The snakehead fish loose in Burnaby's Central Park pond this summer has spurred the provincial government to crack down on controlling invasive species.
The provincial government released a paper on changing the Controlled Alien Species Regulation, and the public is invited to review the proposed changes and offer feedback until Oct. 24.
"The introduction of a snakehead fish into Burnaby's Central Park lagoon was a wake-up call for everyone. While quick-acting government biologists were able to address the situation, strong regulation is needed to help prevent this from ever happening again," said Environment Minister Terry Lake in a press release.
The northern snakehead is a highly invasive, predatory fish, originally native to northern China and Korea, that is capable of devastating local ecosystems.
The government's proposed changes will help prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species, such as the snakehead, that present a significant risk to B.C.'s fish and wildlife resources. The suggested changes include reducing the possibility of high-risk aquatic species - including the snakehead fish - becoming established in local waters, by prohibiting the possession, breeding, release or transportation of these species. The provincial government hopes to combat the introduction of dangerous organisms such as the zebra mussels and quagga mussels that "hitchhike" on boats, by requiring that no invasive mussel, alive or dead, be present on boats or related equipment.
For the full policy intentions paper, visit www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/public-consultation.