Conserving wild native species and their habitats is fundamental to
provincial fisheries management in British Columbia. The
province possesses a diversity of native species and populations,
some considered at risk due to declining numbers or limited
distribution. Protecting, maintaining, and restoring or
rehabilitating fish and their habitat are essential to
the maintenance of functioning aquatic ecosystems. The
maintenance of natural biodiversity is critical to the
health of the environment and has significant implications
to economics, culture and the overall functioning of human
society. From the biological perspective, diversity exists
at three major levels: (1) genetic — the variation
between individuals within and among populations of the
same species; (2) species — the variety of different
species; (3) ecosystem — the array of different communities
and the different ways they function. Healthy ecosystems
ensure that the benefits derived from the fish resource
are sustainable for generations to come.
is the full variety of living organisms and biophysical
processes that sustain life at three levels: genes, species
Conservation is the protection,
maintenance, restoration and rehabilitation of native species and
their habitat to ensure ecosystem sustainability and biodiversity.
Ecosystem is a functional unit of living
organisms along with the non-living physical and chemical factors of
their environment, linked together through nutrient cycling
and energy flow. An ecosystem can vary in size, but it
always functions as a whole unit, for example a lake
ecosystem, wetland or stream ecosystem.
Exotic (or non-indigenous) species do not naturally occur in a defined geographic area, such as a watershed or waterbody.
Fisheries management is the process of
sustaining, using and understanding fish and fish habitat through
inventory, research, regulation, allocation, restoration,
rehabilitation, protection and enforcement.
Native species are populations that are
known to have
existed at a site prior to the influence of humans.
Population is a discrete, although not
isolated, group of interbreeding individuals, sometimes
referred to as a stock, whose size is generally measured
in numbers of individuals.
Rehabilitation means to return a degraded
or population to an undegraded condition, which may not
be the same as the original condition.
Restoration means to return a degraded or
or population to an undegraded condition.
Wild species complete their life cycle
without direct assistance from people.
All levels of government are committed to the conservation
and protection of our precious fisheries resources. Many
communities and individuals around the province are contributing
to the health of our fish and their habitats through involvement
with restoration and stewardship
programs. For an updated
list of projects in your region, consult the Fisheries
protection is further supported through implementation
of the Fish Protection Act and the Forest Practices
Code. Ministry of Environment also has an
active genetics program to
assess the state of the stocks around the province.