Liaison Committee Between Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Quebec Harvesting Sector

Fisheries management policies on Canada's atlantic coast

Requests for modifications and simplification Quebec region

Presentation to the Liaison Committee between DFO and the Harvesting Sector

November 27, 2013 Quebec City PDF Version

Background - Requests for simplification from industry

  • For the past few years, DFO Quebec Region has received requests from industry members for simplification of certain policies and surveillance tools.
  • DFO wishes to hear you on the process to adopt in order to follow up on the various requests.
  • Requests were categorized based on priority.
  • An order of priority was decided, given that:
    • Inter-regional discussions may be required
    • Discussions with the Quebec government may be necessary, because some measures may have an impact on their programs and/or their jurisdictions
    • Some technological processes in DFO are currently undergoing change
    • The organizational capacity of DFO-QC is limited

Departmental background

Ministerial Statement - September 2012

  • Policies on fleet separation and owner operators in Atlantic Canada will remain intact.
  • There are ways to improve how these fisheries are conducted while maintaining these important policies.

Speech from the Throne – October 2013

  • The government will continue to welcome solutions that are supported by fishers, which will help to increase the economic viability of this traditional cornerstone of the coastal economy.

Process to be identified

Obtain your comments on the process desired in relation to the various available possibilities

  • Which proposals should be prioritized?
  • Regional uniform application? By area? Which ones?
  • Application restricted to certain fleets? Which ones?
  • Work within the liaison committee?
  • Work within the framework of advisory committees?

Desired changes based on their priority

  • A) #1 Priorities
    • Changes that DFO Quebec Region can complete within 12 to 18 months
  • B) #2 Priorities
    • Changes that may require
      • inter-regional discussions
      • discussions with the Quebec government
      • technological changes

#1 Priorities

Vessel replacement policy

Review of the maximum authorized vessel length and abolition of the limitation based on metric volume

  • The limits to vessel length and metric volume were ways to control fishing effort in competitive fisheries.
  • Given that most fisheries are now under IQ/ITQ, this limitation is now outdated for this category.
  • There are no longer qualified people at DFO to calculate metric volume.

Commercial fisheries licensing policy for eastern Canada

Review of maximum period (5 years) for re-issuance of licences in cases of illness or death of the licence holder (substitute operator)

  • DFO is flexible, based on the family situation (case-by-case analysis)
  • Several fleets require a more strict application of this clause in order to promote the transfer of businesses (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 5-year period).
  • The succession issue was also raised.
  • Abolition of the prohibition on issuing 2 licences for the same species in different zones to a single holder
    • Example: Issuance of a snow crab licence for Area 16 and Area 17 to the same fisher
    • This policy change would foster the prosperity of fishing businesses
    • For DFO, this will require adjustments in terms of monitoring
      • Licence holders will not be able to fish in different areas during the same fishing trip

#2 Priorities

Professionalization of fishers

Review the licence issuance eligibility criteria

  • Some harvester organizations asked DFO to change its rules to acknowledge the professional status of fishers. DFO recommends changing the licence issuance eligibility criteria in its regional licence issuance policy in order to harmonize it with the requirements for obtaining professional fisher status at the provincial level
    • A professional fishery diploma
    • OR
    • A commercial fishery vessel master's certificate and proof that the following courses have been successfully completed:
      • Marine Advanced First Aid, for a duration of 16 hours
      • Marine Emergency Duties, for a duration of 20 hours
      • Responsible fisheries, minimum of 2 courses, for a duration of 15 hours each
      • Organization and group work, for a duration of 15 hours.
    • OR
    • A professional fish harvester certificate issued by the BAPAP
  • Is the timing better now to change this policy?

Commercial fisheries licensing policy for eastern Canada

  • Processing at sea
    • DFO-QC has received several information requests regarding processing at sea
    • Given the Quebec government's jurisdiction in seafood processing and the management of impacts on the processing sector, discussions and analysis will be required to ensure intergovernmental coordination
    • DFO will require interregional and national discussions
  • Allow partnership between two fishers of the same species in two different areas
    • Partnership already exists between 2 fishers in the same fishing area and for the same species
    • Would promote economic prosperity for the Quebec fishing industry
    • Compliance and catch monitoring will be assessed on a case-by-case basis
  • Relax the licence issuance policy for businesses with boats <65 feet to allow for family trusts
    • Under the current policy, a licence can only be issued to a single holder
    • Could facilitate succession planning, the resolution of successions and increase fishers' independence in managing their business
    • However, defining 'family' with precision could be difficult
    • Would require significant consensus


How do you want DFO-QC to proceed with follow up to various requests for changes and simplification?

  • Which proposals should be prioritized?
  • Regional uniform application? By area? Which ones?
  • Application restricted to certain fleets? Which ones?
  • Work within the liaison committee?
  • Work within the framework of advisory committees?
Example of desired reflection
Policies Requested by Desired change
Vessel replacement (length, volume)    
Licence issuance (illness, death)    
Licence issuance (2 licences for the same species, different area / 1 holder)    
Processing at sea    
Licence issuance (partnership between 2 fishers for the same species, 2 different areas, 1 vessel)    
Licence issuance (family trust)    

Next steps

  • Reception of your proposals: February 2014
  • At the next DFO-Harvesting Sector Liaison Committee meeting in 2014, a review of the proposals will be presented, and a working plan discussed