If you are planning an activity(s) in or around water, certain legal requirements may apply under the federal Fisheries Act. (Recent changes to the Fisheries Act, 20 November 2012 ) The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has developed a multi-step process to help you comply with these requirements. This process involves evaluating your project for potentially harmful impacts to fish and fish habitat.
The following steps will help guide you through the Project Review Process and assess if your project requires DFO involvement.
The greater the risk of your project impacting fish or fish habitat, the more involved the project review process may be. If your project is likely to impact fish or fish habitat, more information, time, and effort will be required from you to support the project review process. You should make every effort to avoid ANY Harmful Alteration, Disruption or Destruction (HADD) of fish or fish habitat.
To initiate a DFO Project Review, complete the Project Notification and Review Application Form (linked below). Based on the information you provide, DFO will review the planned activity(s) to determine if it is likely to harm fish or fish habitat. Before you intiate a request for project review consider:
DFO's Project Review will result in one of the following outcomes:
the assessment finds there is no harm, or if alternative approaches
can be taken to minimize harm to fish or fish habitats, then
DFO may provide additional guidance and you will not need any
further DFO approval;
If the assessment determines that harm to fish or fish habitat cannot be avoided, then proceed to STEP 3 to request a Fisheries Act Authorization.
DFO recommends that your proposed activity(s) avoid impacts
whenever possible. To help plan your project to avoid harm,
DFO recommends that you consult an appropriately experienced
Qualified Environmental Professional.