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Fisheries Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. F-14)

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Act current to 2022-09-11 and last amended on 2019-08-28. Previous Versions

Fisheries Act

R.S.C., 1985, c. F-14

An Act respecting fisheries

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Fisheries Act.

  • R.S., c. F-14, s. 1

Interpretation

Marginal note:Definitions

  •  (1) In this Act,

    Aboriginal

    Aboriginal[Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 1]

    analyst

    analyst means a person who is designated under subsection 56.1(1) to perform the functions of an analyst; (analyste)

    Canadian fisheries waters

    Canadian fisheries waters means all waters in the fishing zones of Canada, all waters in the territorial sea of Canada and all internal waters of Canada; (eaux de pêche canadiennes)

    close time

    close time means a specified period during which fish to which it applies may not be fished, and “closed time” or “closed season” has a similar meaning; (période d’interdiction et période de fermeture ou saison de fermeture)

    commercial

    commercial[Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 1]

    fish

    fish includes

    • (a) parts of fish,

    • (b) shellfish, crustaceans, marine animals and any parts of shellfish, crustaceans or marine animals, and

    • (c) the eggs, sperm, spawn, larvae, spat and juvenile stages of fish, shellfish, crustaceans and marine animals; (poissons)

    fishery

    fishery with respect to any fish, includes,

    • (a) any of its species, populations, assemblages and stocks, whether the fish is fished or not,

    • (b) any place where fishing may be carried on,

    • (c) any period during which fishing may be carried on,

    • (d) any method of fishing used, and

    • (e) any type of fishing gear or equipment or fishing vessel used; (pêche)

    fishery guardian

    fishery guardian means a person who is designated as a fishery guardian pursuant to subsection 5(1); (garde-pêche)

    fishery officer

    fishery officer means a person who is designated as a fishery officer pursuant to subsection 5(1); (agent des pêches)

    fish habitat

    fish habitat means water frequented by fish and any other areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly to carry out their life processes, including spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply and migration areas; (habitat)

    fishing

    fishing means fishing for, catching or attempting to catch fish by any method; (pêche)

    fishing vessel

    fishing vessel means any vessel used, outfitted or designed for the purpose of catching, processing or transporting fish; (bateau de pêche)

    fishway

    fishway means any device, work or other thing that provides for the free passage of fish, including a canal, a fish pump, a fish ladder, a fish elevator and a fish lock; (passe migratoire)

    Indigenous

    Indigenous[Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 1]

    Indigenous governing body

    Indigenous governing body means a council, government or other entity that is authorized to act on behalf of an Indigenous group, community or people that holds rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982; (corps dirigeant autochtone)

    Indigenous peoples of Canada

    Indigenous peoples of Canada has the meaning assigned by the definition aboriginal peoples of Canada in subsection 35(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982; (peuples autochtones du Canada)

    inspector

    inspector means a person who is designated as an inspector pursuant to subsection 38(1); (inspecteur)

    lawful excuse

    lawful excuse[Repealed, 1991, c. 1, s. 1]

    laws

    laws includes the by-laws made by an Indigenous governing body; (lois)

    Minister

    Minister means the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans or, in respect of any matter related to the Northern Pipeline referred to in the Northern Pipeline Act, the member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada designated as the Minister for the purposes of that Act; (ministre)

    obstruction

    obstruction means any slide, dam or other thing impeding wholly or partially the free passage of fish; (obstacle)

    recreational

    recreational[Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 1]

    vehicle

    vehicle means any conveyance that may be used for transportation, including aircraft. (véhicule)

  • (2) [Repealed, 2019, c. 14, s. 1]

  • R.S., 1985, c. F-14, s. 2
  • R.S., 1985, c. 35 (1st Supp.), ss. 1, 5
  • 1991, c. 1, s. 1
  • 2012, c. 19, s. 133, c. 31, s. 175
  • 2019, c. 14, s. 1

Purpose

Marginal note:Purpose of Act

 The purpose of this Act is to provide a framework for

  • (a) the proper management and control of fisheries; and

  • (b) the conservation and protection of fish and fish habitat, including by preventing pollution.

Territorial Application

Marginal note:Application

  •  (1) This Act applies in Canada, and also to

    • (a) Canadian fisheries waters; and

    • (b) with respect to a sedentary species, any portion of the continental shelf of Canada that is beyond the limits of Canadian fisheries waters.

  • Marginal note:Definition of sedentary species

    (2) For the purpose of paragraph (1)(b), sedentary species means any organism that, at the harvestable stage, either is immobile on or under the seabed or is unable to move except by remaining in constant physical contact with the seabed or subsoil.

Indigenous Peoples of Canada

Marginal note:Rights of Indigenous peoples of Canada

 This Act is to be construed as upholding the rights of Indigenous peoples recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, and not as abrogating or derogating from them.

Marginal note:Duty of Minister

 When making a decision under this Act, the Minister shall consider any adverse effects that the decision may have on the rights of the Indigenous peoples of Canada recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

Considerations

Marginal note:Considerations for decision making

 Except as otherwise provided in this Act, when making a decision under this Act, the Minister may consider, among other things,

  • (a) the application of a precautionary approach and an ecosystem approach;

  • (b) the sustainability of fisheries;

  • (c) scientific information;

  • (d) Indigenous knowledge of the Indigenous peoples of Canada that has been provided to the Minister;

  • (e) community knowledge;

  • (f) cooperation with any government of a province, any Indigenous governing body and any body — including a co-management body — established under a land claims agreement;

  • (g) social, economic and cultural factors in the management of fisheries;

  • (h) the preservation or promotion of the independence of licence holders in commercial inshore fisheries; and

  • (i) the intersection of sex and gender with other identity factors.

Application

Marginal note:Provincial rights not affected

  •  (1) Nothing in this Act shall be taken to authorize the granting of fishery leases that confer an exclusive right to fish in property belonging to a province.

  • Marginal note:Application of Act to Her Majesty

    (2) This Act is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada or a province.

  • R.S., c. F-14, s. 3
  • R.S., c. 17(1st Supp.), s. 9

Marginal note:Licences to take spawn

 Nothing in this Act precludes the granting by the Minister of written permission to obtain fish for purposes of stocking or artificial breeding or for scientific purposes.

  • R.S., c. F-14, s. 4

Advisory Panels

Marginal note:Minister may establish advisory panels

  •  (1) The Minister may, in order to carry out the purpose of this Act, establish advisory panels and provide for their membership, functions and operation.

  • Marginal note:Remuneration of members

    (2) Members of an advisory panel established under subsection (1) are to be paid any amount that is fixed by the Governor in Council for each day that they attend any of the advisory panel’s meetings.

  • Marginal note:Expenses

    (3) The members are also entitled to be reimbursed, in accordance with Treasury Board directives, for the travel, living and other expenses incurred in connection with their work for the panel while absent from their ordinary place of work, in the case of full-time members, or from their ordinary place of residence, in the case of part-time members.

Agreements, Programs and Projects

Marginal note:Minister may enter into agreements

  •  (1) The Minister may enter into an agreement with any government of a province, any Indigenous governing body and any body — including a co-management body — established under a land claims agreement, to further the purpose of this Act, including an agreement with respect to one or more of the following:

    • (a) facilitating cooperation between the parties to the agreement, including facilitating joint action in areas of common interest, reducing overlap between their respective programs and otherwise harmonizing those programs;

    • (b) facilitating enhanced communication between the parties, including the exchange of scientific and other information; and

    • (c) facilitating public consultation or the entry into arrangements with third-party stakeholders.

  • Marginal note:Contents of agreement

    (2) An agreement may establish

    • (a) the roles, powers and functions of the parties;

    • (b) programs and projects;

    • (c) principles and objectives of the parties’ respective programs and projects;

    • (d) standards, guidelines and codes of practice to be followed by the parties in the administration of their respective programs and projects;

    • (e) processes for policy development, operational planning and communication between the parties, including the exchange of scientific and other information;

    • (f) the administrative structures that will be used to carry out the agreement’s objectives;

    • (g) the power of the parties to create committees and public panels and to conduct public consultations; and

    • (h) the circumstances and manner in which the government of the province or the Indigenous governing body is to provide information on the administration and enforcement of a provision of the laws of the province or the Indigenous governing body that the agreement provides is equivalent in effect to a provision of the regulations.

  • Marginal note:Regulations

    (3) The Governor in Council may make regulations establishing the conditions under which the Minister may enter into or renew an agreement, including procedures for entering into or renewing the agreement.

  • Marginal note:Agreements to be published

    (4) Subject to subsections (5) to (8), the Minister shall publish an agreement in the manner that he or she considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Publication of negotiated agreement

    (5) Before any agreement that is negotiated for the purposes of section 4.2 is entered into, the Minister shall publish the agreement, or give notice of its availability, in Part I of the Canada Gazette and in any other manner that he or she considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Comments

    (6) Within 60 days after the publication of an agreement or the giving of notice of its availability, any person may file comments with the Minister.

  • Marginal note:Publication by Minister of results

    (7) After the end of the 60-day period, the Minister shall publish in Part I of the Canada Gazette and in any other manner that he or she considers appropriate a report that summarizes how any comments were dealt with or a notice of the availability of that report.

  • Marginal note:Publication of final agreements

    (8) The Minister shall publish any final agreement, or give notice of its availability, in Part I of the Canada Gazette and in any other manner that he or she considers appropriate.

  • Marginal note:Rights of Indigenous peoples

    (9) An agreement entered into under subsection (1) must respect the rights recognized and affirmed by section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982.

 
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