportunity to provide their input by reviewing and commenting on the proposed regulations that are posted in Canada Gazette, Part 1 (proposed Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations). This consultation period is open until January 5, 2015.

Aquatic invasive species have the ability to thrive in new ecosystems where natural predators do not exist. They can have damaging effects on native species and habitats. Once established, aquatic Invasive species are expensive to manage and can cause irreversible damage such as reducing biodiversity, degrading water quality and introducing disease. Invasive species also reduce economic opportunity for Canada's commercial and recreational fishery, deter tourism and reduce Canadians' enjoyment of waterways and beaches. Main pathways for the introduction or spread of aquatic invasive species include shipping, boating, the use of live bait in fishing, aquarium/water garden trade, live food fish, canals and water diversions and unauthorized introductions.

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About the Invasive Species Centre:

The Invasive Species Centre is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that connects stakeholders, knowledge and technology to prevent and reduce the spread of invasive species that harm Canada's environment, economy and society. The Invasive Species Centre: brings together experts; supports, coordinates and leads projects; and communicates findings and outcomes to prevent the spread of harmful invasive species. Visit our websites www.invasivespeciescentre.ca and www.asiancarp.ca. Visit us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/InvasiveSpeciesCentre) and follow us on Twitter (@InvSp).

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