Fisheries and Land Resources

Rules & Regulations

Biodiversity protection and habitat conservation are two of the key purposes of ecological reserves, so certain rules apply within all the reserves in the province.

The public can visit most ecological reserves for educational purposes or low-impact recreational activities, such as hiking or sightseeing.

These activities are restricted in the sensitive nesting areas on Baccalieu Island, however, from April 1 to October 30. At that time only those conducting approved scientific research, people with valid access permits, and authorized government personnel can visit the seabird nesting areas.

Hiking is not allowed in the nesting areas during the breeding season.

The following activities are strictly prohibited in all wilderness and ecological reserves:

  • Disturbing, destroying, or removing plants, animals, or fossils
  • Introducing plants, animals, or anything else to the reserve landscape
  • Forestry, mining (including exploration), hydro development, agriculture, new roads, tracks, or buildings
  • Driving off-road vehicles including all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
Razorbill Colony

In addition, at Baccalieu Island Ecological Reserve:

  • No hunting is allowed in the reserve.
  • Motorized boats are not permitted within 100 metres of the cliffs with nesting birds during the breeding season (April 1 to October 30), except at the designated (and somewhat difficult) landing sites at Ned Walsh's Cove and London Cove.
  • Non-motorized boats can approach to 20 metres during the breeding season (April 1-Oct 30).
  • Boaters approaching the island must do so carefully, so as not to disturb the birds.
  • Tankers or other vessels longer than 20 metres are not permitted within the marine portion of the reserve.
  • Restrictions also apply to cruise ships in the area - see Permits & Forms.
  • Commercial and recreational fishing in accordance with other applicable legislation is permitted within the marine waters of the reserve.
  • Aircraft are not permitted to fly lower than 300 metres, take off, or land within the reserve from April 1 to October 30.

Complete rules and regulations for scientific researchers, fishers, local residents, commercial tour boat operators, Coast Guard staff, and other potential visitors are available online.

Read the official reserve regulations:

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