Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the issuance of licences to harvest fish for experimental, scientific, educational or public display purposes. Fishing means fishing for, catching or attempting to catch fish by any method. This definition includes fishing when there is no intent to retain any fish such as for absence/presence studies.
If you are a researcher, research institution or biological consultant and need to harvest fish for these purposes, you must have a Scientific Licence.
There is no fee for a Scientific Licence unless it is for public display purposes, in which case the fee is $100.
If you intend to fish for bivalves that are in a contaminated area you require a licence issued under the Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations (MCFR). A $100 fee applies for this licence.
Depending on the complexity of the application and availability of staff it could take up to 30 days to process, approve and send out a licence.
Applications and permits
- Scientific Licence Application form (PDF)
- For scientific or commercial harvest of marine plants (seaweed, algae, etc.) contact the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.
- Research into any species listed in the Species At Risk Act (SARA) requires a permit issued under SARA. Permitting under the Species at Risk Act
- Any transfer of live specimens between marine areas, or to holding tanks which discharge to marine waters, requires a permit from the Federal/Provincial Introductions and Transfers Committee. When to apply for an introductions and transfers licence in British Columbia
- Fisheries Management Map
- PSP and sanitary shellfish closures
- Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations
- Licensing information for the Yukon Transboundary area
- Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
South Coast Area Scientific Licences
Fraser River Area Scientific Licences
North Coast Area Scientific Licences
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