Zero-Tolerance Approach to Illegal Fish Introductions
British Columbia’s waters are being threatened by invasive fish species. Non-native species disrupt natural ecosystems and are one of the leading causes of native fish species becoming threatened or endangered. While species such as bass and perch provide great fishing in their native provinces and states, the unauthorized spread of these fish in BC is at the expense of our native fisheries. Once established, invasive species are extremely expensive and difficult, if not impossible, to control or eradicate.
The Ministry is getting tough with illegal fish introductions in order to protect our native resources. The Zero-Tolerance Approach includes:
- Removal or control of invasive species where they pose high risks to native species and the natural ecosystems.
- Fishing closures for the species or the entire waterbody when newly identified illegal introductions of non-native species occur. The closures are imposed to provide a strong disincentive for future introductions and to prevent additional spread.
You Can Help!
Report any suspicious activity relating to the illegal transfer of live fish to the Conservation Officer 24 Hour Hotline 1-877-952-RAPP (7277). The offence holds a penalty of up to $100,000 for first time offenders, and/or a prison term of up to 12 months for a second offence. In addition, a REWARD of up to $20,000 is available to anyone providing information leading to the successful prosecution of individuals responsible for the illegal transfer of fish species in BC waters. This reward is ongoing and supplied by the BC Wildlife Federation in co-operation with the Ministry.