Aquatic Invasive Species—Infographic

Aquatic Invasive Species—Infographic

This infographic presents findings from the audit of aquatic invasive species

Text version

Aquatic Invasive Species

Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s (DFO) role is to prevent the introduction and spread into Canada of species of fish and aquatic plants and other organisms that can displace native species by competing for food, degrading habitats, and introducing diseases.

About 170 species are listed in the federal regulations for aquatic invasive species. Their presence threatens the economy, environment, and human health.


DFO did not identify and assess high-risk priority species and pathways

  • It did not know whether the socio-economic risk assessments for 5 species and the biological risk assessments for 3 pathways and 1 species it completed between 2014 and 2018 were the most urgent.
  • The Department did not have the information it needed to make informed decisions about which species and pathways to monitor.

DFO was not ready to step in when new invasive species were detected

  • Since 2011, it developed and implemented only 1 rapid response plan, in 2018, for 4 species of Asian carp.
  • The Department had not clarified its responsibilities, compared with those of the provinces and territories, creating some uncertainty about which jurisdiction would act.

DFO spent a limited amount of time and dedicated no staff to enforce the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations

  • The Department responded to 1 infraction since the regulations were passed in 2015.
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canada Border Services Agency did not do enough to equip and train border services officers to enforce the regulations—contaminated boats were found to have entered Canada at selected border crossings.