OTTAWA – On Feb. 6, 2018, the Liberal government announced its proposed amendments to the Fisheries Act, previously altered by the Harper government. The proposed amendments include a shift in emphasized protection from industry to fish habitat, a focus on aquatic habitat restoration, an acknowledgment of Indigenous traditional knowledge and clearer permissions for development projects. The bill outlining these amendments are open to public discussion and must now pass the parliamentary process before becoming law.
“There is this provision that basically prohibits harmful alteration, disruption or destruction of fish habitat,” says Brett Favaro, a research scientist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland’s Fisheries and Marine Institute. “That had been in place since the 1970s, and it was put in place because fish need all these muddy, gross places that make your boots dirty. That is home to them. That is where they get a lot of their food and other things they need to survive.”
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