December 7, 2014 – Oliver Daily News
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea has announced new proposed Invasive Species Regulations that create new regulatory tools that will help to prevent the spread of invasive species such as freshwater zebra and quagga mussels. The new regulations create importation prohibitions at the border including other provisions relating to control and eradication.
“These new regulations are an important first step to better protect BC freshwater lakes from invasive species” said Okanagan Coquihalla MP Dan Albas.
“Lakes such as Osoyoos, Okanagan, The Shuswap are very popular with destination boaters and having these new regulations in place as a first line of defence at the border is a critical first step” added Albas.
“Once a major lake has been infested the potential to spread to other nearby lakes is significantly increased – with so many pristine freshwater lakes in British Columbia this is a matter that must be taken seriously”
The regulations were released in the Canada Gazette
Aquatic invasive species are aquatic organisms that, upon introduction to areas or waters where they are not indigenous, can have harmful consequences to fish or fish habitat. Many non-native species threaten B.C.’s aquatic and riparian ecosystems, Zebra andQuagga mussels for instance.
The regulations would manage aquatic invasive species through a risk-based approach that lists aquatic invasive species in three categories based on severity of the risk and subjects species identified on each list to specific prohibitions and management measures.
Zebra and Quagga mussels are included in the initial list of species expected to be managed as part of the proposed regulations, which includes prohibitions against transport, possession and import of Zebra and Quagga mussels from British Columbia east to Manitoba.