Statement on new Fisheries Act passing House of Commons

Attention News Editors: The Conservation Council’s Executive Director, Lois Corbett, issued the following statement with respect to Bill C-68, the proposed new Fisheries Act, passing in the House of Commons.

“Today we are one step closer to historic changes that will give all fish, fish habitat and important, sustainable fisheries jobs the comprehensive and science-based protections they deserve in a modern Fisheries Act.

If passed by the Senate, the new law will restore many critical protections lost when the Act was gutted in 2012. We applaud the leadership of Minister LeBlanc in crafting a new, smart law that ensures a holistic approach to ecosystem protection, from the small plankton that the endangered North Atlantic right whales depend upon, all the way up the ocean’s food chain.

In New Brunswick, the new Act should mean wider buffer zones along our streams and rivers and stronger pollution prevention measures to protect our freshwater species like salmon and trout. Along our ocean shores, the provisions should mean better protection for coastal wetlands and estuaries, and habitat protection for the critical lobster fishery.

We applaud the Fisheries and Oceans Committee for making the bill even stronger based on recommendations from the Conservation Council and our allies across Canada. In particular, by adding protections for water flows that fish depend upon to survive and thrive.

At the end of the day, science has shown and Indigenous leaders have proved century after century that a protected fishery is a productive fishery, which means jobs for our hardworking fishermen and women all over the country.

We look forward to working with the Minister and his department to ensure the full implementation and effective enforcement of this new, stronger Fisheries Act.”

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To arrange an interview, contact:

Jon MacNeill, Communications Director | 458-8747 | jon.macneill@conservationcouncil.ca