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What modern safeguards should be instituted in order to ensure appropriate protections for fish and fish habitat?

Fish Habitat Restoration

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Theme:Conservation and Protection of Fish & Fish Habitat
on 11/25/2016

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While the Fisheries Act has programs in place for habitat protection, changes should be made with the intention of addressing the restoration of fish habitat in areas that have been damaged by human impact and development. 

Restoration is not intended to return a system to a pre-altered state or fixed condition but to help restore the structure, function, and ecological processes of a system. Restoration also includes extensive environmental monitoring. Environmental monitoring requires collection of data to measure the success of a project. Data collected from monitoring programs will also aid in filling gas in DFO and public data and can assist in mapping. 

Habitat restoration is at the foundation of many land management strategies and endangered species recovery initiatives and should be considered further in the Fisheries Act. 

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David d'Entremont By David d'Entremont
11/25/2016

Restoration is certainly an important practice, and there are numerous areas in which it could do (and is currently doing) great good. However, I would argue that focus on restoration should never be allowed to eclipse focus on habitat protection.

Restoration is integral in re-claiming many areas we have already messed up, but it is categorically no substitute for existing habitat. We may know that, but often the public has no frame of reference to compare against.

Restored habitats superficially look much like existing ones, but pale in comparison to the natural pristine hydrology, soil, and biodiversity elements of an existing wetland that has been forming slowly for thousands of years, since the end of glaciation. The thousands of plant, animal, fungal, bacterial and other life forms that are lost when a wetland is obliterated are not adequately replaced, and though we may restore some structure, function and process, the end result is a lesser system.

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