Ministry of Environment
Fish Protection Act
The Fish Protection Act is a key element of the British Columbia Fisheries Strategy to save our fish stocks before its too late.The Fish Protection Act provides legislative authority for water managers to consider impacts on fish and fish habitat before approving new licences, amendments to licences or issuing approvals for work in or near streams.
Protection Act is the first legislation of its kind in Canada.
It balances the needs of fish with the needs of people, to the benefit of both.
The Fish Protection Act focuses on four major objectives: ensuring sufficient water for fish; protecting and restoring fish habitat; improved riparian protection and enhancement; and stronger local government powers in environmental planning.
Protecting riparian fish habitat, while facilitating urban development that exhibits high standards is a priority for the Government of British Columbia. Good quality urban streamside habitat is essential for ensuring healthy fish populations.
British Columbias Fish Protection Act was developed to ensure that fish and fish habitat are sustained for present and future generations. It aims to balance the needs of fish with the needs of people, to the benefit of both.
The process of designating Sensitive Streams, which will involve consultation with stakeholders, municipalities, First Nations communities and the public, is being led by the Ministry of Environment.
Taken together, federal and provincial programs, along with local initiatives, will provide the best means to ensure that Sensitive Streams are managed with fish sustainability as the most important management goal.
The Fish Protection Act and associated amendments to the provincial Water Act will provide important provincial tools to directly focus on the prevention and mitigation of the introduction of harmful debris (clay, silt, sand rock or similar material, or any material, natural or otherwise, from construction or demolition) especially in those areas (e.g. riparian areas), which are presently not adequately addressed through existing provincial legislation.