Farmers Pleased With Changes To Fisheries Act


Proposed changes to the Federal Fisheries Act are good news for Canadian farmers, according to the President of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture.

Ottawa's plans will include recognition that man-made water control structures, like drainage ditches, should not be necessarily regulated the same way as natural water bodies with fish habitats.

Ron Bonnett said the government is opening up an opportunity to re-engage the ag community in conservation, “The reality is those drains when they were installed actually increased the amount of fish habitats so even if you maintain them once every fifteen years or so you're still maintaining a higher level of fish habitats than there we before.”

He adds farmers rely on proper maintenance of drains to ensure their farms remain productive, “A lot of bureaucratic red tape to get it done mainly because if somebody spots one fish in the stream then you end up having to go through the whole process to get approval to clean the drain”

He explains drainage projects would often be held up for years before gaining approval.

Those decisions will now be handed off to local authorities.