About the BC Aquaculture Regulatory Program

Aquaculture management bannerThe BC Aquaculture Regulatory Program (BCARP) is a program within Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) that manages, administers and regulates aquaculture in B.C. and governs the activities of the aquaculture industry on the West Coast, including finfish, shellfish and freshwater/land-based operations. 

Implemented under the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations, conditions of licence and the Fisheries Act, BCARP is designed to ensure that aquaculture in B.C. is sustainable, and that it is conducted in a manner that minimizes the risks to wild fish stocks. 

The program includes an enforcement component, as well as ongoing public reporting of relevant data and information on the environmental performance of the industry.

Under BCARP, DFO staff are responsible for:

  • Reviewing licences and management plans,
  • Liaising with First Nations, stakeholders, and other governments,
  • Reporting publicly on the performance of the aquaculture industry,
  • Developing operational policies and Integrated Management of Aquaculture Plans (IMAPs),
  • Conducting compliance evaluations for fish health and environmental performance,
  • Reviewing and analyzing environmental and compliance data, and
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the management regime.

A Conservation and Protection unit has been created whose primary role is to enforce compliance with the new Pacific Aquaculture Regulations

DFO fishery officers conduct investigations and take enforcement actions based on information from the public and inspection visits by other DFO staff.

About aquaculture regulation and enforcement

The role of the Government of BC in Aquaculture (external site)