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From the wheelhouse
Fisheries and Oceans Canada makes changes
to meet today’s challenges

On January 1, 2010, the brand new Catch Certification Office at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) delivered the first certificate meeting the European Union’s regulatory requirements regarding illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing that came into effect on that same day. This event may have seemed unremarkable to some, but it was the outcome of unstinting work on the part of DFO to guarantee the Canadian fisheries and aquaculture industry access to foreign markets.   

Indeed, to deal with the increased complexity of markets and the growing fragility of ecosystems, DFO continually adapts its ways of doing things in order to foster the economic prosperity of maritime areas and the commercial fisheries.

Moreover, DFO has made some organizational changes to its headquarters to improve the effectiveness of the actions it implements to ensure the sustainability of the fisheries and protect aquatic ecosystems. For instance, a new Ecosystems and Fisheries Management Branch was created. Programs formerly managed by Fish Habitat and Species at Risk Management, Resource and Aquaculture Management, and Small Craft Harbours branches are now grouped in this branch. Science and Oceans programs have also been grouped differently and are now managed by the new Oceans and Science Branch. Finally, the DFO’s Policies Branch has been reinforced by the addition of a operational policies function that complements the consolidated strategic policies function. DFO partners in the Quebec Region will still speak to the same people since these changes will not apply to the structural organization of regional offices for now.

By adopting this new structure, we aim to concentrate the resources and energy we invest in carrying out our mandates in order to improve our effectiveness at a time when budgets are limited. In fact, we must contribute to reducing government expenses while maintaining and even improving the excellence of our programs and the services we provide the public.

During this time of major change, our determination to assure the excellence of the services we provide and to listen to what the industry has to say is undiminished. The regional team will continue its efforts to contribute to improving the viability of the fishing industry through concrete means in close collaboration with our industry partners and the Government of Quebec. In particular, we will continue to support the industry’s eco-certification efforts and we will step up implementation of the Department’s Sustainable Fisheries Framework.

Richard Nadeau
Regional General Director