The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry has posted the first regulatory proposal under the Invasive Species Act, 2015 to the Environmental Registry for review and comment. The regulatory proposal represents a significant next step in the implementation of the Invasive Species Act, 2015 which was passed on November 3, 2015 and comes into force on November 3, 2016.
The proposed regulation would:
· classify the 16 species identified on the Conference of Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers “Least Wanted Aquatic Invasive Species List” and all species in the family Channidae (Snakeheads) as prohibited under the Invasive Species Act, 2015. (Fish: Bighead Carp, Silver Carp, Grass Carp, Black Carp (these four species of carp are commonly known as Asian carp), Snakehead*, Stone Moroko, Zander and Wels Catfish. Aquatic Invertebrates: Killer Shrimp, Yabby (crayfish), Golden Mussel. Aquatic Plants: Hydrilla, Brazillian Elodea, Water Soldier, European Water Chestnut, Parrot Feather.)
*All species of Snakehead family Channidae would be prohibited under this regulation, as all species pose some level of risk to the natural environment of Ontario. This would also help to avoid the accidental import of Northern Snakehead juveniles as it is difficult to identify the various species of Channidae as juveniles. Other jurisdictions including the Government of Canada also have extended restrictions to apply to all species in the Snakehead family.
This proposal follows the June 1, 2013 commitment by Conference members to take joint action to block these species from entering the Great Lakes basin; and,
· classify Phragmites, Dog Strangling Vine and Japanese Knotweed as restricted species under the Invasive Species Act, 2015.
The regulatory proposal also recommends that general and species specific exemptions from the prohibitions be provided under certain conditions.
More information can be obtained by visiting the Environmental Registry website at www.ebr.gov.on.ca and searching for posting #012-8310. The review and comment period extends for 33 days, closing on October 11, 2016.
If you have any comments, concerns or questions please call Dean Whellan at 807-623-4635 or by email at Consultation@RSMIN.ca