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The Fisheries Act contains provisions to conserve and protect fish habitat that sustain Canada's fisheries resources.  Habitat is defined in subsection 34 (1) of the Fisheries Act as "spawning grounds and nursery, rearing, food supply and migration areas on which fish depend directly or indirectly in order to carry out their life processes. " In the Yukon, DFO is responsible for the conservation and protection of fish habitat for both anadromous and freshwater fish.

Fisheries, like placer mining, are a major source of socio-economic and cultural benefits in the Yukon.  The territory's longest standing fishery is the aboriginal fishery, which provides nutrition, cultural value and income to First Nation people and communities.  The total value to Canadians from the Yukon aboriginal, commercial, recreational and domestic salmon fisheries is estimated at around $1 million annually.

Canada also has obligations under the Pacific Salmon Treaty with the United States regarding the allocation and management of the salmon fisheries on the Yukon River.

The conservation of fish and fish habitat supporting fisheries is a basic tenet of the Fisheries Act.  The Fish Habitat Management System must also recognize the importance of conservation of fish and fish habitat supporting fisheries, as well as the importance of a sustainable placer industry.