Liaison committee between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Quebec Harvesting Sector

Fisheries management policies on Canada’s atlantic coast - Requests for modifications and relief

PDF Version

How would you like DFO-QC to proceed in response to the various requests for modifications and relief?

  • Which proposals do you prefer?
  • Regionally coherent application? By area? Which ones?
  • Application restricted to certain fleets? Which ones?
  • Work with the Liaison Committee?
  • Work separately from advisory committees?

List of policies dealt with by the Liaison Committee (November 2013)

No. 1 Priorities

Vessel replacement policy

Suggestion: Adjust the maximum authorized vessel length and eliminate the limitation based on metric volume:

  • Limits on vessel length and cubic number were ways to control fishing effort in competitive fisheries.
  • Given that most fisheries are now under IQs/ITQs, this limitation is becoming unnecessary.
  • There is no longer anyone at DFO who is qualified to calculate cubic number.
  • There is concern that this could put pressure on DFO to obtain increased funding in fishing harbours (dredging, increased harbour capacity, etc.).
  • An increase in maximum authorized length does not mean that fishers have to comply with this new limit.
  • Inshore licensing policies still apply even if the maximum length exceeds 65 feet.
  • Section 106.1 of the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 prohibits shrimpers from fishing from a vessel more than 65 feet in overall length within a radius of 12 nautical miles of the shore.

Commercial fisheries licensing policy  for eastern Canada

Suggestion: Review the maximum period (five years) for re-issuance of licences in cases of illness or death of the licence holder (substitute operator):

  • DFO is flexible in terms of family situation (case-by-case analysis).
  • Several fleets want a stricter application of this clause in order to facilitate the transfer of enterprises (rationalization) and thereby avoid “licence managers.” Owing to its workload, DFO could have trouble adopting stricter management.
  • Some businesses stated that market conditions for some licences are unfavourable for sale in periods of illness or following a death within the five-year period.
  • The succession issue was also raised. For example, upon the death of a licence holder who has a child who is too young or inexperienced to succeed him or her, relaxing this policy would allow the child to receive the training and qualifications necessary for acquiring a licence.
  • In the event of illness, a duly completed medical certificate will still be required with every replacement application (substitute fisher) submitted to DFO.

Suggestion: Elimination of the prohibition on issuing two licences for the same species and gear in different areas to a single holder.

  • This policy change will foster the prosperity of fishing enterprises.
  • For DFO, this will require adjustments in terms of monitoring controls.
  • Licence holders will not be able to fish in different areas during the same fishing trip.
  • It is important not to confuse this suggestion (enterprise combining for two different fishing areas) with the enterprise combining within the same fishing area that was previously approved by DFO.

Buddying up
2 fishers / 2 licences
2 vessels
1 area

flèche bas

2 fishers / 2 licences
1 vessel
1 area

Partnering
2 fishers / 2 licences
2 vessels
2 different areas

flèche bas

2 fishers / 2 licences
1 vessel
2 different areas

Enterprise combining
(in different areas)
2 fishers / 2 licences
(same species and gear)
2 different areas

flèche bas

1 fisher / 2 licences
(same species and gear)
2 different areas

Enterprise combining
(in the same area)
2 fishers / 2 licences

flèche bas

1 fisher / 1 licence


 Example: Allowing a snow crab licence to be issued for Area 16 and 17 to the same fisher after enterprise combining

No. 2 Priorities

Professionalization of fishers

Suggestion: Review the licence eligibility criteria.

  • Some harvester organizations asked DFO to change its rules to acknowledge the professional status of fishers. DFO recommended changing the licence eligibility criteria in its regional licencing policy in order to align them with the requirements for obtaining professional fisher status at the provincial level.
    • A professional fishery studies diploma
    • OR - A commercial fishing master’s certificate and proof that the following courses have been successfully completed:
      • Advanced First Aid at Sea, for a duration of 16 hours
      • Emergency Operations at Sea, for a duration of 20 hours
      • Responsible Fishing, minimum of 2 courses, for a duration of 15 hours each
      • Organization and Teamwork, for a duration of 15 hours
    • OR - A professional fisher’s certificate issued by BAPAP

Is it now more relevant to change this policy?

Commercial fisheries licensing policy for eastern canada

Suggestion: Processing at sea.

  • DFO-QC has received a few requests regarding processing at sea.
  • Given the Quebec government’s jurisdiction in terms of seafood processing and factory impact management, discussions and analysis will be required to ensure intergovernmental cooperation.
  • DFO will require interregional and national discussions. All requests require national approval because of the provincial impacts.

Suggestion: Allow partnership between two fishers of the same species in two different areas.

  • Partnership is currently for two fishers in the same fishing area and for the same species.
  • This relief would foster economic prosperity for the Quebec fishing industry.
  •  Compliance and catch monitoring will be assessed on a case-by-case basis for the requests received.

Example of a partnership:

Buddying up
2 fishers / 2 licences
2 vessels
1 area

flèche bas

2 fishers / 2 licences
1 vessel
1 area

Partnering
2 fishers / 2 licences
2 vessels
2 different areas

flèche bas

2 fishers / 2 licences
1 vessel
2 different areas

Enterprise combining
(in different areas)
2 fishers / 2 licences
(same species and gear)
2 different areas

flèche bas

1 fisher / 2 licences
(same species and gear)
2 different areas

Enterprise combining
(in the same area)
2 fishers / 2 licences


flèche bas

1 fisher / 1 licence


Commercial fisheries licensing policy for eastern Canada

Suggestion: Relax the Issuance of Licences to Companies Policy for vessels < 65 feet to allow for family or other trusts (between two fishers in the independent core group).

  • Under the current policy, a licence can only be issued to a single holder.
  • This relief could facilitate succession and estate resolution and increase fishers’ independence in managing their enterprise.
  • However, the concept of “family” may be difficult to determine.
  • This relief would require a broad industry consensus and national approval given that it would necessitate changes to the Declaration Concerning Controlling Agreement.
  • Are we ready to consider family trusts or “independent core group fishers” trusts as a way of sustaining fishing enterprises?
Note that trusts will be discussed by the Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation during the winter of 2013–2014. It was requested that the Liaison Committee not duplicate the Federation’s efforts, but it will be informed of the outcome of the discussions.