Responsibility for the regulation and licensing of aquaculture in British Columbia is shared by a number of provincial and federal agencies.

Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is the federal agency responsible for regulating most aspects of the aquaculture industry in B.C. (since 2010). DFO issues licences for marine finfish (salmon), shellfish and freshwater operations. Licences stipulate the volume and species that may be produced at a site and outline requirements for fish health, sea lice levels, fish containment and waste control.

B.C. Ministry of Agriculture (BC MAL) supports marine fisheries, aquaculture and seafood industry development and issues licences under the Fish and Seafood Act. BC MAL also conducts industry oversight and review.

B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (BC FLNRO) shares provincial responsibility for the aquaculture industry and is responsible for managing Crown land, including the issuance of land tenures for aquaculture. This includes tenures for aquaculture facilities and ancillary uses on land covered by water, upland and foreshore.


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