Habitat Banking Feasibility Study
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy under the federal Fisheries Act requires industry to compensate for harmful alteration, disruption or destruction (HADD) of fish habitat. Manitoba Hydro has sometimes experienced difficulty in finding effective and worthwhile projects for compensation. Consequently, compensation projects completed in accordance with the preferences of DFO can sometimes be less effective than desired. The MITACS ACCELERATE intern will investigate habitat banking as a solution that would allow Manitoba Hydro’s funds and efforts to effect more meaningful habitat creation or restoration. This research will help facilitate communication between government and industry. Currently, DFO is reviewing chapter 3 of the policy for management of fish habitat ‐ Integrated Planning for Fish Habitat Management. Results of this research will assist DFO in revising their policy. Conclusions from this research will also be used by DFO as a basis for evaluating habitat bank proposals developed in Manitoba. Ultimately, habitat banks may be a way to enable both conservation and development by providing a means for appropriate and necessary development to occur in a more responsible and ethical manner.