Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management Program

The Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management (AAROM) program provides funding to qualifying Aboriginal groups to establish aquatic resource and oceans management bodies.

AAROM Statement of Interest Application Forms

Program Purpose and Goals

The goal of AAROM is to help Aboriginal groups to participate effectively in advisory and decision-making processes used for aquatic resource and oceans management.

The program was developed to respond to a number of issues identified during discussions on the renewal of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy:

  • Aboriginal groups are seeking greater participation in decision-making processes used for aquatic resource and oceans management;
  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada's (DFO's) expanding responsibilities require engaging with Aboriginal groups on a broad range of issues, including oceans management, habitat management and planning, environmental assessment and species at risk; and
  • existing Aboriginal programming is focused on fisheries management, limiting the Department's ability to respond effectively to the evolving aspirations of Aboriginal people.

The main objectives of the AAROM program are:

  • to assist Aboriginal groups in acquiring the administrative capacity and scientific/technical expertise to facilitate their participation in aquatic resource and oceans management;
  • to encourage the establishment of collaborative management structures that contribute to integrated ecosystem/watershed management and planning processes;
  • to enhance existing collaborative management structures, where appropriate;
  • to facilitate sound decision making in advisory and other processes related to a number of areas of DFO responsibility;
  • to strengthen relationships through improved information sharing among Aboriginal communities, DFO and other stakeholders and among Aboriginal communities; and
  • to contribute to the federal government's broader objective of improving the quality of life of Aboriginal people.

Eligibility Requirements

AAROM provides funding to qualifying Aboriginal groups to establish aquatic resource and oceans management bodies.

To qualify for support, Aboriginal communities are required to work together in relation to a watershed or ecosystem and meet certain requirements related to management practices. The AAROM program employs a community-driven approach that recognizes that different groups are at different stages of capacity development and don't all have the same priorities and goals.

For eligible groups, funding may also be available to obtain access to commercial fishery opportunities (including vessels and gear) and to build the capacity of groups to take advantage of aquaculture opportunities. In addition, qualifying groups may be eligible for funding for the development of Aboriginal Fishery Officers.

The program will only be available to groups that are located where DFO manages the fishery, and that have not signed a comprehensive land claims agreement that addresses the matters under AAROM.