Evaluation of the Integrated Fisheries Resource Management Program Activity: Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries & the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program

Final Report
February 2012
Evaluation Directorate

Table of Contents

Acronyms

CSSP
Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program
DFO
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
DPR
Departmental Performance Report
FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization
FSCP
Fisheries Science Collaborative Program
FTE
Full-time Equivalent
GOC
Government of Canada
IFMP
Integrated Fisheries Management Plan
MSC
Marine Stewardship Council
MRRS
Management, Resources and Results Structure
NCR
National Capital Region
PAA
Program Activity Architecture
PM
Performance Measurement
RPP
Report on Plans and Priorities
SFAB
Sport Fishing Advisory Board
SFT
Speech from the Throne
UBC
University of British Columbia

Executive Summary

Introduction

This report presents the results of the evaluation of the Integrated Fisheries Resource Management Program Activity, including the evaluation of the sub-activities Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries and the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program (FSCP). The evaluation examined the extent to which these sub-activities demonstrated value for money by assessing their relevance and performance, including effectiveness, efficiency and economy, in accordance with Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation (2009).

The evaluation covered the five-year period from 2006/07 through 2010/11 and was conducted between January 2011 and February 2012 by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans' (DFO) Evaluation Directorate. The evaluation covered all DFO regions, including the National Capital Region, Newfoundland and Labrador, Gulf, Maritimes, Quebec, Central and Arctic, and Pacific.

Program Description

Integrated Fisheries Resource Management activities and programs are intended to support DFO's goal of an economically viable and diverse fishing industry for Canadians. This report includes an evaluation of Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries, and the FSCP.

The Commercial Fisheries Program integrates input from various sources internal and external to DFO to produce Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMPs) and Conservation and Harvesting Plans for fisheries. Under the authority of the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act, these plans integrate conservation, management and scientific objectives, and they spell out the required measures to conserve and manage fisheries resources. The program also provides advice to decision-makers on species recovery strategies and stock rebuilding plans.

Through the FSCP, DFO and the Atlantic fishing industry collaborate in gathering data on fish (other than cod) and shellfish species in the Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Gulf Regions. This activity enhances core stock assessment and contributes to the knowledge base that supports resource management decisions on priority issues in marine fisheries science. The FSCP is a relatively small program complementing the Department's Fisheries Resource Science activities and Commercial Fisheries. It was therefore treated as a subcomponent of Commercial Fisheries for this evaluation.

Finally, the Recreational Fisheries Program focuses on emphasizing partnerships, citizen engagement and community stewardship, and promoting public awareness about conservation and the sustainable use of fishery resources. It also contributes to the development of IFMPs and ensuring that recreational fisheries interests are considered when making allocation decisions for commercial fisheries. The program administers the annual National Recreational Fisheries Awards and oversees quinquennial surveys on recreational fishing. The scope of Recreational Fisheries' work is further guided and shaped by a complex mix of federal, provincial and territorial responsibilities for recreational fisheries that has evolved over time.

Evaluation Methodology

The evaluation employed a variety of methods, as described below, in order to triangulate evidence and arrive at valid findings and conclusions. A non-experimental design was used because the programs are intended to be delivered across Canada as a whole and not withheld from any area or region.

The following sources provided qualitative and quantitative data for the evaluation:

  • Document and file review;
  • Comparative analysis of similar programs delivered in three other countries;
  • Literature review on the effectiveness of the world's fisheries;
  • Interviews with 49 key informants from all DFO Regions (including 25 senior program staff, 17 program partners from other DFO sectors and 7 external stakeholders);
  • Survey of Resource Management employees in all DFO regions  (39.7% response rate); and,
  • Two case studies: one investigating the relevance and effectiveness of FSCP, and the other examining the IFMP process.

Data analysis involved comparing the results from the different lines of evidence, to determine where they reinforce one another (triangulation) or notably differ, in order to develop a summary finding for each question and arrive at valid conclusions.

Evaluation Findings & Recommendations

Relevance

The evaluation concludes that Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries and FSCP have each demonstrated a continuing need. They are essential to the long-term sustainability of fisheries in Canada and in meeting an increasing demand for proof of eco-certification and maintaining market access. The programs are appropriate for federal government intervention as fisheries are a valuable public resource, and the federal government has exclusive legislative authority over sea coast and inland fisheries, as per Subsection 91(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867.

The programs derive their specific mandate from the Fisheries Act, under which DFO has responsibility for the management of all Canadian coastal and marine fisheries. In addition, the programs reflect responsibilities of fisheries resource conservation within commercial, Aboriginal and recreational fisheries and are guided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act, the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act. Finally, the mandate and activities of the programs are aligned with DFO's Strategic Outcome of Economically Prosperous Maritime Sectors and Fisheries and are intended to generate economic benefits for all Canadians.

Some concerns were raised about the alignment of FSCP activities with current DFO strategic priorities and direction. While the program was found to be relevant, a review of the program objectives, goals and operating principles should be undertaken to ensure that FSCP projects are aligned with and address current DFO priorities.

Recommendation #1: The ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, should undertake a review of the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program to ensure alignment of project funding with the current context of fisheries management needs and alignment with current DFO policy and fisheries management priorities.

Effectiveness

The evaluation concludes that Commercial Fisheries has had limited effectiveness over the last five years. The program has completed IFMPs for only half of the major stocks, and only in limited cases have management practices supported stable fishery access and allocation. Further, while the evidence indicates significant stakeholder participation, there is currently no process in place to determine the effectiveness of the stakeholder engagement process.

Recommendation #2: The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management should develop a mechanism to assess the effectiveness of stakeholder participation in the harvest-decision making process.

Over the last few years the Department has initiated various activities that may impact the program's ability to improve its effectiveness. The implementation of a Sustainable Fisheries Framework is intended to help ensure Canadian fisheries are managed in a manner that supports conservation and sustainable use. It further provides the foundation for an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach to fisheries management in Canada, with new tools and policies being developed and implemented progressively over time. Also, recent initiatives such as multi-year management plans should improve stability in fisheries management, while maintaining conservation commitments. This in turn should enable industry and other stakeholders to make better-informed, long-term decisions.

Finally, while departmental data indicates there may have been an improvement in the ability to sustainably manage major stocks over time, there is not enough longitudinal data to demonstrate a trend of improved sustainability over the last five years. Certainly, research indicates that global fisheries are in crisis, with much of the world's fish stocks fully exploited, overly exploited or collapsed. In spite of this, published research indicates that although any country is far from exceeding expectations in the sustainable management of fisheries, Canada is consistently in the top six countries examined. However, Canada's fisheries management rules are outdated and do not allow industry and fisheries to operate effectively.

With respect to Recreational Fisheries, the evaluation concludes that the Department may not have all of the tools or information necessary to determine whether recreational fisheries are managed appropriately. Specifically, the Department does not have a full accounting of catches and landings in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, resulting in recreational fisheries that are not regulated to the same extent in all regions. There is also the potential for insufficient and inaccurate data with which to develop sound fisheries management advice.

There was a lack of evidence with which to assess the program's impact on its two immediate outcomes, specifically, Canadians awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries, and recreational fishers stewardship involvement in resource conservation and enhancement. A complex mix of federal, provincial and territorial responsibilities contributes to making these outcomes difficult to measure.

Recommendation #3: The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management, should develop a licensing mechanism to allow for the accurate collection of information on recreational fishing activities in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

Efficiency & Economy

The evaluation concludes that Commercial Fisheries is not entirely efficient in its design and delivery, resulting from an effort-intensive, top-down fishery management model that responds to short-term and shifting needs. Though some efficiencies have been recently introduced, a modernized approach to fisheries management is still required.

The program is involved in the various business activities of fisheries and various ad hoc responses to industry crises and stakeholder demands. As well, the process to develop IFMPs has become increasingly complex, as management plans must accommodate complex scientific information, new policies, requirements for consultation, and an increasing number of stakeholders. The Department's fisheries management policy framework and program efforts, while remaining with the Department's mandate to properly manage and control the fishery and conserve and protect fish, should be designed to create the conditions that will allow fishers to become more economically self-reliant and make their own business decisions over the long-term. However, the evaluation further concludes that while many policy enhancements can be achieved without a modernized Fisheries Act, it may be important to have in place enabling legislation that will provide the legal basis for some policy changes.

Recommendation #4: The Department should continue to move forward with the modernization of the fisheries management regime and develop a management approach that stabilizes industry access to the resource with the goals of conservation and long-term economic sustainability. To this effect, we recommend that:

  1. The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management in collaboration with the ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector should develop a comprehensive approach to implement the policies under the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, and most notably accelerate the implementation of the precautionary approach; and,
  2. The ADM, Program Policy develop a national licensing policy for commercial fisheries.

1. Introduction

1.1 Context of the Evaluation

This evaluation presents the results of the evaluation of the Integrated Fisheries Resource Management Program Activity, which includes the evaluation of the sub-activities: Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries and the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program. In accordance with the Treasury Board Policy on Evaluation (2009) and its related Directive and Standard, the evaluation focused on the extent to which the program demonstrates value for money by assessing the core issues of relevance and performance, including effectiveness, efficiency and economy.

The Integrated Fisheries Resource Management is a Program Activity in the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) 2011-2012 Program Activity Architecture (PAA). This evaluation was slated in DFO's 2011-2012 multi-year departmental evaluation plan.

1.2 Scope

The main objective of this evaluation is to determine the extent to which the program is managed effectively and efficiently and whether it has achieved its stated objectives and results. This evaluation covered the period of 2006-07 to 2010-11 and was undertaken between January 2011 and February 2012 by DFO's Evaluation Directorate. The evaluation is inclusive of all DFO Regions including the National Capital Region (NCR), Newfoundland and Labrador, Gulf, Maritimes, Quebec, Central and Arctic, and Pacific.

2. Program Profile

2.1 Overview: Program Background & Objectives

Integrated Fisheries Resource Management activities and programs are intended to support DFO's goal of an economically viable and diverse fishing industry for Canadians. The program has four sub-activities: Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries, Fisheries Science Collaborative Program (FSCP) and the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures Program.1

The role of Integrated Fisheries Resource Management is to deliver policies, programs and plans (i.e. Integrated Fisheries Management Plans (IFMPs) and Conservation and Harvesting Plans, Rebuilding Plans, Recovery Strategies and Action Plans) under the Fisheries Act, the Species at Risk Act and related regulations, in consultation with Aboriginal groups, provinces, territories, industry, and other stakeholders, to manage, protect and conserve fisheries resources. The program is intended to ensure sustainability and provide for the allocation and distribution of harvestable resources among those dependent on the resource (Aboriginal, aquaculture for seed, spat and broodstock, commercial harvesters and recreational fishers). The program, informed by the scientific assessment of the status of fish, invertebrates and marine mammals, works to provide Canadians with a sustainable fishery resource that provides for an economically viable and diverse industry. DFO's Policy Sector, other Directorates within the Ecosystem and Fisheries Management Sector and the Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, supported by Canadian Coast Guard vessels are integral contributors to the delivery of this program. Components of the program are also coordinated with Environment Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, provincial, territorial and municipal governments.

1 The Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures is a contribution program that supports industry efforts to improve economic prosperity and long-term sustainability in all Lobster Fishing Areas. The evaluation excludes the Program, in place from September 2009 through March 2014, as it will be evaluated separately at a later date.

2.2 Program Activities

2.2.1 Commercial Fisheries Program

The Commercial Fisheries Program integrates input from other related areas of DFO (Science, Policy, and directorates within the Ecosystem and Fisheries Management Sector), other levels of government, other government departments, and stakeholders to develop and implement fishing plans (IFMPs and Conservation and Harvesting Plans) for fisheries. These fishing plans are informed by the scientific assessment of the status of fish, invertebrate and marine mammals. Under the authority of the Fisheries Act and the Species at Risk Act, these plans integrate conservation, management and scientific objectives, and spell out the required measures to conserve and manage fisheries resources. Allocations between user groups and fleet sectors are an important aspect of resource management. Fisheries are managed by allocating quotas to entire fleet sectors that fish competitively or through enterprise or individual allocations. Effort in the commercial fishery is controlled through licensing, quota monitoring and the implementation of management measures to control such things as escapement, by-catch, and fishing areas. The Fishery Checklist provides information used to monitor improvements in the management of a fishery relative to emerging sustainability standards.  The program includes the integration of consultations with legislated co-management partners and the recreational and Aboriginal Food, Social and Ceremonial fisheries. The Catch Certification Office plays a key role in facilitating market access into the European Union.

Commercial fishing across Canada employs approximately 45,000 people (commercial fish harvesters and crew) and an additional 21,000 in seafood product preparation and packaging. The landed value of commercial fisheries was close to $1.89 billion in 20082 and $1.64 billion in 2009, as shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Commercial Sea-fisheries Landings by Species Groups and Region, 2009
  Atlantic* Pacific Canada
Total Volume of Landings (metric tonnes) 767,573
(83%)
157,183
(17%)
924,756
Groundfish 105,459 98,189 203,648
Pelagics 238,472 45,648 284,120
Shellfish 407,029 13,185 420,214
Other 16,613 161 16,774
Total Value of Landings ($'000) 1,391,245
(85%)
250,224
(15%)
1,641,469
Groundfish 142,778 93,865 236,643
Pelagics 73,239 53,426 126,665
Shellfish 1,163,433 100,708 1,264,141
Other 11,795 2,225 14,020

Source: Canada's Fisheries Fast Facts 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
* Atlantic = Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec.

The program activities, as outlined in the program logic model (section 2.4), are to:

  • Develop, review and implement various IFMPs and supporting documents;
  • Administer licensing / permitting and related data management collection systems;
  • Review and implement regulations, policies and procedures;
  • Conduct consultations and negotiations on fisheries management related activities; and,
  • Provide advice to decision-makers on fisheries management issues.

IFMPs provide a planning framework for the conservation and sustainable use of fisheries resources. The provisions of each plan determine how a fishery will be managed and, where applicable, the license conditions. The allocation of fish to various user groups is managed through quota and controls found in policies and regulations, in accordance with legislation. A precautionary approach to harvest levels, introduced in 2009, is being gradually implemented.3 The Commercial Fisheries Program also provides advice to decision-makers on species recovery strategies and stock rebuilding plans. Finally, it provides information to DFO's Minister, advisory committees involving provincial and territorial governments, the fishing industry, and international committees.

2 DFO, 2011. Canadian Fisheries Statistics 2008

3 In resource management, a precautionary approach generally entails being cautious when scientific information is uncertain, unreliable or inadequate. This is done by setting a 'reference point' which is an estimated value derived from an agreed scientific procedure and an agreed model to which corresponds a state of the resource and of the fishery and which can be used as a guide for fisheries management.

2.2.2 Fisheries Science Collaborative Program

The FSCP grew out of the Groundfish Sentinel Program4 in 2003 to provide research on fish (other than cod) and shellfish species. Through collaborative science activities with the Atlantic5 fishing industry FSCP enables the capture of data and enhances core stock assessment activities while contributing to the knowledge base that supports resource management decisions. The primary intent of FSCP is to bring together DFO scientists and Atlantic fishers to collaborate on fisheries science research projects that are aligned with fisheries science priorities and conservation requirements. The projects must provide data in addition to what is already collected by DFO to contribute to enhanced, science-based decision-making on stock management issues. The FSCP is a relatively small program and complements the Commercial Fisheries Program; it was therefore treated as a subcomponent of Commercial Fisheries for this evaluation.

The broad objectives of the FSCP are to (a) increase knowledge to support conservation decision-making on priority issues in marine fisheries science, while (b) promoting and implementing collaborative fisheries science activities between DFO Science and the Atlantic fishing industry.

It is important to note that the Fisheries Resource Science Program, which was evaluated in 20106, is the program that provides broader scientific support to the Integrated Fisheries Management Program. This program addresses all domestic fisheries (Aboriginal, commercial and recreational) as well as specific international fisheries, and provides key scientific advice and information for decision-makers to support the sustainable management of fisheries resources.

4 In 1994, this program was initiated by DFO and is comprised of a number of research activities to enhance scientific information and monitor trends in the biomass of depressed stocks and those under moratorium, and to involve fishers directly in the scientific assessment process, and thus foster greater cooperation and understanding between the Department and the fishing industry.

5 Includes Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec and Gulf Regions.

6 DFO, 2011. Evaluation of the Fisheries Resource Science Program. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ae-ve/evaluations/10-11/6b139-eng.htm

2.2.3 Recreational Fisheries Program

Under the authority of the Fisheries Act and Species at Risk Act a complex mix of federal, provincial and territorial legislative, management and coordination responsibilities for recreational fisheries has evolved over time. The Recreational Fisheries Program is guided by policies, such as the Operational Framework for Recreational Fisheries in Canada, the Atlantic Fisheries Policy Framework, Pacific New Directions and the Vision for the Recreational Fishery in British Columbia. The program focuses on emphasizing partnerships, citizen-engagement and community stewardship and promoting public awareness about conservation and the sustainable use of fishery resources. Recreational fisheries managers are also important players in the development of IFMPs and in ensuring that recreational fisheries interests are considered when making allocation decisions. The program administers the annual National Recreational Fisheries Awards, recognizing the achievements of up to five award recipients who have made a significant contribution to Canada's recreational fisheries, either through a single project or over time. DFO's Policy Sector, other directorates within the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management sector and the Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector are all integral contributors to the delivery of this program.

As shown in Table 2 below, recreational fishing is an important activity in Canada, with participation of approximately 3.2 million anglers per year, contributing $7.5 billion to local economies across the country.

Table 2. Recreational Fisheries Statistics, 2005
  Pacific Inland Atlantic Canada
# Active Anglers 547,032 1,793,003 895,885 3,235,920
Fishing Effort ('000 days fished) 6,201 23,735 13,012 42,947
Harvest ('000 fish kept) 3,646 32,118 35,918 71,681
Direct Expenditures ($'000) 569,622 1,416,978 479,566 2,466,167
Direct Investments ($'000) 543,032 1,314,626 727,769 2,585,427

Source: Canada's Fisheries Fast Facts 2010, Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The Recreational Fisheries Program activities, as outlined in the program logic model (section 2.4), are to:

  • Administer the National Recreational Fisheries Awards Program;
  • Provide advice, guidance and information on recreational fisheries;
  • Oversee the quinquennial Surveys of Recreational Fishing in Canada and of Great Lakes Recreational Fishing; and,
  • Manage and administer recreational fisheries.

2.3 Program Expected Results & Performance Measurement

The programs under evaluation had limited and/or inconsistent performance measurement data during the period of time the evaluation is examining. DFO's PAA has undergone significant revision and improvement, including a redesign of its Management, Resources and Results Structure (MRRS) in order to more comprehensively outline the programs it delivers. Under the new MRRS, the placement of programs within the PAA was adjusted based on where the programs' expected results best supported, and better aligned to, a given Strategic Outcome.  As such, the Commercial Fisheries Program, the Recreational Fisheries Program and the FSCP were all added to the PAA for 2011-12; previously falling under the sub-activity of Fisheries Resource Management within the Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Program Activity.

During the period of 2006-07 to 2010-11 the program's expected results (Table 3) have been in a constant state of improvement. As a result, performance measures are generally not comparable from year to year with consistency only in the indicators for 2009-10 and 2010-11.7

Table 3. Expected Results for the Resource Management Sub-Activity 2006-07 to 2010-11
2006/07
  • Integrated management of fisheries resources in collaboration with stakeholders
  • A modernized Fisheries Management Regime
2007/08
  • IFMPs
  • Economic and social benefits from fisheries while ensuring conservation of stocks
  • Improved inter-fleet and inter-province relations over fisheries
  • Increased acceptance of decision processes
2008/09
  • Targets not defined
2009/10
  • Conservation of major stocks
  • Stakeholder participation in harvest decision-making processes
  • Stable access and allocation arrangement in the fishery
  • IFMPs
2010/11
  • Same as 2009/10

Additionally, the programs do not have a complete Performance Measurement (PM) Strategy or a Results-based Management and Accountability Framework. A draft PM Strategy is currently being developed as part of the Department's Performance Measurement Action Plan. The draft logic models developed for that process were used for this evaluation.
 
Finally, the program developed a 'Fishery Checklist' in 2007 to assess the Department's progress in implementing elements of the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, notably the precautionary and ecosystem approaches. It was designed as a high-level tool to provide a qualitative analysis and a snapshot of a stock and fishery in time capturing how a fishery is addressing a range of factors considered necessary for sustainable management. Though not intended as a source of performance measurement, the tool has proved useful for this purpose. However, improvements and revisions have been made between 2007 and 2010 resulting in the data sets being incomparable.  The Fishery Checklist will remain unchanged between 2011 and 2014 to produce comparable data sets. Where possible, data from the existing Fishery Checklist Annual Reports will be used.

7 Though targets for 2008-09 were not defined, some indicators for the measures identified in 2009-10 and 2010-11 were available to allow for comparison between the 3 years 2008-09 to 2010-11.

2.4 Logic Models

The logic models developed for the programs draft PM Strategies were used for this evaluation and are presented below (Figure 1 and 2).

2.5 Partners, Clients & Stakeholders

2.5.1 Partners

Managing Canada's fisheries is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial and territorial governments. While roles vary between different provinces and territories, in general, the federal government is responsible for all marine species, with the exception of anadromous and catadromous species in inland waters in some regions. With the exception of salmon in British Columbia, provincial governments have a delegated responsibility for freshwater species. In the Arctic, Aboriginal groups actively partner with DFO in the management of both freshwater and marine fisheries. Under some land claim agreements in the Arctic, wildlife management boards have a key role in the co-management of fisheries.

Table 4. Division of Management Responsibilities
Province/Territory Management Responsibilities
Federal Province/Territory
Newfoundland and Labrador Manage marine and freshwater fisheries Licence freshwater fisheries
Northwest Territories, Nunavut Some land claim agreements provide for the establishment of wildlife management boards or other structures. While Government retains ultimate responsibility for fisheries management, these structures set out processes for the co-management of fisheries and other wildlife. The roles of the boards vary under the different land claims agreements. Administer sportfish licencing under an Order-in-Council.
New Brunswick, Nova Scotia,  Prince Edward Island Manage anadromous, catadromous and other marine species Manage and license freshwater species, and licence anadromous species fished in inland waters
Quebec Manage marine species other than those dealt with by the province Manage and licence freshwater, anadromous and catadromous species
Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta Manage marine species in Ontario and Manitoba Manage and licence freshwater species
Saskatchewan Aboriginal fishing and fish habitat protection Make day-to-day legislative fishery amendments, except for Aboriginal fishing and fish habitat protection
British Columbia Manage salmon in marine and freshwater, and licence in tidal waters; manage and licence non- salmon fisheries in tidal waters Manage and licence freshwater species and license inland salmon sportfishing
Yukon Manage marine fisheries Manage freshwater fisheries

The Commercial Fisheries and Recreational Fisheries Programs work with several DFO partners (Science, Strategic Policy, Fisheries and Aboriginal Policy, Oceans and Habitat, and Legal), other directorates within the Department (Ecosystems Management, Compliance and Enforcement, Small Craft Harbours, and Aboriginal Programs and Governance), and resource users and other stakeholders (usually via advisory committees), and provinces and territories on recreational fisheries issues. It also works with Environment Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and provinces and territories on the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program (CSSP). FSCP's primary partners are recognized industry groups within the Atlantic marine commercial harvesting sector. Project partners may also include other commercial interests, other federal government organizations, provincial governments, universities and colleges.

2.5.2 Stakeholders and Clients

Canadian Public: Canada's fishery resources are a vital and valuable common property resource that is managed for the benefit of all in Canada. Many Canadians have an interest in fisheries, including fish harvesters and anglers, aquaculturists, provincial, territorial and municipal governments, Aboriginal groups, community-based organizations, non-government organizations, the eco-tourism sector, universities and other institutions.

Fishing Industry: Commercial fishers are the primary clients of the Commercial Fisheries Program. Resource Management staff work with approximately 52,800 registered commercial fish harvesters in the Atlantic and the Pacific. Occasionally, vessels from other nations fish in Canadian waters and are licensed and monitored by DFO. The primary clients of the Recreational Fisheries Program are the approximately one in 10 Canadians (about 3.2 million) who participate in recreational fishing, and the industry sector that provides recreational fishing services (e.g. charters, lodges).

Aboriginal Communities: Aboriginal communities and fishers are an important part of the fishing sector. DFO is among those federal departments having a large, on-the-ground presence in coastal Aboriginal communities. Through activities such as shared stewardship and co-management activities, Aboriginal groups contribute to the sustainable management of commercial fisheries.. Co-management boards are the main instruments of wildlife management within settlement areas. DFO continues to seek to strengthen relationships with Aboriginal groups in order to facilitate the negotiation and implementation of modern treaties and broader federal and Aboriginal group objectives.

Provincial/Territorial Wildlife Federations: As representatives of many recreational fishers, the provincial/territorial Wildlife Federations provide a voice on issues of concern to recreational fishers. These federations also educate fishers and the public about recreational fishing in general and about the rules and expectations governing recreational fishing. Some of these organizations also organize and complete field work, on a voluntary basis, that contributes to conservation and habitat protection objectives. The Recreational Fisheries Program regularly consults with the Federations.

2.6 Governance

The Senior Assistant Deputy Minister of the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management Sector and the Regional Directors General are jointly accountable for the Integrated Fisheries Resource Management Program Activity. Program implementation is lead by the Director General of Resource Management and the Regional Directors of Fisheries Management.

A number of management structures influence the work of the Commercial Fisheries Program, including co-management boards (Wildlife Resource Management Boards) and Assistant Deputy Minister steering committees. The Ecosystem and Fisheries Management Operations Committee and the Fisheries Management Oversight Committee are executive committees that provide direction, with further input from industry and international advisory committees. As well, Fishery license appeal boards work with the Commercial Fisheries Program around licensing decisions.

The FSCP is governed by a Management Board comprised of the Director, Fish Population Science (Chair), the three Atlantic Regional Directors of Science, and five Atlantic industry representatives (other members may be appointed as agreed by the Board). The Board sets strategic priorities and determines guidelines for choosing projects. As well, while projects are selected at the Regional level, they are submitted to the Regional coordinator in the NCR, who then forwards the complete projects list from all Regions to the Management Board for consideration and approval.

Numerous internal and external working groups provide direction to the Recreational Fisheries Program, such as the Sport Fishing Advisory Board in British Columbia and the Inland Fisheries Committee of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers. As previously discussed, the management of Canada's recreational fisheries is a shared responsibility between federal, provincial and territorial governments.

2.7 Program Resources

The financial information (total program cost) and full time equivalent (FTEs) for Resource Management (including the Commercial Fisheries Program and Recreational Fisheries Program) is shown in Table 5 below. Separate budgets for each sub-activity were only introduced starting in 2011-128 and, therefore, not available for the period covered by this evaluation. Financial resources for the Commercial Fisheries Program are a significant portion of the budget.

Table 5. Total Program Cost for Resource Management and FTEs (2006-07 to 2010-11)
  2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
Financial Resources ($M Actual) 77.5 52.7 N/A 73.3 69.6
FTEs
(# Actual)
409 395 N/A 457 447

Source: Departmental Performance Reports

The total budget for FSCP is approximately $1.2 million and expenditures include direct program costs only as there is no dedicated program administration cost in either FTE or salary dollars. That is, DFO staff are not specifically dedicated to the FSCP, providing staff resources either as part of their regular workload or 'in-kind'.

Table 6. Total Program Cost for FSCP (2006-07 to 2010-11)
  2006/07 2007/08 2008/09 2009/10 2010/11
Financial Resources ($M) 1.54 1.54 1.54 1.26 1.13

8 Integrated Fisheries Resource Management had an estimated budget of approximately $143 million as per the 2011-12 Main Estimates. This includes approximately $114 million for Commercial Fisheries, $6 million for Recreational Fisheries, $2 million for FSCP, and 18$ million for Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures.

3. Methodology

3.1 Project Management

The evaluation was conducted by an evaluation team led by a Senior Evaluation Manager within the Evaluation Directorate at DFO. The team collaborated with program personnel to prepare a list of documents to review, identify key informants and stakeholders and to review and provide feedback on interview guides and various reports. The final evaluation report was also subject to external peer review.

3.2 Evaluation Approach & Design

A non-experimental design was used for this evaluation, in which measurements are taken after the program has been implemented with no control group. This model was chosen because the program is a full coverage program intended to be delivered across Canada and not withheld from any area or region. The chosen design is appropriate to demonstrate the extent to which a program achieves issues of relevance, efficiency and economy. The evaluation employed a variety of methods (described below in section 3.4) where the evidence drawn from these methods were triangulated to arrive at valid findings and conclusions. 

The analytical methods used for this evaluation were tailored to the nature and availability of the data to be gathered, which were in turn linked to the evaluation questions. The data from each evaluation method detailed above was summarized to address each of the evaluation issues/questions contained in the evaluation matrix (Annex 1). The data analysis strategy included the triangulation of multiple lines of evidence. This involves the extraction of results from each line of inquiry for each evaluation issue to develop a summary response to each question, taking into account the strengths and limitations of each line of evidence.

3.3 Key Issues & Evaluation Questions

The evaluation questions cover both relevance and performance, including effectiveness, efficiency and economy. The evaluation matrix includes the use of multiple lines of evidence and complementary research methods as a means to ensure the reliability of information and data to be collected. The evaluation questions were determined on the basis of the Policy on Evaluation (2009), a review of key program documents, and results from preliminary discussion with key program personnel. The principal evaluation questions are provided in Table 7 below.

Table 7. Principal Evaluation Issues and Questions
Relevance
  1. Is there a continued need for the Integrated Fisheries Resource Management program, specifically the Commercial Fisheries Program, the Recreational Fisheries Program and the FSCP?
  2. Is there a current role for Federal Government intervention, and is the program consistent with GOC priorities?
  3. To what extent are the mandates and activities aligned with DFO priorities and objectives?
Performance
Effectiveness
  1. To what extent has the program produced its intended outputs?
  2. To what extent has the Commercial Fisheries Program/FSCP achieved their immediate outcomes?
    1. To what extent have program activities led to the completion of management plans for major stocks?
    2. To what extent have program activities led to the stable access and allocation of fisheries resources?
    3. To what extent have program activities assured that stakeholders are engaged in the harvest decision-making process?
    4. To what extent do program activities assure that appropriate information is available for making informed decisions?
  3. To what extent has the Recreational Fisheries Program achieved its immediate outcomes?
    1. To what extent have program activities created awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries to Canadian society and the economy?
    2. To what extent do program activities ensure recreational fishers have responsibility for shared stewardship in resource conservation and enhancement of recreational fisheries resources?
  4. To what extent has the Commercial Fisheries Program/FSCP achieved their intermediate outcomes?
    1. To what extent has the program resulted in the sustainable management of major stocks?
    2. To what extent does the program provide public confidence in the fishery management regime?
  5. To what extent has the Recreational Fisheries Program achieved its intermediate outcome?
    1. To what extent are recreational fisheries managed in accordance with conservation goals and DFO policies?
  6. To what extent does DFO Science or Strategic Policy contribute to the expected outcomes?
  7. What key factors or risks influence the success of the program?
  8. Are there any unintended outcomes, positive or negative, that can be attributed to the program?
Efficiency & Economy
  1. To what extent is the governance and management structure clear and functioning adequately?
  2. To what extent is the design and delivery of the program clear, appropriate and efficient?
  3. To what extent do the activities of the program complement, overlap or duplicate with other programs of DFO, or other Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments?
  4. To what extent could the efficiency/economy of the program and its activities be improved?
  5. Do the programs demonstrate use of best practices and or lessons learned in the design and implementation of their activities?

3.4 Data Sources

3.4.1 Document & File Review

The review of relevant existing program documentation provided a comprehensive perspective of the activities and outputs completed by the programs, and were used to inform the assessment of both the relevance and the performance of the programs.  The document review included an examination of various program documents and administrative data such as: DFO's Performance Measurement Framework, Departmental Performance Reports (DPR), Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPP), Speeches from the Throne (SFT), Fishery Checklist and various other internal and external reports and documents related to the program such as key publications and reports and program documents and memoranda.

3.4.2 Comparative Analysis

The comparative analysis focused on the delivery of similar programs abroad, and was conducted to examine questions of effectiveness, efficiency and economy. Norway, Australia, and the United States (with a focus on the State of Alaska), were selected in order to provide a spectrum of fisheries policy and management schemes, while also sharing enough commonalities in mandate and functions to enable a comparison. Public documents such as program websites, strategic plans and independent reports were analyzed to draw conclusions regarding similarities and differences in program design and delivery, as well as situate Canada's Commercial Fisheries and Recreational Fisheries Programs in an international context.

3.4.3 Literature Review

A literature review was undertaken to provide context on Canada's ability to sustainably manage its fisheries by examining Canada within a global context.  As such, the review focussed on assessing the current global state of fisheries with respect to sustainable management. A review of relevant literature evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of the world's fisheries was examined to examine questions with respect to the programs effectiveness.

3.4.4 Key Informant Interviews

Key informant interviews provided an understanding of the perceptions and opinions of individuals who have a significant role or significant experience in the design and delivery of the programs. The interviews contributed to almost all of the evaluation issues and questions.

In total, 49 individuals were interviewed in all DFO Regions. Three groups of key informants were interviewed: (a) senior program management (n=25); (b) program partners from other DFO Sectors, including Science, Policy and Compliance and Enforcement (n=17); and, (c) representatives from the stakeholder community including representatives of national and provincial industry associations and a Canadian expert from a recognized University  (n=7).

The interview guides used several five-point Likert-scale questions9, which were used throughout to average results of key informants. These scales were used across all three interview guides to allow for the comparison of average responses from the three targeted groups of key informants.

9 For example key informants were asked to rate extent on a scale of 1 to 5 where 1=Very limited extent, 2=Limited extent, 3=Moderate extent, 4=Considerable extent, 5=Great extent. Similar scales were used for success, effectiveness and confidence ratings.

3.4.5 Survey

An online survey was administered to 121 Resource Management employees in all DFO Regions. The survey provided an understanding of the perceptions of resource management employees who have experience in the delivery of the programs and contributed to almost all of the evaluation issues and questions. The survey was launched in August 2011 and closed in October 2011. Of the DFO employees contacted, a total of 48 responded to the survey for a response rate of 39.7%. The National Capital Region and the Gulf Region had the largest number of respondents (n=18 and n=13 respectively).

3.4.6 Case Studies

There were two cases studies undertaken for this evaluation. In both cases, the intent of the case studies was to allow for an in-depth examination of a 'case' through qualitative descriptive research and responded to both issues of relevance and performance of the programs being evaluated.

The following case studies were completed as part of the evaluation:

  1. Fisheries Science Collaborative Program.  This case study sought to understand FSCP activity and development in light of the program's origins and founding documents with a focus upon the FSCP's relevance and effectiveness. The principle methodologies employed to conduct the case study were document review and key informant interviews. There were a total of 9 key informants were interviewed, consisting of senior Departmental staff and external stakeholders (industry) who have both extensive and historical experience and knowledge of FSCP in the NCR, Newfoundland and Labrador, Gulf and Quebec Regions.
  2. Integrated Fisheries Management Plans.  This case study examined the development of IFMPs and sought to identify areas and approaches that may contribute to enhanced effectiveness and efficiency of the IFMP process. The principle methodologies employed to conduct the case study were document review (in particular, IFMP templates and guidance documents) and key informant interviews.  A total of five key informants were interviewed from the NCR, Maritime, Central and Arctic, and Pacific Regions.  Individuals were chosen based on their expertise and recent experience with developing IFMP documents.

The case studies were contracted to an external consulting10 firm and were carried out concurrently with other data collection methods in September and November 2011.

10 WME Consulting Associates

3.5 Methodological Limitations, Challenges & Mitigation Strategies

The evaluation methodology is designed to provide multiple lines of evidence, as explained previously, to support evaluation findings. The data and information will be collected to respond to the main evaluation questions and issues. As in all evaluations, there are limitations and considerations that should be noted relating to the methodologies employed as well any mitigation strategies.

1. Non-Experimental Design. When using this model, it is difficult to clearly measure the net effects of the program. Since there are no measurements from before the program began, nor a comparison group against which to assess other plausible causes for the outcome, it is difficult to attribute impacts to the program. In other words, it is difficult to draw a clear conclusion about the incremental or net effects of the program. The rigour of this design is in the use of multiple lines of evidence and the triangulation of results to determine the credibility and validity of the findings. Furthermore, rigour is improved by using both qualitative and quantitative input. On this basis, it is appropriate to use the findings to draw conclusions as to whether or not a program appears to be contributing to an intended outcome.

2. Lack of comparable performance data.  As discussed in detail in section 2.3 during the period the evaluation covered the programs did not have a PM Strategy and also had inconsistent expected results limiting the ability of the evaluation to determine progress towards expected outcomes. Where data was available and comparable it was used. For those areas where performance data was not available the evaluations ensured that there were multiple lines of evidence with which to draw valid conclusions.

3. Difficulty confirming how Canadians value the recreational fishing industry and that they have public confidence in the existing commercial fisheries management regime. To address this question would require documented evidence and extensive consultation with the recreational fishing community, other stakeholders as well as public opinion research. To the extent possible the evaluation relied on previously completed surveys (i.e. 2005 Survey of Recreational Fishing In Canada) and previous public opinion research. However, to fully understand the current effectiveness of the Commercial Fisheries Program and the Recreational Fisheries Program, a survey distributed to a representative sample of the recreational fishing community would be required, as well as Public Opinion Research on Canadian's confidence in the current management of fisheries. This was not feasible for this evaluation. 

Given these limitations, the evaluation used multiple lines of evidence (e.g., interviews, document and literature review, case studies and a survey) to strengthen the reliability and validity of the evaluation results. The mitigation strategies employed were successful in allowing the evaluator's to arrive at conclusions and findings with a level of confidence.

4. Major Findings

4.1 Relevance

Key Finding: There is a continuing need for the programs which are essential for the long-term sustainability of commercial and recreational fisheries. The Canadian fishing resource is a valuable public resource that is a constitutional and legislative responsibility of the federal government.  However, while it was identified that there is a continued need for the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program, it may not be as well aligned with Departmental priorities and strategic direction as it could be.

4.1.1 Evaluation Question: Is there a continued need for the Integrated Fisheries Resource Management program?

The evaluation found that the programs are essential for the long-term sustainable management of fishery resources and increased access to international markets.  Buyers and consumers around the world are demanding sustainable seafood products and requiring proof of eco-certificates11. As well, a growing number of food retailers are seeking eco-certification of seafood sold in their stores.  Through the delivery of policies and plans, the programs foster sustainability while taking into account ecological and socio-economic factors associated with Commercial Fisheries and Recreational Fisheries. 

The Canadian commercial fishing industry is currently valued at $12 billion to the national economy and is an important activity in supporting coastal communities.12  The 2010 SFT noted the challenges currently facing Canadian fisheries and committed to "introduce new legislation to reform Canada's outdated system of fisheries management".  Further, the 2011 SFT expressed the Government's support towards traditional industries, such as fishing, and its crucial role in the economy.

Key informants interviewed and resource management staff surveyed also indicated that there is a continued need for the program.  Almost all key informants (n=46), including senior program managers, program partners and external stakeholders, as well as the majority of survey respondents (85%, n=41) indicated that the objectives and components of the program are still relevant.  In addition, senior program management interviewed (n=24) felt that the need for the program has increased over the past five years.  Overall, they felt the complexity of the program has increased due to the greater demand from a growing client base, increased expectations from stakeholders, increasing requests with respect to the application of the licensing policy, external certification (i.e. eco-certification), implementation of the precautionary approach, and an increasing and more complex fishery management plans. With respect to recreational fisheries, greater visibility of the fishery was mentioned as a cause for increased need.

Previous evaluations have confirmed the relevance of the Department's science activities, finding evidence that these activities continue to address the needs of Canadians by providing scientific information and advice to ensure the sustainability of aquatic resources.13 The case study on the FSCP found that this particular science program continues to be relevant because it fills the gaps in the population dynamics information collected for stock surveys and seeks to answer related scientific questions that have an impact on resource management decisions. There are several examples of where the collaborative research activities were successful in taking an industry concern, re-framing it as a scientific question for which research can be designed and resulting in answers relevant for DFO, such as the testing of lobster traps that allow smaller lobster to escape, and research on sea urchins that provided the Department with the data to provide advice on conservation issues. The on-going nature of these collaborative activities is important in order to continue to engage stakeholders in fisheries science. The research projects provide an avenue for participation in the scientific advice process and give resource users valuable insight into how the resources are studied and how that information is incorporated into the management of the resource.

11 Eco-certification is a third-party, independent review and assessment that follows thorough criteria leading to the permission to use a logo demonstrating the sustainability of fish and seafood products to buyers and consumers.

12 DFO Report on Plans and Priorities, 2010-11

13 Evaluation of the Fisheries Resource Science Program. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ae-ve/evaluations/10-11/6b139-eng.htm

4.1.2 Evaluation Question: Is there a current role for Federal Government intervention, and is the program consistent with GOC priorities?

The activities undertaken by the programs are appropriate for federal government intervention given Parliament's exclusive legislative authority over sea coast and inland fisheries, as per Subsection 91 (12) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The programs derive their mandate from the Fisheries Act, under which DFO has responsibility for the management of all Canadian coastal and marine fisheries.  In addition, the programs reflect responsibilities for fisheries resource conservation in the context of commercial, Aboriginal and recreational fisheries and are guided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act, the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act. Almost all key informants (n=46) and the majority of survey respondents (85%, n=41) supported this finding and felt that there is a role for federal government intervention. Almost all respondents further explained that there is a clear jurisdictional and constitutional role for the federal government and that there should be management of the public resource for the public good.

Court rulings have confirmed that fisheries are within federal jurisdiction and that Canada's fisheries are a common property resource to be managed on behalf of Canadians in the public interest. Further, Parliament's management of the fisheries may include carrying out social, cultural or economic goals and policies.   In Ward v. Canada the Supreme Court of Canada stated, "The federal power over fisheries is not confined to conserving fish stocks, but extends to the management of the fisheries as a public resource [that has] many aspects, one of which is to yield economic benefits to its participants and more generally to all Canadians".14 

The government continues to signal that fisheries remain a priority through SFTs and Budgets.  The 2008 SFT noted the importance of "Canada's traditional industries, such as fisheries" in sustaining the economic well-being of many regions and communities, and committed to assist the fisheries sector to "adjust to global conditions".  The 2007 Budget announced $1.6M ongoing for ecosystem-based management initiatives in support of the conservation of major fish stocks.

The comparative analysis with other countries further found that similar to Canada, most commercial fisheries are managed through a mix of federal and state/provincial regulations, while recreational fisheries are managed predominately under state/provincial purview. Norway, however, has a slightly different model, with both commercial fisheries and recreational fisheries falling solely under federal control15.

14 Ward v. Canada (Attorney General), [2002] 1 S.C.R 569, 2002 SCC 17

15 It was noted that Norway's management could be due to its small size and population in comparison with the other countries examined.

4.1.3 Evaluation Question: To what extent are the mandates and activities aligned with DFO priorities and objectives?

Commercial Fisheries, Recreational Fisheries and the FSCP fall under the Integrated Resource Management Program Activity in DFO's 2011-12 PAA.  The programs are aligned with the Strategic Outcome of Economically Prosperous Maritime Sectors and Fisheries and generate economic benefits for all Canadians.  The programs also contribute to the Strategic Outcome of Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems by assisting in the development of IFMPs that contribute to the conservation of major stocks. 

Senior program management was, on average, of the opinion that the mandates and activities of the programs are aligned with DFO priorities to a considerable extent (n=21) and 81% (n=39) of resource management staff surveyed were of the opinion that the mandate and activities of the programs are aligned with DFO's priorities and objectives from a considerable to great extent. 

The objectives of the programs are also supporting departmental priorities (as per DFO's RPP) such as Globally Competitive Fisheries and International Leadership.  Canada has the largest coastline in the world and therefore an active fishing industry distributed across commercial, recreational, aquaculture and Aboriginal fishing interests.  DFO's goal is to manage these activities in an integrated and sustainable fashion such that each industry can grow within a robust fishery sector.  The programs also play an important role in promoting sustainable regional fisheries management and healthy ecosystems while contributing to the growth of international trade for Canadian fish and seafood products.

However, there was some concern about the alignment of FSCP with DFO priorities. While all key informants felt the program was relevant and an opportunity for stakeholder collaboration, there were some concerns raised that the program may be less connected to current Departmental strategic policy priorities and direction. That is, key informants were of the opinion that while the projects that have been funded have provided useful and interesting science, it may be prudent to fund projects that focus upon emerging new issues central to DFO policy and priorities, while still respecting the FSCP mandate and objectives, including the need for collaborative activities with industry.

4.2 Effectiveness

4.2.1 Commercial Fisheries Program & Fisheries Science Collaborative Program

4.2.1.1 Evaluation Question: To what extent has the Commercial Fisheries Program and the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program achieved their immediate outcomes?

4.2.1.1(a): To what extent have program activities led to the completion of management plans for major stocks?16

Key Finding: Program activities to date have led to half of the management plans for major stocks being complete, however recent and ongoing initiatives are intended to address this over the next few years.

Integrated Fisheries Management Plans were first introduced by DFO in the mid-1990s and were intended to be gradually phased-in, expanding on the already existing fisheries management plans. However, the full integration and development of IFMPs into Canadian fisheries remains incomplete. As the IFMP case study indicated, recent years have seen growing pressure to develop and renew IFMPs and ensure their application in all major fisheries, largely as a result of marketplace demands for demonstrated sustainable fishing practices and the need for a departmental vehicle for implementing sustainable fisheries policies. The evaluation evidence indicates that program activities are helping increase the number of complete management plans (IFMPs) on an annual basis, but approximately only half of IFMPs for major stocks have been completed. In 2009-10, 48% of major stocks had a current IFMP17, which increased to 50% of major stocks with an IFMP in 2010-11 (approximately 63 of 136 major stocks).18 

In 2009-10 the target of 56.9% completed IFMPs was not reached; it was reported that the number of stocks identified as 'major' is increasing, a point that was also raised in a number of interviews. However, as of October 2011, the major stock list will be locked for four years to allow for more consistent reporting. Those interviewed also noted that management plans, and the process to develop them, have become increasingly complex with the need to incorporate new elements such as the precautionary approach and other requirements under the Sustainable Fisheries Framework. This, combined with resource issues has affected the Department's ability to meet intended targets.
 
However, those interviewed held more positive perceptions on the status of management plans. Senior program management was, on average, of the opinion that accurate, up-to-date and appropriate management plans are in place for all major stocks from a moderate to considerable extent (n=22), while 54% (n=24) of survey respondents were of the opinion that this occurred from a considerable to great extent. The majority of those interviewed felt that the quality and detail of IFMPs has improved with the creation of a new IFMP guidance document introduced in 2010, as there is now a tool that can be consistently applied with a format that is common and accepted19. The template, developed from lessons learned since the mid-1990s and emerging issues, is intended to guide the development of IFMPs so they are consistent in both format and content. Additionally, the case study identified that the IFMP process is an opportunity for consensus building and achieving a high level of stakeholder buy-in during the development of the plan, so that the plan itself, once completed, is respected and 'owned' by its stakeholders. That is, modern IFMPs come about through broad, open, consultative, co-management centred consultations that are a policy implementation vehicle. Further, the case study noted that IFMPs are seen as authoritative and reliable and viewed as a trusted source of information on a particular fishery. They are a tool that provides a historical record of the fishery in question and a tool for explaining why DFO engages in certain management and research practices; which in turn supports efforts for transparency in decision-making.

In 2011, DFO also announced a number of initiatives to modernize fisheries management in Canada, including a shift to multi-year management plans. Many of the commercial stocks managed by the Department show little year-to-year variation. Shifting to a multi-year planning cycle for these stocks will eliminate the need to engage annually with each commercial fishery and result in greater predictability of resource access for fish harvesters.

4.2.1.1(b): To what extent have program activities led to the stable access and allocation of fisheries resources?

Key Finding: There are limited cases of management practices that support stable fishery access and allocation resulting in less effective fishery management; however the Department has made recent efforts to provide increased stability over the next several years.

Stable access and allocation provides certainty to fishing operations and helps optimize business planning because fishers are able to plan within a fixed and predictable amount of resource each year. To date, there are only limited cases of management practices that support stable fishery access and allocation. This lack of certainty with respect to allocations results in less effective fishery management because fishers continue to be concerned that allocations will be changed in any given year. Further, any stability that does exist is fragile, to a certain extent, as long as the Minister maintains the discretionary powers that are currently granted under the Fisheries Act.

Senior program management and resource management staff had more positive opinions about program efforts leading to stable access and allocation. The average response from senior program management was that program efforts have resulted in stable access and allocation from a moderate to considerable extent (n=22), while 54% (n=24) of resource management staff surveyed felt that program efforts have resulted in stable access and allocation from a considerable to great extent. Almost all respondents noted that there has been improvement over the last five years. In 2009-10, DFO reported in the Departmental Performance Report (DPR) that 93.2% of major stocks (Atlantic commercial stocks only) had stable access and allocation arrangements. This subsequently changed to 78% in 2010-1120.

The program is able to demonstrate that their management decisions are clearly documented. The 2009 Fishery Checklist indicated that management decisions are related to conservation objectives and their rationales are clearly documented for 84.2% (n=101) of the stocks assessed, an increase from 65% (n=71) from the 2008 Checklist.

However, despite this, almost all respondents noted that the discretionary powers granted to the Minister under the Fisheries Act is an ongoing issue for stable access and allocation, even in light of clearly documented management decisions by the program. This is not a new issue for the Department and not restricted to the programs under review; it has been argued that the current Fisheries Act "does not meet expectations for a modern, transparent, inclusive and accountable government".21 The existing legislation was enacted in 1868 and there have been unsuccessful efforts to modernize this piece of legislation.22 In particular for fisheries management, many respondents stated that the system lacks transparency in that the Minister has significant discretion over decision-making relating to all aspects of the fishery "without having to meet standards, goals or objectives provided for in legislation". That is, the current Act gives the Minister "absolute discretion" to issue fishing licences with no requirement to explain his or her decisions. However, it should be noted that although the Minister's discretion is expressed in absolute terms, it is nonetheless subject to, among other things, the principles of administrative law. In addition, respondents also commented that the Act does not provide stability and predictability. Many respondents expressed the view that the Minister can currently be lobbied for preferred access and allocation because the Act does not obligate the Minister to act in accordance with a particular purpose. The Minister's discretion is seen by many as a primary source of conflict and instability23.

Overall, evidence from key informant interviews and the document review indicate that Canada's fisheries management rules are outdated. It is perceived that they do not allow the industry to operate in a manner that allows fisheries to operate efficiently, sustainably and respond to the challenges they face. Canada's fisheries policies have been developed in a patchwork manner having been shaped by a history of conflict for allocation. As a result, fisheries rules can vary from Region to Region, fishery to fishery, and at times between fleets within a fishery. This has led to rules that are perceived by some stakeholders as unfair, unclear, constantly changing.

However, as discussed earlier, the Department has recently made efforts to modernize fisheries management, and the shift to multi-year management plans for major stocks is a positive step forward to improve the stability in the management of fisheries. In addition, the Department committed to establishing stable sharing in fisheries where these do not exist as soon as possible. These efforts should provide increased stability, allowing industry to make better-informed, long-term decisions that can maximize capacity to create wealth for their enterprises and the overall economy.

4.2.1.1(c): To what extent have program activities ensured that stakeholders are engaged in the harvest decision-making process?

Key Finding: While evidence indicates that the participation of stakeholders is extensive, there is no process in place to determine the effectiveness of the stakeholder engagement process.

Engagement of stakeholders in harvest decision-making is significant and consumes a large portion of program resources and includes annual consultations with stakeholders on management plans. However, while there is stakeholder participation for the majority of major stocks, very few fisheries (29%) have a process in place to determine if the stakeholder engagement process is effective24, and no official surveys have been undertaken to determine the effectiveness of national stakeholder feedback.

Over the last five years, the program has reported on this outcome in different ways. In 2006-07, the DPR listed that stakeholders were consulted on more than 170 fisheries plans. In 2008-09 and 2009-10, DFO began to use a participation index, a year over year assessment of the maintenance and improvement in stakeholder participation. As shown below (Figure 3) the participation index increased slightly from 5.8 to 6.0 from 2008-09 to 2010-11, with an estimated target of 6.1 by 2011-12.

Figure 3. Stakeholder Participation Index 2008-09 to 2011-12

Graphic - Stakeholder Participation Index

Source: DFO Departmental Performance Report

The Fishery Checklist indicates that there is a good governance regime to manage fisheries including stakeholder participation25. In 2008, the Checklist reported that stakeholders had the opportunity to participate in the collection of information for 100 stocks (92%), in decision making for 97 stocks (89%) and in the stock assessment process for 80 stocks (73%). The 2009 Checklist reported that stakeholders have the opportunity to participate in the collection of information for 117 stocks (97.5%), in decision making for 114 stocks (95.0%) and the stock assessment process for 93 stocks (77.5%). However, there is no process in place to evaluate the effectiveness of the engagement with stakeholders.

Figure 4. Stakeholder participation in information collection, decision making,
and the stock assessment process (%) (2008 and 2009)

Graphic - Stakeholder participation in information collection

Source: Fishery Checklist 2008 & 2009

Senior program management interviewed and resource management staff surveyed noted that effective stakeholder engagement occurs from a considerable to great extent. Senior program management responded, on average, that the extent to which industry stakeholders are effectively engaged was considerable (n=22) and 70% (n=31) of resource management staff were of the opinion that this occurred from a considerable to great extent.  Almost all respondents noted that there is a formal process for engagement and that consultations are extensive and rigorous; some respondents were of the opinion that the Department consults too much and too often. As well, some respondents noted that there were some issues with respect to the consultation process: (1) inconsistent about who is invited/consulted, and (2) lack of a proper engagement process such as appropriate public notification and a lack of transparency and reporting back.

The case study on FSCP found that the collaborative scientific efforts undertaken between DFO and the commercial fisheries industry in the Atlantic region has fostered a state of trust between the Department and the industry, and that involving fishers in Departmental science activities has resulted in increased project efficiency and effectiveness while maximizing the 'on the water' knowledge, as well as fleet accessibility, for the science projects.  Further, the experience of the FSCP has demonstrated that collaborative scientific efforts between DFO and commercial fisheries interests are not only possible, but that they can be fostered, nurtured and maintained, and brought to fruition for mutual benefit.

4.2.1.1(d): To what extent do program activities ensure that appropriate information is available to make informed decisions?

Key Finding: Appropriate information is available allowing management to make informed decisions, and current efforts will continue to improve the quality and accessibility of the information needed.

The evaluation evidence indicates that the program activities generally ensure that the appropriate information is available to support informed decision making and that current efforts will ensure that the program has the information it requires into the future. Senior program management was of the opinion that access to the appropriate information to make informed decisions was available from a moderate to considerable extent (n=22). As well, 54% (n=24) of resource management staff surveyed felt they had the appropriate information from a considerable to great extent, and an additional 25% (n=11) felt they had the appropriate information to a moderate extent. As well, data collected for the 2011 to 2014 Fishery Checklist will be consistent, allowing for comparable data sets.

The main area of concern noted was the difficulty and inefficiencies with compiling national licensing data because the current licensing system is not standardized or centralized. As discussed earlier, DFO has implemented initiatives to modernize the management of fisheries in Canada, one of which is to put into place an online web-based license renewal and payment system for the fishing industry. While the intent of this initiative is to provide license-holders with more accessible, timely and cost-effective services, the web-based system will simultaneously allow for consistent and accessible licence data for DFO management. The comparative analysis of other countries found that the development of electronic licensing schemes is an emerging trend.

Many interview respondents were clear that they had the information they needed with the exception of a few areas of concern: lack of complete socio-economic data; lack of data in small or emerging fisheries; and, difficulty interpreting science data.

4.2.1.2 Evaluation Question: To what extent has the Commercial Fisheries Program achieved its intermediate outcomes?

4.2.1.2(a): To what extent has the program resulted in the sustainable management of major stocks?

Key Finding: Measures have been put in place to help determine Canada's ability to sustainably manage major stocks but progress in this area is limited, though current research indicates that Canada is consistently amongst the top countries in fisheries management.

Over the last five years the Department has initiated various activities with the intent to place conservation and sustainable use of the fishery as a top management priority26. For example, in 2009 the Department adopted the Sustainable Fisheries Framework providing the basis for ensuring Canadian fisheries are conducted in a manner which support conservation and sustainable use.27 The framework provides the foundation of an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach to fisheries management in Canada with new tools and policies being developed and implemented progressively over time.  While data below indicate that there may have been an improvement in the ability to sustainably manage major stocks, there is not enough Departmental longitudinal data to ensure a trend of improved sustainability. In spite of this, published research indicates that although any country is far from exceeding expectations in the sustainable management of fisheries, Canada is consistently in the top six out of 53 countries examined.

In 2007, DFO implemented the Fishery Checklist and developed a baseline with which to measure sustainability. As discussed previously, since the Checklist seeks to improve sustainable management, responses to the Checklist questions for a particular stock are expressed as a 'sustainability profile', which is the score for a particular stock. All stocks' sustainability profiles, in turn, are rolled up into one number referred to as the sustainability index which represents the current national capacity of the fishery management regime to achieve sustainability. Between 2007 and 200928 the sustainability index remained unchanged at 5.4 out of 10.29 It is likely that while it appears no improvements have been made, the sustainability index will be affected by implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Framework and the recent implementation of new policies and tools such as the 'Fishery decision-making framework incorporating the Precautionary Approach'30 and the 'Policy for Managing the Impact of Fishing on Sensitive Benthic Areas'.31 As well, as previously mentioned the Fishery Checklist will be consistent from 2011 to 2014, allowing for comparable results in the future and demonstration of the extent of sustainability improvements.

As a requisite in applying the precautionary approach, a policy identified previously as part of the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, stock status reference points must be identified including the upper stock reference point32, the limit reference point33 and the removal reference34. The Fishery Checklist indicates that between 2008 and 2009 slight increases were found in the number of major stocks that had established their reference points; a measure that indicates progress made toward implementing the precautionary approach. In 2008, 31.2% (n=34) had established limit reference points and 30.3% (n=33) stocks had established upper stock reference points. In 2009, 31.7% (n=38) had established limit reference points and 31.7% (n=38) had established upper stock reference points.

Further, the Department tracks the conservation of major stocks by the percentage of major stocks where the harvest rate or harvest level is at or below the removal reference (an indicator to measure compliance with decisions on harvest levels). The percentage of major stocks that were harvested at or below approved levels was 35.8% (2009-10) and 39.7% (2010-11).  By signing the United Nations Agreement on Straddling and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, the Federal Government has committed to use the precautionary approach in managing these kinds of stocks. In effect, Canada has also agreed to use the precautionary approach for domestically managed fish stocks. To date, the precautionary approach has yet to be fully implemented, while recent report from the Office of the Auditor General suggests that using the precautionary approach is one action, among others, that when adopted shows fisheries are more likely to be sustainable.35

To examine the Department's ability to sustainably manage major stocks, it is also important to examine Canada's efforts within the larger global context as well. Various studies have been undertaken to evaluate or assess management effectiveness of the world's fisheries, including assessments of progress in implementing an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management. Although any country is far from exceeding expectations in the sustainable management of fisheries, Canada is consistently in the top six of all countries examined. As well, recent literature has indicated that global fisheries are in crisis. That is, while marine fisheries provide 15% of the animal protein consumed by humans much of the world's fish stocks are either fully exploited, overly exploited or have collapsed.36 Demand for fish is increasing while reported global marine fisheries landings have declined by about 0.7 million tonnes per year since the late 1980s37, with at least 28% of the world's fish stocks overexploited or depleted, and 52% fully exploited by 2008.38

More precisely, the research indicates that the current fisheries management system globally has institutionalized overfishing and there is a lack of accountability for sustainability; further that the management of fisheries worldwide is lagging and only a few countries have a robust scientific basis for management recommendations. In 2008 the World Wildlife Fund and the University of British Colombia (UBC) published a study assessing the implementation of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing.39 UBC analyzed data from 53 countries representing over 95% of the world's wild fisheries catch and found that overall not one country achieved a 'good' compliance score of 70% or higher. As seen below in Figure 5 only six countries (11%) had an overall compliance score within 60%: Norway, USA, Canada, Australia, Iceland, and Namibia.40 Canada ranked third of six amongst countries worldwide meaningfully applying the Code of Conduct and consistently scored well in all aspects assessed.

Figure 5. Overall Compliance with the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing41

Figure - Overall Compliance

Source: Pitcher, Tony J et al (2008). Safe Conduct? Twelve years fishing under the UN Code.

In an assessment of progress toward implementing ecosystem-based management of fisheries in 33 countries it was once again demonstrated that only a few countries in the developed world are clearly moving toward this.42  The research shows that only two countries (USA and Norway) have 'good' performance rating over 70%, while four countries have acceptable ratings between 60% and 70% including Canada (as well as Iceland, South Africa, and Australia). Half of the countries assessed (16 of 33) have a 'fail' rating of 40% or less. As shown in Figure 6 below, Canada is consistently amongst the top six of countries examined.

Figure 6. Ecosystem-Based Management Performance Ratings43

Figure - Ecosystem-Based Management performance Ratings

Source: Pitcher TJ et al (2009). An evaluation of progress in implementing ecosystem-based management of fisheries in 33 countries.

In addition to the above findings Canada has an increasing number of fisheries with Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification.44 As of September 2011, 18 Canadian fisheries have full MSC certification (out of a total of 133 certified fisheries), with another eight (of a total of 131 fisheries) in the full assessment process.45

Finally, senior program management was of the opinion that the program has been moderately successful to successful in the sustainable management of major stocks (n=22); program partners and external stakeholders felt the program has had moderate success in this area (n=16 and n=6 respectively). As well, 48% (n=21) of resource management staff felt that the program has also had moderate success in sustainable management. However, all respondents from all three interview groups were of the opinion that much of what affects the sustainable management of stocks is outside the control of the Department. For example, influencing factors such as climate change, biology, the environment and predatory stocks all affect the management of fisheries. In a recent report by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada it was noted that marine ecosystems display long-term trends and short-term fluctuations in a fluid three dimensional environment, and further stated that, "the changes in the physical aspects, such as temperature, and the biological aspects, such as species competing for the same food supply, mean that main influences on the number of fish available in a given year are outside of human control, and cannot be managed."46

Figure 7. Extent to which the Commercial Fisheries Program has been successful in
the sustainable management of major stocks

Figure - Extent to which the Commercial Fisheries Program has been successful in
the sustainable management of major stocks

Source: Key Informant Interviews. Scale of 1 to 5 where 1=very limited extent and 5=great extent

4.2.1.2(b): To what extent does the program provide public confidence in the fishery management regime?

Key Finding: There is no recent public opinion data on public confidence; however, key informants were of the opinion that the public has little confidence in the fishery management regime, supported by public opinion research from 2004.

Senior program management (n=22) and program partners (n=15) were of the opinion that the public is somewhat confident in the fishery management regime while external stakeholders felt the public had slightly better than very limited confidence (n=5).  Forty-one per cent (n=18) of resource management staff surveyed also felt the public is not confident or has very little confidence in the management of Canada's commercial fisheries, and 32% (n=14) felt the public is somewhat confident. Key informants were of the opinion that this stems from the historical collapse of the cod fishery, perceived gaps in scientific information, and a recent inability to explain trends in fisheries, such as with respect to Pacific salmon.

Figure 8. Extent to which the Commercial Fisheries Program provides public confidence in the fishery management regime

Figure - Extent to which the Commercial Fisheries Program provides public confidence in the fishery management regime

Source: Key Informant Interviews. Scale of 1 to 5 where 1=No Confidence at All and 5=Very Confident

The majority of interview respondents felt that the Canadian public is only aware of the negative stories and that media is generally negative and critical of the Department. They also were of the opinion that DFO is not proactive in sharing the positive activities it does undertake, suggesting the Department requires a stronger communication strategy. Program partners felt that if the Department was more transparent in its decision making, confidence would be increased.

Public opinion research undertaken by DFO in previous years mirrored the opinion of key informants.  In 2004, public opinion research indicated that there was a firm attachment to the notion of a healthy sustainable fishery; the general public's involvement and interest was underestimated by those in coastal communities; and that the perceived major challenges facing fisheries included both environmental and conservation issues.47 Additionally, the research found that overall the general public sees a negative halo around fisheries issues, and DFO, mainly due to declining fish stocks and long standing perceptions of permitted overfishing. Most seriously doubted DFO had the resources, ability or political will to conserve, protect or improve fish stocks and fish habitats. Overfishing and declining fish stocks were seen as the most important and urgent DFO challenge by Canadians and Europeans.

More recent public opinion research found that the majority of Canadians continue to place more importance on the health of ocean fish stocks than on the health of the fishing industry.48 That is, 6 in 10 Canadians continue to believe that sustaining the health of ocean fish stocks is more important for Canada in the long run. Further, 9 in 10 Canadians say that they are very or somewhat concerned about global fish stocks. The Department has not undertaken any further public opinion polling.

16 Major stocks are defined as those that meet one or more of the following criteria: the fishery has an annual landed value greater than $1M, the fishery has an annual landed weight greater than 2,000 metric tonnes, the fishery is likely to seek eco-certification, the fishery is deemed significant by the region (can be commercial, recreational or Aboriginal). Source: 2009 Fishery Checklist Annual Report, DFO

17 DFO DPR 2009-10

18 DFO DPR 2010-11

19 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/ifmp-gmp/index-eng.htm

20 Decreased from 93.2% in 2009-10 due to a change in calculation method to improve accuracy; but there was no decrease in the number of stabilized sharing arrangements.

21 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/back-fiche/2007/facts-faits_c45-eng.htm

22 Bill C-45 (2006) and C-32 (2007)

23 The Management of Fisheries on Canada's Atlantic Coast: A Discussion Document on Policy Direction and Principles. February 2001.

24 2009-10 DPR

25 The Governance Axis of the Fishery Checklist seeks to asses the following elements: presence of rebuilding plans, documentation and availability of rationales for management decisions, presence and comprehensiveness of harvest plans and IFMPs, annual performance reviews, and stakeholder engagement.

26 DFO (2005). 2005-2010 Strategic Plan: Our Waters, Our Future.

27 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/fish-ren-peche/sff-cpd/overview-cadre-eng.htm

28 In 2007 the Checklist assessed 121 stocks, in 2008 109 stocks and in 2009 120 stocks.

29 While the sustainability index is out of 10 that is not the target. The elements assessed in the Checklist are more comprehensive than is necessary for the majority of fisheries to achieve sustainability. The goal of the index is to track changes and improvements and the index will grow as improvements in fisheries are made. In addition, it is important to take caution of comparing results from 2007 to 2009 as the Checklist underwent significant changes.

30 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/fish-ren-peche/sff-cpd/precaution-eng.htm

31 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/peches-fisheries/fish-ren-peche/sff-cpd/benthi-eng.htm

32 The upper stock reference point marks the boundary between the healthy and cautious zones. When a fish stock level falls below this point, the removal rate at which the fish are harvested must be progressively reduced in order to avoid serious harm to the stock. The upper stock reference point is also a target reference point that is determined by productivity objectives for the stock, broader biological considerations, and social and economic objectives for the fishery.

33 The limit reference point marks the boundary between the cautious and critical zones. When a fish stock level falls below this point, there is a high probability that its productivity will be so impaired that serious harm will occur. The limit reference point is established based on the best available scientific information.

34 The removal referenceestablishes the maximum removal rate of fish stocks in each of the zones; progressively decreasing from the healthy to the critical zones. The removal reference is less than or equal to the maximum sustainable yield at which a fish stock can be harvested. This harvest rate must include removals of the stock from all methods (i.e., target, by-catch and other incidental mortality in other fisheries).

35 Office of the Auditor General of Canada (2011). Chapter 4 – A Study of Managing Fisheries for Sustainability.  2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

36 Mora, C, Myers RA, Libralato S, Pitcher TJ et al. (2009). Management Effectiveness of the World's Marine Fisheries. PLoS Biol 7(6):e1000131. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.1000131

37 Watson R, Pauly D (2001). Systematic distortion in world fisheries catch trends. Nature 424: 534-536.

38 FAO (2009). The state of world fisheries and aquaculture 2008. Rome (Italy): FAO Fisheries Department, p.162.

39 http://www.fao.org/docrep/005/v9878e/v9878e00.HTM

40 Pitcher, Tony J., et al (2008). Safe Conduct? Twelve years fishing under the UN Code. WWF-International and the University of British's Columbia's Fisheries Ecosystem Restoration Group.

41 Bar chart showing status of compliance of the 53 top fishing countries with the FAO (UN) Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF). Error bars are derived from Monte Carlo runs of the MDS ordination technique on the upper and lower score limits for each question and country. Broken lines: green denotes 'good' compliance rating; red denotes 'fail' rating.

42 Pitcher TJ et al (2009). An evaluation of progress in implementing ecosystem-based management of fisheries in 33 countries. Marine Policy 33: 223-232.

43 Ecosystem-Based Management performance ratings for fisheries in 33 countries in the three evaluation fields: principles, indicators and implementation steps, taken from Ward et al (2002), and an overall rating that averages the other three scores. Countries are shown in order of performance rating from left to right: thin lines are 95% tiles from Monte Carlo simulations using errors on each score. Upper broken line indicates "good" ratings of 70% or more; lower broken line shows "poor" or "fail" scores of 40% or lower.

44 This means that these fisheries have been assessed against the MSC environmental standard for sustainable fishing and passed. For more detail please see http://www.msc.org/

45 For detailed information visit http://www.msc.org/

46 Office of the Auditor General of Canada (2011). Chapter 4 – A Study of Managing Fisheries for Sustainability.  2011 December Report of the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development.

47 Final Report: Review of Recent DFO-related Public Opinion Research and Suggestions for the Future (2004). Les Etudes de Marche Createc +.

48 Environics Research Group – Public Opinion Survey – Overfishing and International Fisheries and Oceans Governance (2006)

4.2.2 Recreational Fisheries Program

4.2.2.1 Evaluation Question: To what extent has the Recreational Fisheries Program achieved its immediate outcomes?

4.2.2.1(a): To what extent have program activities created awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries to Canadian society and the economy?

Key Finding: While the recreational fishery contributes significant value to the Canadian economy, there is little data to support that program activities create awareness of this value or role.

Overall, the evaluation found little data to support that program activities create awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries; and recreational fishing participation rates have been on a downward trend in most provinces and territories.49 Despite this, recreational fishing contributes a significant value to the Canadian economy with the 2005 recreational fishing survey indicating that anglers contributed a total of $7.5 billion to various local economies in Canadian provinces and Territories.50

In 1989 DFO developed the National Recreational Fisheries Awards to honour individuals and organizations for their contributions to the conservation, restoration and enhancement of Canada's recreational fisheries and their habitat. Since 1990, 100 individuals, organizations or groups have received the award for recognition of the role they have played in sustaining and developing the recreational fishing experience throughout Canada. However, when asked to what extent the program created the awareness of the value and role of the recreational fisheries in Canada, senior program management, on average, responded that there was limited to moderate awareness (n=18). Almost all respondents noted that activities such as the National Recreational Fisheries Awards emphasize and create awareness amongst those who are already engaged in the recreational fishing community and create little awareness amongst the general Canadian public. Forty-one per cent (n=22) of resource management staff were also of the opinion that awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries was from a very limited to limited extent.

A few respondents noted that the awards impact could be strengthened if the audience and reach were broadened from its current limited scope of the recreational community only to include all fishers (recreational, commercial and Aboriginal). Further, a few respondents noted that the lack of a marine recreational licence regime in Atlantic Canada and Quebec is a detriment to awareness in that it is difficult to know who is fishing and how to reach that community, an issue that will be discussed later in the report.

4.2.2.1(b): To what extent do program activities ensure recreational fishers have responsibility for shared stewardship in resource conservation and enhancement of recreational fisheries resources?

Key Finding: Recreational fishers do take responsibility for shared stewardship in resource conservation but it not clear what role Departmental activities play.

Overall, the evaluation found that recreational fishers do take responsibility for shared stewardship in resource conservation and enhancement of recreational fisheries resources, but it is not clear the extent of the role of program activities in ensuring this. However, senior program management was of the opinion, on average, that recreational fishers were demonstrating shared stewardship from a moderate to considerable extent (n=20) and those interviewed were able to provide several examples of stewardship efforts undertaken by the recreational fisher community in various watersheds and with respect to habitat restoration. However, 37% (n=10) of resource management staff surveyed felt this was only occurring from a very limited to limited extent.

It was noted by many respondents that there are differences between the East and West Coast, with many key informants of the opinion that the recreational fishing community is better organized on the West Coast. For example, in the Pacific Region the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) has been an advisory body to DFO since 1964 representing the views of the recreational fishing community. In its current form the SFAB advises DFO on recreational fishing plans, recreational fishery regulations, and any areas of concern to the recreational fishing community.51

In addition, many of the same respondents noted that the lack of a marine recreational licence in Atlantic Canada and Quebec results in the Department being unable to truly account for recreational activity in that area.

4.2.2.2 Evaluation Question: To what extent has the Recreational Fisheries Program achieved its intermediate outcome?

4.2.2.2(a): To what extent are recreational fisheries managed in accordance with conservation goals and DFO policies?

Key Finding: The Department may not have complete or reliable information to determine whether the recreational fishery is managed appropriately, as it is not regulated to the same extent in all Regions.

As described earlier in the report, the responsibilities for recreational fishing are a complex mix of federal, provincial, and territorial responsibilities with the federal government remaining accountable for the management of marine recreational fisheries on all coasts and the management of fish habitat in Canada's fresh and marine waters.52  While generally key informants were of the opinion that recreational fisheries are managed in accordance with conservation goals and DFO policies, at least to a moderate extent, the evaluation evidence indicates that the Department may not have the tools or all the information necessary to determine whether the recreational fishery is managed appropriately.

Key informants interviewed had mixed opinions with respect to the management of recreational fisheries. For example, senior program management was of the opinion that, on average, recreational fisheries were managed in accordance with conservation goals from a moderate to considerable extent (n=21), while program partners were of the opinion that this occurred to a moderate extent (n=15) and finally external stakeholders were less optimistic and of the opinion that this occurred from a limited to moderate extent (n=4). Forty-four percent (n=12) of resource management staff surveyed were of the opinion that recreational fisheries are managed in accordance with conservation goals to a moderate extent; and just slightly less, 33% (n=9) were of the opinion that this occurred from a considerable to great extent.

Figure 9. Extent to which the Recreational Fisheries Program is managed in
accordance with conservation goals and DFO policies

Figure - Extent to which the Recreational Fisheries Program is managed in 
accordance with conservation goals and DFO policies

Source: Key Informant Interviews. Scale of 1 to 5 where 1=very limited extent and 5=great extent

Almost all of the senior program managers interviewed were of the opinion that the Department does not have all the information needed to say that the recreational fishery is being managed well. As mentioned previously, the lack of a marine recreational license in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, including the lack of a requirement for catch reporting, results in a recreational fishery that is not regulated to the same extent in all regions. Program partners mirrored this opinion stating that a licensing system is needed to better determine actual removals, by-catches and discards and to obtain accurate statistics.

In 2001, DFO implemented a two-year Atlantic Marine Recreational Fishing License pilot program for groundfish in Newfoundland and Labrador and the North Shore of Quebec. The intent of the pilot project was to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of a licensing system.53 A review of the pilot project found that it was a success for the following reasons: there was public support for a licensing and tagging program; the licensing program was an effective mechanism for collecting accurate and timely catch and effort data for the marine recreational sector; annual catches in the recreational fishery have been larger than previous estimates (actual of 2,000 to 3, 000 tonnes rather than estimates of 500 to 1,000 tonnes); and finally an introduction of the license provided more accurate data on actual landings.54 While the intention of the pilot project was to expand the model across Atlantic Canada and Quebec, for various reasons the Department did not proceed with the initiative.

Currently, the only catch and effort data for the marine recreational fishery in the Atlantic comes from the recreational fishing survey conducted every 5 years. However, recent developments have underscored the need for a method to account for all removals and the need to more closely monitor recreational fishing. At the 15th North Atlantic Fisheries Ministers Conference in July 2010 Ministers agreed that fisheries managers must develop effective policies and regulations to enable the full accounting of catches and landings.55 It was further agreed that accurately measured fisheries are a condition for sustainable and responsible management and therefore all catches should be fully accounted for in order to ensure that scientists have sufficiently detailed and accurate information to develop sound fisheries management advice.56

The evaluation evidence indicates that a license for marine recreational fishing will ensure that the Department has a more complete picture of fishing activities in Atlantic Canada and Quebec. It will provide information on catch and effort and participation rates, allow more accurate measures of total removals, and assist the Department in communicating directly with recreational fishers (for example, for closures).

49 DFO, 2007. Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada, 2005.

50 Of this amount $5 billion were in the form of investments and major purchases of durable goods related to recreational fishing activities and the remaining $2.5 billion covered direct recreational fishing expenditures during fishing trips. DFO, 2007. Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada, 2005.

51 http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/rec/sfab-ccps-eng.htm

52 Recreational Fisheries in Canada – An Operational Policy Framework http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/policies-politiques/op-pc-eng.htm

53 The intention of the program was four-fold: 1) to assess whether a licensing and tagging program could be successfully used to regulate an extended season for the recreational fishery, 2) to allow the Department to assess the effectiveness of a licensing program as a mechanism to acquire timely and accurate catch and effort on the marine recreational fishery to be used in the development of conservation and enforcement strategies, 3) to provide a database of marine recreational anglers to be used for effective communication with the marine recreational sector to increase pubic awareness of conservation objectives and requirements; and 4) to increase safety by allowing licence holders the flexibility to fish in suitable weather and sea conditions.

54 DFO 2002. Report on the Atlantic Marine Recreational Fishing License Program March 2002.

55 Hosted in Prince Edward Island from July 5 – 8, 2010

56 http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/media/npress-communique/2010/hq-ac39-eng.htm

4.2.3 All Programs

4.2.3.1 Evaluation Question: To what extent does DFO Science or Strategic Policy contribute to the expected outcomes?

Key Finding: Overall, program partners such as Science and Strategic Policy are supporting program activities. However, the effectiveness of their input could be improved by working more closely with Resource Management to ensure priorities, policies and efforts are well aligned.

Senior program management was of the opinion that program partners, specifically Science and Strategic Policy were somewhat effective to effective in supporting program activities (figure 10). As well, 69% (n=33) of resource management staff surveyed felt that DFO Science was effective to very effective in supporting program activities, while 46% (n=22) felt that Strategic Policy was somewhat effective (46%, n=22).

Figure 10. Effectiveness of Science and Strategic Policy in supporting Program Activities

Figure - Effectiveness of Science and Strategic Policy in supporting Program Activities

Source: Key Informant Interviews with Senior Program Management (n=23).
Scale of 1 to 5 where 1=very ineffective and 5=very effective

With respect to Science, the majority of senior program managers were of the opinion that Science works well within the resources they have but that these resources are increasingly limited, ultimately limiting the impact Science could have.  In some cases this stems from lack of scientific data, as well as a lack of expertise as the Department moves toward an ecosystem-based approach to management. These opinions were further substantiated in a previous evaluation of the Department's Science activities.57 A key finding for that evaluation notes that science advice and information has been used to inform decision-making to a large extent, but it adds the following:

…overall, science requests are exceeding the capacity of [Fisheries Resources Science] to meet them, and there is expressed dissatisfaction about timeliness. [Fisheries Resources Science] has been significantly
impacted by the new ecosystems approach, which expands research from a single to a multiple-species approach.58

Many respondents suggested that if Science and Resource Management worked more closely, and determined priorities together, their efforts would be more effective. Priorities should be integrated, and regulations should be streamlined to achieve a comprehensive, totally integrated model. As well, key informants were of the opinion that the efforts of Strategic Policy, Program Policy, and Resource Management need to be more closely aligned. Although it is moving in the right direction according to some program interviewees, the majority of these respondents see Policy as being too far removed from fisheries management, resulting in policy that is too broad and lacking in clear direction. Also, key informants were of the opinion that the usefulness of economic data would be improved if the data were peer reviewed.

4.2.3.2 Evaluation Question: What key factors or risks influence the success of the program?

Key Finding: Financial and human resources were cited as the two main risks that could influence the success of the program. These risks have been identified in the program's 2011-12 risk profile.

The majority of senior program management interviewed cited financial and human resources as being the risks that could most likely influence the program's success. Those interviewed were of the opinion that the programs do not have the necessary financial resources to meet their objectives, and their human resource capacity is lacking as well. Respondents perceive a high staff turn-over and an increasing number of retirements as contributing to a loss of valuable corporate memory and a lack of experienced staff able to make informed decisions. 

Over a third of the respondents identified micro-management of the fisheries by DFO and political intervention in the management of fisheries as risks, and a quarter noted an increased risk of litigation. Finally, a fifth mentioned environmental factors (oils spills, climate changes, natural biology of stocks) and a fifth noted the increasing competition in resource allocation between commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fishers.

These risks are among those noted in the program's 2011-12 risk profile. With the exception of the identification of political intervention and micro-management (which are discussed later in the report), all of the concerns noted above have been recognized by the program and subsequently current and planned mitigation strategies have been developed, such as an increased focus on succession planning and exploring opportunities for partnerships and cost-sharing, among others.

57 DFO, 2011. Evaluation of the Fishery Resource Science Program. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ae-ve/evaluations/10-11/6b139-eng.htm

58 DFO, 2011. Evaluation of the Fisheries Resource Science Program. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/ae-ve/evaluations/10-11/6b139-eng.htm

4.3 Efficiency & Economy

4.3.1 Evaluation Question: To what extent is the governance and management structure clear and functioning adequately?

Key Finding: The Program would benefit from a more standardized and systematic approach to decision-making and approvals that is nationally consistent and addresses the input of regions and other sectors.

Senior program management (n=22), program partners (n=17) and 44% (n=21) of resource management staff surveyed were of the opinion that the program has the appropriate governance and management structures in place to a moderate extent. According to key informants, a more systematic approach would achieve greater consistency, clearer accountability and greater efficiency. Timely input and sign-off from regions, as well as other sectors, is an important part of the process, as is national direction and coordination to ensure consistency. Currently, there are perceived differences and inconsistencies across the regions as to who makes final decisions and under what circumstance. As well, it was noted that inefficiencies arise when the regions and NCR unknowingly work on the same issue, duplicating efforts. A more standardized and systematic approach, as well as a clarification of reporting relationships, would contribute to greater efficiencies.

A difference of opinion exists as to the clarity of roles and responsibilities between regional and NCR staff. Senior program management (n=22) was of the opinion that roles and responsibilities between regional and NCR staff are clearly defined, while 55% (n=26) of resource management staff disagree. Senior program management noted recently developed roles and responsibilities documents (such as for licensing and species at risk). However, they did note that there still exists some confusion as to where the decision-making authority lies; while there is an accountability framework, a decision-making framework is lacking.

Specific to the FSCP, it was found that the Regions operate somewhat independently of each other and there is little interaction or exchange of information. While this has resulted in the development of a program that is respectful of regional differences and commercial realities, it is also possible this has resulted in missed opportunities for inter-regional collaboration. It was suggested that developing a mechanism for information sharing with respect to project selection or lessons learned and best practices with respect to program administration, would increase the efficiency of the program.

4.3.2 Evaluation Question: To what extent is the design and delivery of the program clear, appropriate and efficient? To what extent could the efficiency/economy of the program and its activities be improved?

Key Finding: The program is not being delivered efficiently and economically as a result of a top-down management approach that responds to short-term and shifting needs.  Though some efficiencies have been recently introduced, a modernized approach to fisheries management is still required.  

Overall, the evaluation finds that the program is not entirely efficient in its design and delivery resulting from an effort-intensive, top-down fishery management model. The program itself is involved in the business activities of fisheries, including the distribution of fishery allocation and economic opportunity for individual fishers, adjudicating disputes, subsidizing business activities and various ad hoc responses to industry crises and stakeholder demands. As well, the process to develop IFMPs has become increasingly complex as management plans must accommodate complex scientific information, new policies, requirements for consultation, and an increasing number of stakeholders.

Several interview respondents were of the opinion that DFO should move towards a regulatory approach to fisheries management and away from the current 'paternalistic' approach that has developed wherein DFO makes the decisions resulting in the micro-management of the fisheries. Reports from the Auditor General and standing committees of the House of Commons and Senate, as well as public consultations, point to the problem that the traditional approach to fisheries management in Canada is too paternalistic59,60,61. Those who exploit and benefit from the resource have little to say in its management and insufficient incentive to use it sustainably.62 This issue is not a new one, it has been recognized previously that as a result of a top-down management approach, where resource users have little say in the policies that are governing their activities, they are "unwilling to accept responsibility for the outcomes of fisheries management decisions and often neglect to supply the data required by resource managers to ensure the sustainable use of fisheries resources".63

Further, as has been discussed earlier, the discretion of the Minister to alter existing shares or arrangements or to issue new fishing licenses is seen by many as a primary source of conflict and instability in the industry. While part of the problem can be directed to the outdated legislative framework of the Fisheries Act, it was the opinion of several key informants, and supported in program documents, that a DFO policy framework and program efforts, can help create the conditions that will allow individual harvesters to become more economically self-reliant and make their own business decisions subject to the regulatory constraints to prevent overfishing. In their view, a modernized, less paternalistic mandate should permit stable access to fisheries and allow industry and other stakeholders to make long-term decisions and settle their own disputes, rather than having the Department step in. However, while many policy enhancements can be achieved without a modernized Act, it may be important to have in place enabling legislation that will provide the legal basis for some policy changes.

Performance Measurement
Program staff interviewed and surveyed do not appear to be very familiar with the programs' PM strategy. Only 12 of the senior program managers interviewed (n=12) were familiar with the programs' PM strategy. Of those 12, seven felt that the information was helpful in making decisions. Similarly, 50% (n=24) of resource management staff surveyed  were familiar with the PM strategy; of those that were aware, 42% (n=10) felt the information was not being used for decision-making. Some commented that performance indicators are either too high level to be useful or are not the correct ones. However, as described earlier in the report, the program's PM strategy has not been finalized and is currently undergoing revisions to ensure that it is representative of the program's activities under the Department's Performance Measurement Action Plan process. Further, recent initiatives such as the Fishery Checklist, cited by almost all interview respondents as a key data source, will provide consistent and comparable data in future years.

Overlap or duplication with other programs (DFO, other federal, provincial or territorial government)
The majority of interview and survey respondents do not feel there is any overlap or duplication between jurisdictions. Instead, they see efforts as being complementary. However, some noted a few exceptions such as programs and activities involving DFO and other federal departments and agencies. The CSSP in particular was mentioned as lacking clarity around roles and jurisdiction.64 Environmental assessment and vessel activity are two other areas where there is lack of clarity given the role of other departments.

Within DFO, species at risk was cited as lacking clarity with respect to roles, and there is a lack of integration of funding for similar purposes. Some concern was also expressed about a lack of clarity between Resource Management and Oceans and the potential for the two sectors to have separate, overlapping consultations with other DFO sectors.

Demonstration of best practices and/or lessons learned
Key informants outside Resource Management highlighted collaboration, communication and consultation with other DFO sectors and external partners as best practices. Sessions, workshops and other collaborative efforts that bring Resource Management together with others, including their partners, are beneficial, as is ongoing communication. Some other best practices were noted by various key informants. IFMPs and the post-season review are considered a good practice, as are the ongoing efforts of resource management staff in constantly piloting and testing new ideas.

59 Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. Interim Report on the Committee's study of the federal government's new and emerging policy framework for managing Canada's fisheries and oceans. June 2006.

60 Auditor General of Canada (1999). Chapter 4 – Fisheries and Oceans – Managing Atlantic Shellfish in a Sustainable Manner.1999 April Report of the Auditor General of Canada.

61 DFO, 2001. The Management of Fisheries on the Canada's Atlantic Coast: A Discussion Document on Policy Direction and Principles. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/afpr-rppa/Doc_Doc/discodoc_e.htm

62 DFO, 2001. The Management of Fisheries on the Canada's Atlantic Coast: A Discussion Document on Policy Direction and Principles. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/afpr-rppa/Doc_Doc/discodoc_e.htm

63 DFO, 2004. A Policy Framework for the Management of Fisheries on Canada's Atlantic Coast. http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/afpr-rppa/Doc_Doc/policy_framework/policy_framework_e.htm

64 A horizontal summative evaluation of CSSP was conducted in 2007. To view the final report please see http://epe.lac-bac.gc.ca/100/206/301/cfia-acia/2011-09-21/www.inspection.gc.ca/english/agen/eval/cssppccsm/shemosse.shtml

5. Conclusions & Recommendations

5.1 Relevance

Overall, the evaluation concludes that the Commercial Fisheries Program, the Recreational Fisheries Program and the FSCP have demonstrated that there is a continued need for the programs which are essential to ensuring the long-term sustainability of fisheries in Canada, as well as supporting the increased demand for proof of eco-certification and maintaining market access. It was also found that the program activities are appropriate for federal government intervention as the fishery is a valuable public resource that is a constitutional and legislative responsibility of the federal government. DFO is responsible for Parliament's exclusive legislative authority over sea coast and inland fisheries, as per Subsection 91(12) of the Constitution Act, 1867. The programs derive their mandate from the Fisheries Act, under which DFO has responsibility for the management of all Canadian coastal and marine fisheries. In addition, the programs reflect responsibilities of fisheries resource conservation within commercial, Aboriginal and recreational fisheries and are guided by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Act, the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act and the Species at Risk Act.  Finally, the mandate and activities of the programs are aligned with DFO's Strategic Outcome of Economically Prosperous Maritime Sectors and Fisheries and are intended to generate economic benefits for all Canadians. Concerns were raised, however, with the alignment of FSCP activities and projects to current DFO strategic priorities and direction. As such, a review of the program objectives, goals and operating principles should be undertaken to further ensure that the projects that receive funding through FSCP are aligned to, and address, DFO priorities.

Recommendation #1: The ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, should undertake a review of the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program to ensure alignment of project funding with the current context of fisheries management needs and alignment with current DFO policy and fisheries management priorities.

5.2 Effectiveness

Commercial Fisheries Program

The evaluation concludes that the program has had limited effectiveness over the last five years demonstrated by the program being able to complete IFMPs for only half of the major stocks, and demonstrating limited cases of management practices that support stable fishery access and allocation. Further, while the evidence indicates that stakeholder participation is significant, there is currently no process in place to determine the effectiveness of the stakeholder engagement process.

Recommendation #2: The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management should develop a mechanism to assess the effectiveness of stakeholder participation in the harvest-decision making process.

Over the last few years the Department has initiated various activities that may impact the program's ability to improve its effectiveness. The implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Framework is intended to provide the basis to ensure Canadian fisheries are managed in a manner that supports conservation and sustainable use. It further provides the foundation for an ecosystem-based and precautionary approach to fisheries management in Canada, with new tools and policies being developed and implemented progressively over time. Also, recent initiatives such as multi-year management plans should improve the stability in the management of fisheries while continuing to maintain conservation commitments. These efforts should provide increased stability, allowing industry to make better-informed, long-term decisions.

Finally, while Departmental data indicates there may have been an improvement in the ability to sustainably manage major stocks over time, there is not enough longitudinal data to demonstrate a trend of improved sustainability over the last five years. Certainly, research indicates that global fisheries are in crisis, with much of the world's fish stocks fully exploited, overly exploited or collapsed. In spite of this, published research indicates that although any country is far from exceeding expectations in the sustainable management of fisheries, Canada is consistently in the top six out of 53 countries examined. However, Canada's fisheries management rules are outdated. As is, they do not allow the industry and fisheries to operate effectively.

Recreational Fisheries Program

Overall, the evaluation concludes that the Department may not have all of the tools or information necessary to determine whether the recreational fishery is managed appropriately. Specifically, the Department does not have a full accounting of catches and landings in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, resulting in a recreational fishery that is not regulated to the same extent in all regions, and also resulting in the potential for insufficient and inaccurate data with which to develop sound fisheries management advice.

Recommendation #3: The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management, should develop a licensing mechanism to allow for the accurate collection of information on recreational fishing activities in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

The evaluation also concludes that as recreational fisheries are managed through a complex mix of federal, provincial and territorial responsibilities, there was little evidence to determine the impact Departmental program activities were able to have on their immediate outcomes as outlined in the program logic model (specifically, increased awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries and ensuring that recreational fishers take responsibility for shared stewardship). 

5.3 Efficiency & Economy

The evaluation concludes that the programs are not entirely efficient in design and delivery, resulting from an effort-intensive, top-down fishery management model that responds to short-term and shifting needs.  Though some efficiencies have been recently introduced, a modernized approach to fisheries management is still required. The program itself is involved in the various business activities of fisheries and various ad hoc responses to industry crises and stakeholder demands. As well, the process to develop IFMPs has become increasingly complex as management plans must accommodate complex scientific information, new policies, requirements for consultation, and an increasing number of stakeholders. The Department's fisheries management policy framework and program efforts, while remaining within the Department's mandate to properly manage and control the fishery and conserve and protect fish, should be designed to create the conditions that will allow fishers to become more economically self-reliant and make their own business decisions over the long-term. However, the evaluation further concludes that while many policy enhancements can be achieved without a modernized Fisheries Act, it may be important to have in place enabling legislation that will provide the legal basis for some policy changes.

Recommendation #4: The Department should continue to move forward with the modernization of the fisheries management regime and develop a management approach that stabilizes industry access to the resource with the goals of conservation and long-term economic sustainability. To this effect, we recommend that:

  1. The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management in collaboration with the ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science should develop a comprehensive approach to implement the policies under the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, and most notably accelerate the implementation of the precautionary approach; and,
  2. The ADM, Program Policy develop a national licensing policy for commercial fisheries.

Annex I: Evaluation Matrix

Annex I: Evaluation Matrix
Issue/Questions Indicator Line of Enquiry
Interviews Survey Document & file Review Lit Review & Comparative Analysis Case Studies
Management /  Staff External Stake-holders  Partners (DFO & Other)
Relevance
  • Is there a continued need for the IFRM program, specifically the CFP, FSCP and the RFP?
  • Evidence that the programs respond and or adapt to changes in government policy and priorities
  • Key informants attest to the need for and importance of the programs (i.e., importance of the objectives of the program; components are still relevant, etc.)
X X X X X X X
  • Is there a current role for Federal Government intervention, and is the program consistent with GOC priorities?
  • Evidence of appropriate federal role and responsibility in the area of commercial and recreational fisheries
  • Activities of programs support stated federal roles and responsibilities.
X X X   X     X
  • To what extent are the mandates and activities aligned with DFO priorities and objectives?
  • Evidence that the program is aligned with departmental mandates, priorities and strategic outcomes
  • Key informants attest to the ability of the programs to fulfill departmental mandates, priorities and objectives
X     X X   X
Performance
Effectiveness
  • 4. To what extent has the program produced its intended outputs?
  • Evidence that the activities in the logic model are completed and lead to the development of expected outputs
  • Evidence that outputs presented in logic models have been completed as planned for in each program area
X   X   X    
5. To what extent has the CFP & FSCP achieved their immediate outcomes?
  • To what extent have program activities led to the completion of management plans for major stocks?
  • Evidence that management plans and supporting documentation are completed and up-to-date for each major fishery and that the fishery is delivering the goals set out in these plans
  • % of major stocks with current IFMPs
  • Opinion of program staff, partners, and stakeholders that management plans are completed, accurate and appropriate, and up-to-date for major stocks
  • Management plans and or supporting documentation demonstrate that the program provides for continuous, new and or expanded opportunities for commercial harvesting
X       X   X
  • To what extent have program activities led to the stable access and allocation of fisheries resources?
  • Opinion of program staff, partners, and stakeholders on the degree to which access to and allocation of commercial harvesting opportunities is equitable, fair, and transparent
  • Evidence that there is a system and criteria in place for providing access and allocation to commercial fisheries
  • % of major stocks with stable sharing arrangements, if possible.
X     X X   X
  • To what extent have program activities assured that stakeholders are engaged in the harvest decision-making process?
  • # and nature of consultations held with partners and stakeholders to discuss stock management objectives and fishery management plans with commercial harvesters
  • Evidence stakeholders are engaged in harvest decision-making process
  • Opinions of program staff, partners, and stakeholders on the comprehensiveness and effectiveness of consultations
  • % of FSCP research projects completed v. planned
  • % of FSCP collaborative funding utilized
X     X X   X
  • To what extent do program activities assure that appropriate information is available for making informed decisions?
  • Opinions of program managers on the degree to which key information is available for them to make program and policy decisions
  • Evidence that program outputs have influenced decision making and led to the achievement of program or departmental goals and objectives 
X     X X   X
6. To what extent has the Recreational Fisheries Program achieved its immediate outcomes?
  • To what extent have program activities created awareness of the value and role of recreational fisheries to Canadian society and the economy?
  • Evidence to confirm that the National Recreational Fishers Awards program is publicized consistently each year
  • # of nomination submissions for the RF Awards Program
  • Evidence to confirm that DFO has completed activities to provide advice, guidance and information to recreational fishers (how many and to which audience)
  • Evidence to confirm that recreational surveys are completed consistently
  • Evidence that partners and stakeholders believe DFO activities generate awareness of the value and role of the recreational fishery to Canadians
  • Evidence that managers, partners and stakeholders understand the role of the recreational fishery to Canadians
X     X X X  
  • To what extent do program activities ensure recreational fishers have responsibility for shared stewardship in resource conservation and enhancement of recreational fisheries resources?
  • Evidence to confirm that recreational fishers have taken on responsibility for shared stewardship in resource conservation and enhancement as a result of the RFP
  • Evidence that partners and stakeholders believe that recreational fishers are demonstrating shared stewardship in resource conservation and enhancement
  • Evidence to confirm that recreational fishers have undertaken resource conservation or enhancement activities
X     X X    
To what extent has the CFP and FSCP achieved their intermediate outcomes?
  • To what extent has the program resulted in the sustainable management of major stocks?
  • Evidence that fisheries management plans consider both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic pressures
  • Evidence that fisheries management plans utilize scientific inputs concerning the sustainability of major stocks
  • Evidence that fisheries management plans account for information provided by DFO partners (e.g. strategic policy, regulatory affairs, etc.) regarding the sustainability of major stocks
  • The fisheries are managed in accordance with IFMPs and result in the sustainable harvest of Canadian fish stocks
  • # of permits and licences are commensurate for parameters specified in Fisheries Management Plans
  • Landed value of the Commercial Fishery
X X X X X    
  • To what extent does the program provide public confidence in the fishery management regime?
  • Documentary evidence characterizing how confident Canadians are in Canada's fishery management regime
  • Opinion of program staff, partners, and stakeholders that there is public confidence in the fishery management regime
X X X X X X  
8. To what extent has the RFP achieved its intermediate outcomes?
  • To what extent are recreational fisheries managed in accordance with conservation goals and DFO policies?
  • Evidence to confirm that the RFP reviews and incorporates  scientific information and advice and input from DFO partners to manage the recreational fishery
  • Evidence that DFO communicates the department's priorities, goals and objectives to delegated authorities responsible for managing the recreational fishery
  • Evidence that DFO has developed an appropriate monitoring system for ensuring that recreational fisheries adhere to departmental policies and conservation goals
  • Opinions of program managers that the RFP is receptive of information and advice provided by DFO programs
  • Evidence from DFO's monitoring system that recreational fisheries are adhering to conservation goals and DFO policies
  • Evidence that recreational fishers' stewardship efforts contribute to achieving conservation goals and support DFO policies
X X X X X    
9. To what extent does DFO Science or Strategic Policy contribute to the expected outcomes?
  • Evidence that the appropriate communication channels between the programs and DFO partners have been established and are functioning appropriately
  • Evidence to confirm that information and advice provided by DFO partners informs program activities
  • Opinions from program staff in Fisheries Management that inputs provided by DFO partners are effective in improving  program delivery and the achievement of conservation and stock rebuilding objectives
  • Opinions from DFO partners that information and advice is used by CF/RF program staff for program delivery purposes
  • # of fish stocks for which science advice is provided
  X     X   X   X     X
10. What key factors or risks influence the success of the program?
  • Program staff identify key risks or challenges that affect the delivery of the programs
  • The programs have established systems in place to monitor and mitigate internal/external risks
  • Evidence of internal/external factors or risks that have influenced the achievement of program outputs
  • Documented management actions to address the influence of internal/external factors or risks
  X         X    
11. Are there any unintended outcomes, positive or negative, that can be attributed to the program?
  • Identification and assessment of unintended positive and negative outcomes reported by staff, stakeholders and/or observed by the evaluator (high profile or recurring items or issues)
X X     X    
Efficiency & Economy
12. To what extent is the governance and management structure clear and functioning adequately?
  • Governance and management structures are documented and roles and responsibilities are described
  • Documentation highlighting that governance and management structures are functioning as intended (regular meetings, attendance by required managers, issues discussed as intended, etc.)
  • Opinions of program staff to confirm that governance and management structures are functional and lead to effective results
  • Evidence to confirm that management makes decisions to inform the delivery of program activities
  • Opinions of regional and branch staff that roles and responsibilities of staff in the Regions and NCR are clearly defined and are working effectively
  X     X   X   X   X
13. To what extent is the design and delivery of the program clear, appropriate and efficient?
  • Views of respondents on adequacy of resources, systems and tools, and ways to enhance efficiency
  • Evidence of existing performance measurement strategy (PMS) and reporting system in place and operational
  • Key informants view on consistency of the PM Strategy and reporting system
  • Opinions from program managers that data collected is being used for decision making
  • Evidence on the challenges and benefits of the current program design
  X       X   X     X
14. To what extent do the activities of the program complement, overlap or duplicate with other programs of DFO, or other Federal, Provincial and Territorial Governments?
  • Evidence that the programs are unique and or similar to other programs across Canada
  • Evidence that the programs complement other programs within DFO or across Canada
  • Perception of key informants regarding the program overlap/duplication with other programs
  X   X   X   X   X   X  
15. To what extent could the efficiency/economy of the program and its activities be improved?
  • Evidence regarding the economy of the program compared to other similar programs, including: ratio of overhead cost to program expenditures; # of staff members employed to deliver the program, if possible
  • Breakdown of program budget between operating expenditures and program activities, if possible
  • Evidence regarding the cost of managing a fishery as compared to its value (landed, landed plus secondary, or cultural/heritage)
  • Extent to which there are alternatives/ complementary services that could be offered
  • Stakeholder views of delivery modifications to the program that would make it more cost-effective
X X   X X X X
16. Do the programs demonstrate use of best practices and or lessons learned in the design and implementation of their activities?
  • Best practices and lesson learned identified by key informants
  • Evidence that the programs apply best practices or lessons learned to current program activities
  • Best practices and lessons learned from literature review and comparative analysis
  • Evidence that program outputs have incorporate best practices and or lessons learned
X X X X X X X

Annex II: Management Action Plan

Annex II: Management Action Plan
Recommendations

Concerns were raised with the alignment of FSCP activities and projects to current DFO strategic priorities and direction. As such, a review of the program objectives, goals and operating principles should be undertaken to further ensure that the projects that receive funding through FSCP are aligned to, and address, DFO priorities.

Recommendation 1: The ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector, should undertake a review of the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program to ensure alignment of project funding with the current context of fisheries management needs and alignment with current DFO policy and fisheries management priorities.

Strategy

Fisheries Science Collaborative Program (FSCP) is a small component of Ecosystem and Oceans Science sector's (EOS) scientific activities done in collaboration with fishing industry.  EOS' most important collaborative program (the Larocque Relief Funding Program) is expected to sunset on March 31st, 2012. The end of monitoring activities funded by Larocque Program and the other expected strategic changes in the Department that could affect the management of Canadian fisheries will trigger a broad review of core DFO scientific activities, including the activities done in collaboration with fishing industry. The review of the FSCP program can not be done in isolation and will have to take into account those broader changes in the EOS sector and in DFO.  As a consequence, the proposed strategy makes a critical link between the review of FSCP program and a broader review of other collaborative activities with the fishing industry that is expected to be conducted in 2012.  The results of this broader review will impact the proposed changes to the FSCP program.

Therefore, the proposed strategy for the review of FSCP will imply the engagement with relevant sectors (e.g. Resource Management, Program Policy) at NCR and in the regions and relevant industry stakeholders to develop mechanisms ensuring that FSCP program's vision, objectives and governance, while still designed to foster collaboration between DFO and Industry, will be aligned to the new DFO context and will take into account emerging issues central to DFO policies and priorities.

Management Actions Actions Completed Actions Outstanding Target Date Supporting Evidence
Prepare a work document outlining key aspects of the FSCP (e.g. governance, structure, key priorities and objectives) subject to discussion in the context of this review.   Discussion in NCR (EOS and client sectors) to get input to the work document. April 2012  
  Discussion with Regional Science in close collaboration with regional FSCP coordinators to get input
to the work document.
May 2012  
  Finalization of the work document. June 2012  
Integrate the key outcomes from the broader review of other DFO collaborative activities with Industry to the work document.   Discussion in NCR (EOS and client sectors) to identify which outcomes of the broader review on collaborative activities are pertinent to integrate into the FSCP review discussions. October  2012  
  Discussion with Regional Science in close collaboration with regional FSCP coordinators to get input on outcomes from the broader review that are pertinent to the FSCP review discussions. November 2012  
  Finalize the document that will guide further steps of the FSCP review. December 2012  
Perform a review of the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program and finalise a document outlining the new FSCP (vision, governance structure, etc.).   Hold discussions in NCR (EOS and client sectors) to get input on the new FSCP. January 2013  
  Discussion with Regional Science in close collaboration with regional FSCP coordinators to get input on the new FSCP. February 2013  
  Engage with key industry stakeholders to get input on the new FSCP. March 2013  
  Finalize the document outlining the new proposed FSCP. April 2013  
Approval and implementation of the new proposed governance structure for the Fisheries Science Collaborative Program.   Submit the document to the National Science Directors Committee for review and approval. May 2013  
  New FSCP ready for implementation. June 2013  
Recommendations

While evidence indicates that stakeholder participation is significant, there is currently no process in place to determine the effectiveness of the stakeholder engagement process.

Recommendation 2: The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management should develop a mechanism to assess the effectiveness of stakeholder participation in the harvest-decision making process.

Strategy

DFO consults its stakeholders (for example, commercial fishing industry, aquaculture industry, Aboriginal communities and co-management partners, recreational fishers, other organizations and government departments (federal and provincial/territorial)) throughout the harvest decision-making process at scheduled Species Advisory Committees and through other process as appropriate. The Integrated Fisheries Resource Management (IFRM) program measures stakeholder opportunities, participation rates and whether there is a process in place to evaluate the formal engagement with stakeholders, all through the Fisheries Checklist (e.g. the Participation Index).  This is reported on in the Departmental Performance Report.

IFRM is proposing that, in order to measure effectiveness of engagement, the program will need to undertake some level of research on how this is being done within DFO and across Government, looking for best practices, creating an inventory of current engagement processes, defining stakeholder groups, and developing definitions of effectiveness.

Due to the potential high costs of evaluating effectiveness and the possibility that each stakeholder group may need to be evaluated differently, the program is proposing that once an approved tool is developed, this tool will be phased in over time. The resultant effectiveness of participation measurement will become a key indicator for the program activity and be used in the Performance Measurement Strategy and the Department's Performance Measurement Framework.

Management Actions Actions Completed Actions Outstanding Target Date Supporting Evidence
Research best practices  
  • Scan DFO and other similar government departments(e.g. Agriculture Canada) for examples of successful engagement effectiveness measurement tools
  • Engage Communications
April 2012  
Inventory current engagement process (e.g. advisory committees, advisory boards)  
  • Develop schedule of planned consultations 
  • Define each stakeholder group
  • Define desired outcome for each consultation
  • Define effectiveness for each stakeholder group
July 2012  
Draft report on findings  
  • Draft report summarizing findings, providing definitions of stakeholders and effectiveness and a proposed method for evaluating effectiveness.
  • DG/RD sign off
  • ADM/RDG approval
November 2012  
Incorporate into the PMS and the PMF for PA 1.1  
  • The logic model for IFRM speaks to stakeholder engagement. This measure will be incorporated into the Performance Management Strategy, the PMF and the DPR.
 
January 2013  
Recommendations

The evaluation concludes that the Department may not have all of the tools or information necessary to determine whether the recreational fishery is managed appropriately. Specifically, the Department does not have a full accounting of catches and landings in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, resulting in a recreational fishery that is not regulated to the same extent in all regions, and also resulting in the potential for insufficient and inaccurate data with which to develop sound fisheries management advice.

Recommendation 3: The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management, should develop a licensing mechanism to allow for the accurate collection of information on recreational activities in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

Strategy

Accurate information already exists on recreational fishing activity in all Canadian inland waters and in the marine waters of British Columbia.  There is a gap in recreational fishing activity information in the marine waters of Atlantic Canada and Quebec. The best and most effective tool to collect information on these activities would be a marine recreational fishing licence.

A marine recreational licence is not a new concept for Integrated Fisheries Resource Management. A recreational licence for marine waters was implemented in Newfoundland & Labrador and Lower North Shore in Quebec (NL licence) from 2001-2006 as a pilot project; the success of this project led to a ministerial decision to suspend the NL licence and establish such a licence for all of Atlantic Canada and Quebec.  Legally such a licence can be established under the Fisheries Act and related regulations, however the applicability of the User Fees Act to this initiative is not clear and a legal opinion is being sought.  If the User Fees Act does apply, that process is estimated to take 18 months to 2 years.

Consultation material has already been developed (including a discussion document, deck and Q&As) and reviewed by Communications and Legal Services.

There are concerns within the Department that the current fiscal (SR/SOR) and stakeholder climate may not be conducive to the creation of a marine recreational fishing licence in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, however it is also important to note that the under SR, the Systems Modernization Project is already underway and may contribute some efficiencies to such a licence.  The licence concept and associated workplan is scheduled to be presented to the Economic Prosperity Strategic Outcome Committee (date to be determined).

Following this, there is a need to seek Ministerial approval for the licence.

Management Actions Actions Completed Actions Outstanding Target Date Supporting Evidence
Approval of Economic Prosperity Strategic Outcome Committee   Present marine recreational licence proposal to Economic Prosperity SOC March 2012 (not yet scheduled)  
[solicitor-client privilege, cabinet confidence]   [solicitor-client privilege, cabinet confidence] February – June 2012  
Consult with System Modernization Team   Seek guidance/advice/confirmation from systems modernization team about how this licence could fit within the scope of that project March – June 2012  
Ministerial approval to consult   Minister's approval to proceed with stakeholder consultations May 2012  
Consult with provinces and stakeholders   Consult Atlantic provinces & Quebec on proposed licence, and their role in licence issuance for anadromous & catadromous species    
  Consultations with key stakeholders through existing advisory meetings; seek feedback on essential elements of licence design and delivery, including regulatory components such as fees and measures such as catch reporting    
  Consultations with general public; on-line and mail-outs. December 2012  
Finalize and implement marine recreational licence   Finalize licence parameters (scope, fees, catch reporting, etc.) based on consultations feedback February 2013  
  Communicate consultation results and proposed licensing regime to provinces and stakeholders March 2013  
  Seek final approval from Minister to implement new licence
May 2013
 
  Finalize licence distribution system, e.g. on-line, Canada Post, new licensing system June 2013 – March 2014  
  Regulatory amendments to establish licence and to authorize provinces to issue certain licences June 2013 – December 2014  
  Establish administrative arrangements with provinces to issue licences for anadromous & catadromous species June 2013 – December 2013  
  User Fees Act process (pending legal opinion on applicability of Act) May 2015 (process expected to be 18 months to 2 years; may be shorter if consultations already conducted are sufficient to meet User Fees Act requirements) – maybe concurrent with regulatory process; awaiting legal advice  
  Develop marine waters fishing guide September 2015  
  Implementation of new licence January 2016  
Recommendations

The evaluation concludes that the programs are not entirely efficient in design and delivery, resulting from an effort-intensive, top-down fishery management model that responds to short-term and shifting needs.  Though some efficiencies have been recently introduced, a modernized approach to fisheries management is still required

Recommendation 4: The Department should continue to move forward with the modernization of the fisheries management regime and develop a management approach that stabilizes industry access to the resource with the goals of conservation and long-term economic sustainability. To this effect, we recommend that:

  • The Senior ADM, Ecosystem and Fisheries Management in collaboration with the ADM, Ecosystems and Oceans Science Sector should develop a comprehensive approach to implement the policies under the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, and most notably accelerate the implementation of the precautionary approach; and
  • The ADM, Program Policy develop a national licensing policy for commercial fisheries.
Strategy

(a) The Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF) was developed under the Fisheries Renewal program (Program Policy) and was published in 2009 with three policies: A Decision-Making Framework Incorporating the Precautionary Approach (also known as the PA Framework), Policy for New Fisheries for Forage Species and the Policy for Managing the Impact of Fishing on Sensitive Benthic Areas. The Program Policy Sector continues to develop additional policies as a part of the SFF including Policy Framework on Managing Bycatch and Discards, the Ecological Risk Assessment Framework (ERAF), and Guidance for the Development of Rebuilding Plans. Once a policy is developed, Integrated Fisheries Resource Management program is responsible for implementing. 

The percentage of the SFF currently implemented in major stocks is measured through the Fisheries Checklist and reported on annually in the Departmental Performance Report. Based on what has not been implemented, Resource Management can work with Ecosystems Science to prioritize and make a multi-year (three year) plan for rolling out the SFF, with emphasis on accelerating the implementation of the PA framework. The time required to implement the various portions of the SFF, the limited capacity within RM and Science and the implications of the Ecosystem Approach will be key factors considered in the development of the implementation plan.

Strategic Review and Strategic Operating Review may impact available resources to implement the SFF, creating a need to change the implementation plan.

(b) Under the current fisheries modernization initiative, a strategy has been developed that could result in the streamlining of existing commercial fisheries management policies (including the licensing policy) in an effort to improve coherence and consistency in these policies and management measures on a national scale. This strategy includes both face to face and online consultations with stakeholders, analysis of the resulting data and the development of a work plan to move toward a national licensing policy and/or framework for commercial fisheries management. In the current budgetary context, constraints on resource availability for appropriate policy development and process changes may limit the response time for these initiatives.

Management Actions Actions Completed Actions Outstanding Target Date Supporting Evidence
Recommendation 4a
Compile inventory of stocks and current status of SFF implementation for each   Create an inventory of SFF implementation based off the Fisheries Checklist major stock list May 2012  
  Confirm and update the table with the regions    
Set priorities for SFF implementation through an integrated planning approach including regional Science and Resource Management   RM and Science to work together in each region to set priorities for SFF implementation, with priority given to the PA framework. Compare priorities with the schedule for multi-year stock assessments to ensure science capacity is available January 2013  
  DG/RD sign-off on implementation plan March 2013  
  ADM/RDG sign-off on implementation plan    
Recommendation 4b
Stakeholder Consultations Strategic planning  and senior management briefing up to January 2012 Completion of regional face to face meetings February 2012 Face to Face Meeting Dates:
  • Newfoundland and Labrador – January 12th, 2012
  • Maritimes – January 16th, 2012
  • Gulf – January 17th, 2012
  • Quebec – January 24th, 2012
  • Pacific – January 27th, 2012
  • Central and Arctic – February 21st & 23rd, 2012
  Launch of online consultation assets in January 2012 Closure of online consultation period   Online Consultation period:
  • January 12th, 2012 – February 29th, 2012
Review and analysis of consultation data  
  • Review and analysis of consultation data
  • Consultation report provided to Senior Management
March – April 2012  
Development of a work plan for moving forward on fisheries modernization  
  • Development of a work plan for moving forward in fisheries modernization
  • Submission of recommendations and options to senior management working group
Spring 2012  
Implementation of work plan for fisheries modernization  
  • Evaluation of commercial fisheries management policies
  • Development of national licensing policy approach
Spring 2014