Laws & Regulations

As of July 1, the inspection, compliance and enforcement functions from several provincial government departments will come together under Nova Scotia Environment.

Departments involved in this consolidation include the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Health and Wellness, the Department of Agriculture, Nova Scotia Environment, and the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

For more information, visit novascotia.ca/nse/inspection-compliance-enforcement/

For the laws and regulations concerning the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, see below.


Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act

This act is the primary piece of legislation for the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture. It gives authority for most of the Department’s functions and activities. These include: recreational fishing, sea plant harvesting, training and development, licensing of buyers and processors, aquaculture, the Fisheries and Aquaculture Loan Board, and enforcement.

To download the Act, click http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/fisheries and coastal resources.pdf.

To download the Act's regulations, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/rxaa-l.htm#fishcr.


Fish Harvester Organizations Support Act

This new act and regulations, proclaimed on April 1, 2013, provide the tools for inshore fishers to strengthen their organizations. It enables accredited fisheries organizations to collect mandatory dues from license holders.

To download the Act, click http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statutes/fish%20harvester%20organizations%20support.pdf.

To download the Act's regulations, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/fhossupport.htm .

To download the FHOSA FAQ, click here

NS Fish Harvester Organization Membership Application forms


Fish Buyers Licensing and Enforcement Regulations

These regulations outline the requirements for commercial fish buyers licences.

To download the regulations, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/fcrbuyer.htm.


Fish Inspection Regulations

These regulations provide the rules for fish processing facilities.

To download the regulations, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/fcrinspc.htm.


Health Protection Act (Food Safety)

The act outlines food safety requirements for all establishments that handle food for public consumption.

To download the Act, click http://nslegislature.ca/legc/statues/healthpr.htm.

To download the regulations, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/rxaa-l.htm#hlthprotect.


Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations

These federal regulations govern recreational fish species. They outline how many fish can be caught, where fish can be caught, and at what time of year.

To download the federal regulations, click http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-93-55/index.html.


Sportfishing Licencing Regulations

These provincial regulations outline the types, fees and terms of licences for sportfishing in Nova Scotia as well as provides information on licences for persons with disabilities, sportfishing weekends and more.

To download these regulations, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regs/wifish.htm 


Anglers' Handbook and Summary of Regulations

This handbook provides all the rules and regulations regarding sport fishery in Nova Scotia.

Download the Nova Scotia Anglers' Handbook & Summary of Regulations:

Questions about this guide may be directed to:

Debbie White
Phone: 902-485-5056
Email: whiteda@gov.ns.ca

Regulation Maps:

Fishing Licence vendors and report card can be found on the Licensing and Permits page.


Atlantic Salmon Regulations

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for the management of Atlantic salmon in Nova Scotia. The following federal regulations govern salmon. They outline how many fish can be caught, where fish can be caught, and at what time of year.The Province of Nova Scotia is responsible for issuing Atlantic salmon licences.
Atlantic Salmon Fishing Season: September 1 to October 31

To download the 2018 Salmon Angling Information and licence fees, click here

2018 Salmon Angling Seasons:


For all NS government legislation, click http://nslegislature.ca/legc/sol.htm

For all NS government regulation, click https://novascotia.ca/just/regulations/regsxact.htm