Keywords: Wildlife Act – s. 19(1); Freshwater Fish Regulation; live fish; fish farm; floodplain; waterborne disease
The Appellants appealed the decision of the Respondent refusing to grant them a permit to possess live fish. The Appellants wished to farm trout in a pond dug on their property located near the Moyie River. They asked that the refusal be set aside and a permit be issued to them. The Respondent submitted that there was a significant risk of compromise of the wild fish stocks and habitat in the Moyie River if the fish farm was permitted, as the pond was located too close to the river and there was too high a risk that a berm could fail or the river could flood the area.
The Board accepted the evidence of the Respondent that an inundation of the Appellant’s berm would eventually occur. The Board also found that the location of the proposed fish farm could result in an escape of fish by human or non-human predators. The Board, therefore, concluded that the risk of harm to the eco-system of the Moyie River, its natural fish stocks, and their habitat was too great to allow a domestic fish farm in a floodplain that could be inundated by the river.