In the news: fish habitat damage goes unprosecuted
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has not laid a single charge of damaging fish habitat, despite almost 1,900 complaints nation-wide, since controversial changes to the Fisheries Act came into effect two a half years ago. Fisheries data provided at The Vancouver Sun’s request shows that of 1,865 complaints, federal staff concluded 1,290 posed a low risk to fish and fish habitat, or were referred to another agency such as Environment Canada or a provincial ministry.
Aaron Hill, executive director of the Vancouver-based Watershed Watch Society, said the statistics are more evidence that the Conservative changes are not working.
“It is very disappointing that there hasn’t been stronger enforcement. The fact that we are still operating under weakened legislation makes it all the more important to put some muscle behind it. What’s the point of having laws if there aren’t consequences for breaking them?”
Watershed Watch and several other organizations, including Living Oceans Society, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, David Suzuki Foundation, and Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, have written Tootoo supporting his commitment to revisit the Fisheries Act.