Consultation Paper: Amendments aimed at preserving the independence of commercial inshore and coastal licence holders

Table of contents

  1. Context
  2. Background
  3. Goal of the proposed amendments to the Atlantic Fishery Regulations
  4. Scope of the regulatory proposal
  5. Summary of proposed amendments
  6. Complementary Policy Changes
  7. Discussion questions
  8. Next steps

Context

In February 2017, the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (SCOFO) recommended changes to the Fisheries Act and its implementation.Their report highlighted the value of the inshore fisheries policies to stakeholders in Atlantic Canada and Quebec.

In February 2018, Bill C-68, an Act to amend the Fisheries Act, was tabled in Parliament. It includes:

Background

Goal of the proposed amendments to the Atlantic Fishery Regulations

In Atlantic Canada and Quebec, an economically viable inshore fishery remains the backbone of coastal communities and an integral part of its cultural fabric.

The proposed new regulatory provisions will aim to ensure that licence holders who are granted the privilege of harvesting fishery resources under an inshore licence personally:

Scope of the regulatory proposal

Owner Operator

Objective

To support the independence of inshore and coastal licence holders in coastal communities and ensure that they are the people personally fishing the licence.

Elements of the policy proposed to be regulated Proposed exceptions
Inshore and coastal licences will only be issued to an eligible individual or wholly-owned company. Pre-89 companies, estates and other current regionally-specific exceptions.
Holders of Inshore and coastal licences or operators named in these licences (e.g.substitute-operator) need to personally fish the licence. Pre-89 companies and other current regionally-specific exceptions.
Inshore and coastal licence holders will only be permitted to hold one licence per given species. Current regionally-specific exceptions

Fleet separation

Objective

To maintain a separation between the harvesting and processing sectors of the industry, i.e., no vertical integration.

Elements of the policy proposed to be regulated:

Inshore and coastal licences shall not be issued to corporations (except eligible wholly-owned corporations), including those involved in the processing sector.

Proposed exceptions:

Pre-89 corporations and Eastern Nova Scotia snow crab companies.

Use and Control over the Rights and Privileges of a Licence

Beyond enshrining elements of our existing policies, DFO is proposing a new regulatory measure regarding the rights and privilege under a licence.

This would replace the Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada's Atlantic Fisheries (PIIFCAF) policy and apply to the same licence holders.

Objectives of proposed new regulatory measure

 

Regulatory provisions could be pursued to stipulate that

There are circumstances where limited transfer of rights or privileges would be acceptable. The Minister could allow for exceptions, for example:

Consequences of non-compliance

Summary conviction Indictable offence
First offence: fine not exceeding $100,000 First offence: fine not exceeding $500,000
Subsequent offence: fine not exceeding $100,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year, or both Subsequent offence: fine not exceeding $500,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years, or both

Summary of proposed amendments

  1. Maintain the current scope of application of the inshore fisheries policies.
  2. Limit the issuance of inshore and coastal licences to individuals or wholly-owned companies.
  3. Require the licence holder or operator named in the licence (substitute-operator) to personally fish the licence.
  4. Limit licence holders to one licence per given species.
  5. Require that Independent Core Licence holders retain the use and control of the rights and privileges under the licence issued in their name.
  6. Maintain current exceptions to the above restrictions, no new exceptions will be provided.

Complementary Policy Changes

Substitute Operator

Context

A Substitute Operator (SO) is an exception to the Owner-Operator policy, which requires the licence holder to personally fish the inshore commercial licence issued in his/her name.

Issue

Strengthening through potential Complementary Policy Changes

Substitute Operator

Policy changes could clarify the circumstances for the use of a Substitute Operator by:

Discussion questions

Next steps

Consultations

Regulations

The regulations-making process

The regulations-making process

Policy development phase

Regulatory development phase

Approval phase

CGI phase

CGII phase

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