Fisheries Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. F-14)

Act current to 2017-11-20 and last amended on 2016-04-05. 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.


Marginal note:Definitions
  •  (1) In this Act,



    Aboriginal, in relation to a fishery, means that fish is harvested by an Aboriginal organization or any of its members for the purpose of using the fish as food, for social or ceremonial purposes or for purposes set out in a land claims agreement entered into with the Aboriginal organization; (autochtone)



    analyst means a person who is designated under subsection 38(1) to perform the functions of an analyst; (analyste)

    Canadian fisheries waters

    eaux de pêche canadiennes

    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

    période d’interdiction et période de fermeture ou saison de fermeture

    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, in relation to a fishery, means that fish is harvested under the authority of a licence for the purpose of sale, trade or barter; (commerciale)



    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 includes the area, locality, place or station in or on which a pound, seine, net, weir or other fishing appliance is used, set, placed or located, and the area, tract or stretch of water in or from which fish may be taken by the said pound, seine, net, weir or other fishing appliance, and also the pound, seine, net, weir, or other fishing appliance used in connection therewith; (pêcherie)

    fishery guardian


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

    fishery officer

    agent des pêches

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



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

    fishing vessel

    bateau de pêche

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


    passe migratoire

    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)



    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]



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



    recreational, in relation to a fishery, means that fish is harvested under the authority of a licence for personal use of the fish or for sport; (récréative)



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

  • Marginal note:Serious harm to fish

    (2) For the purposes of this Act, serious harm to fish is the death of fish or any permanent alteration to, or destruction of, fish habitat.

  • 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.


 [Repealed, R.S., 1985, c. 35 (1st Supp.), s. 6]


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.

Agreements, Programs and Projects

Marginal note:Minister may enter into agreements
  •  (1) The Minister may enter into an agreement with a province to further the purposes 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 province is to provide information on the administration and enforcement of a provision of its laws 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) The Minister shall publish an agreement in the manner that he or she considers appropriate.

  • 2012, c. 19, s. 134.
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