Regulation - Minister

Enable Jade Perch (Scortum barcoo) culture/sale in Ontario under an Aquaculture Licence by updating Schedule B of Ontario Regulation 664/98 (Fish Licensing).

Regulation Number(s):
Ontario Regulation 664/98
Instrument Type:
Regulation - Minister
Bill or Act:
Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997
Summary of Decision:
MNRF will not be adding Jade Perch to the species eligible for culture list (Schedule B, O. Reg 664/98, Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, 1997)
Analysis of Regulatory Impact:
• The anticipated environmental and social consequences of this proposal are neutral. The Jade Perch risk assessment concluded the risk to Ontario resources is low for this activity provided mitigation measures are met or exceeded.
• The anticipated economic implications of this proposal are positive for the aquaculture industry as it provides an additional species that is eligible for culture in Ontario.
• There are no annual administrative costs to businesses anticipated from these proposed changes.

Further Information:
Proposal Number:
Posting Date:
September 8, 2023
Summary of Proposal:
• The FWCA establishes the requirement for an aquaculture licence to culture fish in Ontario. The Fish Licensing Regulation (O. Reg. 664/98) establishes a list of species eligible for culture under the authority of an aquaculture licence. Only those species listed in Schedule B of O. Reg. 664/98 may be legally cultured in Ontario. The MNRF has received a request to consider adding Jade Perch to Schedule B.
• Ontario's Introductions and Transfers Committee (OITC), a committee consisting of government and non-government subject matter experts, evaluates the potential biological effects of aquatic organisms that are permitted for culture in Ontario. The OITC completed a risk assessment for Jade Perch, which concluded the organism risk to Ontario resources is low for this activity provided mitigation measures are met or exceeded.
• Adding Jade Perch to Schedule B will enable potential economic growth to the aquaculture sector in Ontario.

Jade Perch
Jade Perch are endemic to Australia and inhabit central Australia's desert climate. Jade Perch are accustomed to warmer climates and prefer warmer waters. Jade Perch are an omnivorous fish with tolerance for a variety of foods (e.g. commercial feed) and high-density recirculating aquaculture systems. Jade Perch also have good growth rates and feed conversion ratios, which make them a suitable fish species for aquaculture. Jade Perch are cultured for the food fish market industry.

Risk Assessment
Jade Perch were subject to the risk assessment process outlined in the National Code on Introductions and Transfers of Aquatic Organisms. The risk assessment was reviewed and supported by the Ontario Introduction and Transfers Committee (OITC).

The risk assessment determined that Jade Perch pose a low risk of becoming established in Ontario waters with proper facility security measures, as they require warm water temperatures. There is a limited risk of Jade Perch introducing new parasites or pathogens into Ontario and they are unlikely to hybridize with any native fish species in Ontario should they escape.

To further reduce any risks the species may pose to natural ecosystems, the OITC recommended that all Jade Perch should be held in a secure and closed facility. Additionally, the OITC recommended the following mitigation measures which, if the proposal is approved, would become conditions of aquaculture licences:

• All Jade Perch should be held in a secure and closed facility with no possible escape into the wild;
• Facility is sited away from natural watercourses and floodplains;
• Access to the site is strictly controlled;
• All organisms will be humanely and properly handled/disposed of;
• Disease free status from originating aquaculture facility;
• Licensee must work with a fish health professional for disease testing and surveillance;
• Jade Perch should not be moved from the facility live without the approval of MNRF or without an established delivery protocol;
• Transport water should be disinfected before disposal and not discharged to a natural watercourse;
• Effluent water must be treated and not discharged to a watercourse;
• Jade Perch shall not be released live into Ontario waters or held anywhere other than listed in the application; and,
• Adherence to the care and biosecurity protocols.
Contact Address:
Effective Date:
April 5, 2024