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St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

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Revised Statutes of Newfoundland 1990


CHAPTER A-13

AN ACT RESPECTING THE ENCOURAGEMENT AND REGULATION OF AN AQUACULTURE INDUSTRY IN THE PROVINCE

Analysis

1. Short title

2. Definitions

3. Purpose of Act

4. Aquaculture licences

5. Personal property rights

6. Inspection

7. Report of disease

8. Introduction, transfer and transport

9. Registrar

10. Committees

11. Regulations

12. Prohibition

13. Offence

14. Penalty


Short title

1. This Act may be cited as the Aquaculture Act.

1987 c15 s1

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Definitions

2. In this Act

(a) "aquaculture" means the cultivation of aquatic plants or animals and includes sea ranching up to the point of release of the aquatic animals, but does not include holding aquatic plants or animals in an aquarium for non-commercial purposes, holding aquatic plants or animals for experimental purposes in a laboratory operated by a scientific institution so recognized by the minister or activities exempted by regulation;

(b) "aquaculture facility" means

(i) a site where aquaculture is being carried on, or

(ii) a parcel of land with respect to which an application has been made to carry on aquaculture

and includes all structures, machinery, equipment and tools on the site or parcel of land;

(c) "aquaculture licence" means a licence granted by the minister under section 4;

(d) "aquatic plants or animals" means plants or animals that at all stages of their development or life cycles have water as their natural habitat;

(e) "department" means the Department of Fisheries;

(f) "land" includes land covered by water, both tidal and non-tidal, and the water column superjacent to it;

(g) "licensee" means a person to whom an aquaculture licence has been issued;

(h) "minister" means the Minister of Fisheries;

(i) "person" includes a co-operative society registered under the Co-operative Societies Act;

(j) "sea ranching" means that form of aquaculture in which aquatic animals are intentionally released, without restriction, into the natural environment;

(k) "site" means a parcel of land on which a person has been authorized by a licence to carry on aquaculture;

(l) "strain" means aquatic plants or animals that have, or have been bred to have, genetic characteristics that distinguish them from other members of the same species; and

(m) "water" includes fresh, brackish and marine waters, both tidal and non-tidal.

1987 c15 s2

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Purpose of Act

3. The purpose of this Act is to govern the conduct of aquaculture in the province in order to

(a) promote, in consultation with the private sector, the prudent and orderly development of an aquaculture industry;

(b) secure the property rights of those carrying on aquaculture;

(c) minimize conflicts with competing interests and uses; and

(d) help in consultative and co-operative decision making within the province and between the government of the province and the Government of Canada.

1987 c15 s3

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Aquaculture licences

4. (1) A person who intends to carry on aquaculture shall apply to the minister for a licence.

(2) A person shall not carry on aquaculture without first obtaining from the minister an aquaculture licence for each site at which he or she wishes to carry on aquaculture.

(3) An aquaculture licence shall

(a) contain a description of the site on which aquaculture may be conducted under the licence;

(b) specify the species of aquatic plants or animals that may be cultivated;

(c) include the date on which it expires;

(d) specify the fee or rent payable to the Crown in respect of the licence;

(e) state that aquaculture shall be conducted under the licence with diligence, in a reasonable manner and in accordance with good husbandry practices; and

(f) specify the other terms and conditions in addition to those in paragraphs (a) to (e) that shall govern the conduct of aquaculture by the licensee.

(4) Where the land that is described in a licence as the site on which aquaculture may be carried on is held by the licensee under a lease or other right of occupancy, the term of the licence shall not extend beyond the term of the lease or other right of occupancy.

(5) In relation to a licence issued under this section the minister may

(a) incorporate into the terms of the licence a development plan for the aquaculture facility in question;

(b) impose standards relating to the use, stocking, investment in or production of the aquaculture facility;

(c) make provision for access by contiguous landowners through a site;

(d) require records to be kept and information and documents to be provided that the minister considers advisable;

(e) specify the source and strain, and require approval in advance of the source and strain, of all seed and stock to be cultivated;

(f) impose limits on the intensity with which aquaculture is conducted and organisms are concentrated at a site;

(g) specify measures to be taken to prevent the escape of aquatic animals and the development and spread of disease and parasites and to minimize the risk of damage to the environment or other aquaculture facilities;

(h) specify measures to be taken to minimize risk to other aquaculture facilities; and

(i) incorporate whatever other terms may be necessary to carry out the purpose of this Act.

(6) The minister shall not grant an aquaculture licence unless

(a) the proposed licensee owns, leases or otherwise has a right to occupy the parcel of land comprising the site at which the proposed licensee intends to carry on aquaculture; and

(b) the Environmental Assessment Act has been complied with and an approval required by that Act has been given.

(7) The minister may vary or amend an aquaculture licence upon application by a licensee.

(8) The minister shall issue a licence to a person who acquires from a licensee an aquaculture facility and who meets the requirements for licensing established by this Act and the regulations.

(9) The minister may suspend a licence upon breach of a term, condition or provision of the licence, this Act or the regulations.

(10) A suspension under subsection (9) continues until the minister is satisfied that the breach causing the suspension is no longer continuing.

(11) The minister may cancel a licence where a breach causing a suspension under subsection (9) has not been corrected within a reasonable time, for repeated breaches or if the licensee stops owning or holding a lease or right of occupancy for the site.

(12) A copy of an aquaculture licence shall be kept in the aquaculture facility to which it pertains.

1987 c15 s4

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Personal property rights

5. (1) All aquatic plants or animals of the species specified in an aquaculture licence are, while contained within the boundaries of the site, the exclusive personal property of, and belong to, the licensee, until sold, traded, transferred or otherwise disposed of by the licensee.

(2) Aquatic animals referred to in subsection (1) that escape shall remain the exclusive personal property of the licensee while within 100 metres of the boundary of the site.

1987 c15 s5

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Inspection

6. (1) The minister may designate employees of the department to be aquaculture inspectors.

(2) An aquaculture inspector may at reasonable times so long as it is reasonably necessary to determine compliance with this Act or the regulations

(a) enter an aquaculture facility, except a dwelling house, for the purpose of inspecting the aquaculture facility; or

(b) enter onto land, including buildings or other enclosures on that land, except a dwelling house, where the inspector has reason to believe aquaculture is being conducted.

(3) In carrying out the inspection referred to in subsection (2), the aquaculture inspector shall have regard to

(a) the presence of disease or parasites and the likelihood of either disease or parasites developing;

(b) the adequacy of measures being taken to ensure aquatic plants or animals being cultured do not escape;

(c) whether the activities being carried on are authorized by and are in accordance with an aquaculture licence; and

(d) compliance with the terms, conditions and provisions of the aquaculture licence, this Act and the regulations.

(4) A person responsible for an aquaculture facility shall provide the information, documents and samples and carry out the tests and examinations that an aquaculture inspector may reasonably require.

(5) Upon the advice of an aquaculture inspector, the minister may direct a licensee to take measures

(a) to prevent the escape of an organism;

(b) to prevent the development or spread of disease or parasites, including the destruction of stock and the disinfection of gear and facilities; and

(c) to ensure that aquaculture is conducted in accordance with the terms, conditions and provisions of a licence, this Act and the regulations.

(6) The minister may suspend the licence of a person responsible for an aquaculture facility who fails to comply with subsection (4) or (5).

(7) A suspension under subsection (6) continues until the minister is satisfied that the breach causing the suspension is no longer continuing.

(8) The minister may cancel a licence where a breach causing a suspension under subsection (6) has not been corrected within a reasonable time or for repeated breaches.

(9) Where an aquaculture inspector determines that a person is engaged in aquaculture without having obtained the appropriate licence and so informs the minister, the minister may direct a person to take a measure referred to in paragraphs (5)(a) to (c) or to stop his or her activities or to immediately apply for a licence.

1987 c15 s6

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Report of disease

7. (1) A licensee shall immediately report to the minister or an aquaculture inspector an outbreak of disease or parasites.

(2) A licensee shall take all measures that the minister or an aquaculture inspector may direct to prevent the spread of disease or parasites, including the destruction of stock and the disinfection of gear and facilities.

1987 c15 s7

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Introduction, transfer and transport

8. (1) A person shall not introduce, transfer or transport live aquatic plants or animals from 1 body of water or aquaculture facility in the province to a 2nd body of water or aquaculture facility in the province, or from outside the province to a body of water or aquaculture facility in the province, without the prior written approval of the minister.

(2) An approval granted by the minister under subsection (1) may be subject to those terms and conditions, including inspection and supervision, that the minister considers advisable.

(3) The minister shall not approve the introduction into or transfer to a body of water or aquaculture facility in the province of a species or strain of aquatic plants or animals not present in that body of water or that aquaculture facility unless the impact of that introduction or transfer has been assessed in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act, whether or not that introduction or transfer is an activity of the type otherwise requiring assessment under that Act.

(4) Nothing in subsection (3) shall be taken to require an assessment where the minister responsible for the Environmental Assessment Act has determined that no risk is posed to the environment or natural stocks of aquatic plants or animals.

(5) An assessment under subsection (3) or a determination under subsection (4) shall be made on the assumption that the aquatic plants or animals proposed for introduction or transfer will escape into the natural environment.

1987 c15 s8

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Registrar

9. (1) The minister may designate a person in the department to be Registrar of Aquaculture.

(2) The registrar shall keep copies and records of aquaculture licences, leases of land granted for aquaculture purposes under the Crown Lands Act, environmental preview reports and environmental impact statements prepared under the Environmental Assessment Act and other documents that the minister may direct or that may be prescribed.

(3) The records kept by the registrar under subsection (2) shall be open for inspection by members of the public during office hours upon payment of a prescribed fee.

(4) Notwithstanding subsection (3), information prescribed as confidential shall not be available to the public.

(5) The registrar may carry out a function or perform a duty delegated to him or her under an Act or regulation of Canada.

1987 c15 s9

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Committees

10. The minister may establish committees consisting of officials of the department, the aquaculture industry and others to advise him or her of laws, regulations, policies, programs and activities of government that will help in the development of aquaculture.

1987 c15 s10

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Regulations

11. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council may make regulations

(a) providing for the proper development, management and control of aquaculture in the province;

(b) determining and prescribing categories of licences, including research, experimental, developmental, temporary, commercial or other types of licences, and the terms and conditions relating to each category of licence;

(c) prescribing information to be provided, procedures to be followed and forms to be used in applying for

(i) an aquaculture licence,

(ii) an approval to introduce, transfer or transport aquatic plants or animals, and

(iii) another licence, permission or approval required by this Act or the regulations;

(d) respecting terms and conditions to which an aquaculture licence or an approval to introduce, transfer or transport aquatic plants or animals may be subject or under which such a licence or approval may be issued;

(e) prescribing the use, content and enforcement of development plans for sites;

(f) prescribing performance standards for aquaculture facilities;

(g) prescribing limitations and qualifications related to who may receive an aquaculture licence;

(h) prescribing maximum sizes for aquaculture facilities;

(i) prescribing the number of aquaculture licences that may be held by 1 person;

(j) prescribing the marking of boundaries of a site;

(k) prescribing rules, procedures, composition, functions and powers of committees created under this Act;

(l) respecting, subject to the Plant Protection Act, the introduction into and the transfer and transport of aquatic plants in the province and from place to place within the province, including the conducting of environmental assessments in relation to that introduction, transfer or transport;

(m) respecting, subject to the Plant Protection Act, the isolation, quarantining, disposal or destruction of aquatic plants that are diseased or contain parasites and the disinfection of related gear, equipment, tanks, ponds and other facilities;

(n) respecting the introduction into and the transfer and transport of aquatic animals in the province and from place to place within the province, including the conducting of environmental assessments in relation to that introduction, transfer or transport;

(o) respecting the isolation and quarantining, disposal or destruction of aquatic animals that are diseased or contain parasites and the disinfection of related gear, equipment, tanks, ponds and other facilities;

(p) respecting the duties and powers of aquaculture inspectors;

(q) respecting the marking of aquaculture facilities so as to provide notice to mariners;

(r) respecting the exemption of persons or classes of persons or types of aquaculture or activities from the application of all or part of this Act or the regulations;

(s) respecting the fee or rent payable for an aquaculture licence;

(t) respecting the duties of, and the records and documents to be kept by, the Registrar of Aquaculture, the fees to be charged those inspecting the records kept by the registrar and other matters pertaining to the proper conduct and operation of a registry of aquaculture records;

(u) classifying information in the records of the Registrar of Aquaculture as confidential;

(v) prescribing standards relating to the construction, layout, equipping and operation of an aquaculture facility;

(w) respecting methods of handling, buying, selling, holding in possession, offering or advertising for sale, processing and maintaining the quality of aquatic plants or animals;

(x) respecting the use, and the prohibition from use, of chemicals, fertilizers, vaccines, drugs, feed and other substances in the conduct of aquaculture;

(y) respecting information and documents to be provided to the minister by a licensee concerning the use, productivity, investment and obligations of the licensee in respect of an aquaculture facility and other matters pertinent to the conduct of aquaculture and the marketing and sale of aquaculture produce by the licensee;

(z) respecting the establishment of compensation schemes for the purpose of this Act;

(aa) respecting the establishment of insurance schemes for the purpose of this Act;

(bb) defining a word or expression used in this Act and not defined in this Act; and

(cc) prescribing procedures by which the neighbouring land owners, municipalities, other affected or interested persons and the general public may participate in helping the minister in his or her decision whether to grant an aquaculture licence, and if so on what terms or conditions, including the manner in which the applicant, the minister or a designate or others are to meet with, provide information to and record the opinions, concerns and questions of those participating.

1987 c15 s11; 1988 c54 s3

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Prohibition

12. A person shall not harvest aquatic plants or animals in an aquaculture facility without the consent of the licensee.

1987 c15 s12

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Offence

13. It is an offence to knowingly give false information to the minister, an aquaculture inspector or an employee of the public service in respect of a matter under this Act or the regulations.

1987 c15 s14

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Penalty

14. (1) A person who contravenes this Act or the regulations is guilty of an offence and liable on summary conviction

(a) for a 1st offence, to a fine not exceeding $5,000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 6 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment; and

(b) for a 2nd or subsequent offence, to a fine not exceeding $10,000 and in default of payment to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

(2) Each continuance for a day or part of a day of a contravention of this Act or the regulations constitutes a separate offence.

1987 c15 s13

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