04/25/2012 07:43 EDT | Updated 06/25/2012 05:12 EDT

Not all groups opposed to proposed Fisheries Act changes, says DFO

OTTAWA - The federal government says a number of organizations are in favour of proposed changes to the Fisheries Act, despite criticism from some conservationists and the NDP.

Fisheries Minister Keith Ashfield said Tuesday the revisions would identify and manage threats to the commercial, recreational and aboriginal fisheries.

But critics say they fear the changes would narrow the definition of a fish habitat and strip away measures protecting marine ecosystems that don't support active fisheries.

Erin Filliter, a spokeswoman for the Fisheries Department, says Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters have already indicated their support for the changes.

She says department officials will meet with conservation groups, aboriginals, provinces and municipalities about developing a regulatory framework.

The NDP have panned the proposed revisions, accusing the government of making changes without having a transparent public discussion.