Capacity Building in Fisheries

Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI)

Capacity Building in Fisheries (PDF version)

An Application Guide for Mi'kmaq & Maliseet First Nations

Published By: 2007 © Minister of Public Works and Government Services
Aboriginal Policy and Governance
Fisheries and Aquaculture Management Paper
Fisheries and Oceans Canada Cat. No.: 978-0-662-46997-1
Ottawa, ON ISBN: Fs23-527/2007E
K1A 0E6

Project Management: PDF
Cat. No.: 978-0-662-46998-8
Kevin Fram ISBN: Fs23-527/2007E-PDF
Director, Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI), Aboriginal Policy and Governance

About this Guide

This guide provides information on the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI) offered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) including the related policies and procedures. It explains the requirements for participating in the initiative, as well as additional information that may assist eligible Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nation communities in the Maritimes and Gaspé Region of Québec and their Aggregate Bodies.

The Guide is being given to every [eligible] Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nation in the Maritimes and Gaspé Region of Québec that expresses an interest in AICFI. The guide will help eligible First Nation communities by:

  • Outlining program components;
  • Clarifying application and other processes;
  • Summarizing what needs to be submitted;
  • Explaining how the program can work including the type of commercial fisheries business related activities covered, agreements and reporting involved; and
  • Providing contact information and various templates and application details.

The Guide sets out to:

  • Describe the purpose and all parts of the program,
  • Show how to apply, and
  • Explain the sequence of activities from planning through to implementation.

An explanation of what is meant by "fisheries co-management", "enterprise governance" and other terms used in the AICFI program is given in the Glossary (Appendix A).

Chapter 1: Introducing the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI)

Purpose of the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI)

The immediate goals of AICFI are to assist in providing the 34 Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations affected by the Marshall decision with the means to develop commercial fisheries enterprise governance and business management skills, build capacity in commercial fisheries operations, and have a more effective voice in fisheries co-management.

The 34 Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations are in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and the Gaspé region of Québec (MMFNs) - referred to singly as "community", or in plural as "communities", throughout the Guide.

The overall purpose of the program is to support First Nation commercial fisheries development and to support First Nations in the management of their own capacity building in commercial fisheries and the mentoring/training required to achieve this.

The objectives are:

  • First Nations will better use their existing access and enhance economic returns for the benefit of their communities;
  • First Nations will increase their knowledge and skills required to manage their fisheries enterprises;
  • First Nations will have the training to fish safely and effectively operate their vessels; and,
  • First Nations will help build the capacity needed to meet their future commercial fisheries operations, co-management and training requirements independently.

Brief Overview of Program Components

The program consists of the following MMFN Integrated Commercial Fisheries Components:

Component 1: Enterprise Governance Enhancement

Purpose

To help interested MMFNs:

  • Write down their existing commercial fisheries enterprise governance structure; or
  • Design/redesign and write down an enterprise governance structure if none is already on paper.

Component 2: Management Practice Enhancement

Purpose

To assist interested MMFNs:

  • Where necessary, with the development of an up-to-date business plan, specific to each community, that will help build a successful commercial fisheries business (2.1);
  • To take an enhanced role in commercial fisheries development and capacity building (2.2);
  • To increase the knowledge and skills base needed to operate a successful commercial fishery for the long term (2.3); and
  • To make best use of existing access to get maximum economic benefit including job creation (2.4).

Component 3: Fisheries Co-management Capacity Building

Purpose

  • To foster MMFN participation in fisheries co-management through AAROM Bodies;
  • To support individual MMFN communities to access important industry information in a timely manner and participate effectively in fisheries advisory committee activities.

Component 4: Commercial Fisheries Diversification

Purpose

  • To provide some limited funds to participating MMFNs for fishing vessel and equipment improvements and other development costs (including, for example, those associated with minor fine tuning of current access).

How AICFI Will Work

Community participation is voluntary starting with approval of Chief and Council. A letter from the Chief and Council to DFO will be needed expressing an interest in participating accompanied by an application and any supporting documentation depending on the assistance requested. Details are provided in this guidebook.

Under AICFI, a key element to facilitate ongoing success in the commercial fishery is the development of an "AICFI Commercial Fisheries (CF) Business Development Plan". This Plan will serve to capture the strategic direction/plan for each participating community. The plan will outline what initiatives are being looked at, how they will be undertaken, and will include estimated resource requirements and timeframes. Detailed requirements to enhance governance structures, management, administrative and operational practices will make up a significant part of each MMFNs' CF Business Development Plan.

Once completed, the Plan will be the basis for each participating community to highlight those areas of AICFI support that would optimally benefit their commercial fishing enterprise. A negotiated Contribution Agreement between an eligible MMFN and DFO would be the means of delivering funding support to carry out eligible projects and activities identified in the community's CF Business Development Plan.

Following any necessary discussions, the resulting Contribution Agreements will be drawn up for signing by the Chief and DFO. These agreements will reflect the work to be done in each community.

An overview of program implementation and general sequence of events can be found in Figure 1.

Figure 1. AICFI Program Implementation - General Sequence of Events
MMFN Community Application (initiated through a letter to DFO indicating a wish to participate in AICFI). AAROM Group Application
Arrow down Arrow down Arrow down
Business Plan Development (Component 2.1)

Support for preparing an AICFI Commercial Fisheries Business Development Plan. Assistance primarily through use of the Business Development Team.

*In-Class and At-Sea Mentoring/Training (Component 2.4)

Support for:

In-class training, (for wheelhouse and deckhand personnel in communities with a shortage of First Nations people to fill certain jobs), or At-sea mentoring/training, (for crew members especially in communities that were not able to participate earlier). Fisheries Training plan required. 

*AICFI CF Business Development Plan not required

* Fisheries Co-management (Component 3) 

Support, through Aggregate Bodies, to assist communities in:

  • getting fishing industry information in a timely manner and
  • participating in advisory committee and other related industry meetings

*AICFI CF Business Development Plan not required

Arrow down Arrow down
Once the plan is in place, implementation of development activities set out in the AICFI CF Business Development Plan can begin and will form the basis for Contribution Agreements. Ongoing work will be subject to regular reporting and reviews, involving both the MMFN community and DFO, to ensure the work is being carried out as intended. Flow of useful fishing industry information into business plan implementation and operation
Arrow down Arrow down Arrow down
Fisheries Enterprise Governance (Component 1)

Support for:

  • Documentation of existing/revised commercial fishing enterprise structure

Commercial Fisheries Management Practices Enhancement (Component 2) 
Support for:

  • Implementation of a computer-based Fisheries Management System (FMS) or alternative, effective management process (Component 2.2)
  • Implementing the AICFI CF Business Development Plan, e.g. through mentoring/training fishing enterprise staff in, for example, bookkeeping, HR management, administration, business operations, management systems, marketing; and help with defraying the cost of a fisheries coordinator (Component 2.3)
  Arrow down  
  Once an up to date AICFI Commercial Fisheries Business Development Plan and FMS is in use, communities may make a business case and apply for Component 4 beginning in 2009   
  Arrow down  
Commercial Fisheries Diversification (Component 4)

Support for commercial fisheries enterprises, for example:

  • Fishing vessel modifications
  • Fishing operations, through improvements to fishing gear and other onboard fish hauling, handling and storage equipment
  • Commercial fisheries related on-shore facilities - storage, ice machine, off-loading and hauling equipment

As well as support for other needs, for example, making minor changes required to round out existing fisheries access 

Chapter 2: Program Design

The program is designed to include the following steps:

  • Application process
  • Contribution agreements
  • Progress reporting
  • Final reporting and evaluation

Reporting and Evaluation

Each participating community will review ongoing work and submit progress and final reports to DFO, as set out in the Contribution Agreement.

When the work is finished, follow-up review and evaluation will be carried out by DFO.

A Reporting Procedures Handbook will be made available to participants.

AICFI Program Outline

The following tables summarize how each AICFI Component will work, including the purpose of each component, who is eligible to apply, as well as all necessary information on the application method. The tables also include some examples of the eligible activities covered under each component, as well as some of the possible benefits they may hold for participants.

Detailed Summary of Program Components (purpose, Application, Activities and Benefits)

Component 1 - Enterprise Governance Enhancement

Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
To document/revise existing commercial fishing enterprise governance structure

For example, to write down:

· how commercial fisheries assets are operated and returns are shared with the community
· how many leadership and senior management positions there are in the company/ enterprise
· reporting and accountability structures back to Chief and Council
Individual communities can apply

NOTES:
All activities under this program must be approved by Chief and Council before the work starts.

The work will also be subject to regular reviews by both the community and DFO to make sure the approved work is being carried out as intended.
The Chief and Council will need to prepare a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in the AICFI.

The letter should provide a name and contact information for the lead contact for the work.

NOTE:
A step-by-step summary of the process can be found in Chapter 3 of the Guide
Support is available through the Business Development Team to help identify needs for the following activities:

· writing down how the commercial fisheries enterprise is governed, if this is not already written down

· changing how their enterprise is governed and write that down

Once activities have been identified they become part of the First Nations Business Development Plan and the basis for the negotiation of a Contribution Agreement.
Writing down a business governance structure is an important part of any business plan. This work will also be an opportunity to review current practice to see how it fits with long-term business development goals.

A documented enterprise governance structure will be needed to make and application for support under the Commercial Fisheries Opportunity Source under Component 4.0
Knowledge Network (Aggregate Bodies)
To provide support services to interested communities. Knowledge Network Applications from the Knowledge Network will include a letter and a statement of proposed work. Activities would include the provision of a Business Development Team of experts to assist communities with applications for AICFI program participation, documenting enterprise governance structure.  
Contribution Agreements

Individual MMFN Communities: (enterprise governance documentation), a Business Development Plan is required and will form the basis of the Contribution Agreement.

Knowledge Network: Following funding approval, a multi-year contribution agreement will be signed by the Knowledge Network and DFO. Subject to yearly revision, funding will be provided under the terms of this detailed agreement based on work to be completed and related needs presented in the application.

Component 2 - Management Practice Enhancement

(Four areas of activity are included in Component 2. Communities may apply for some, or all, of the activities outlined under this component.)

Component 2.1 - Business plan preparation or upgrading of existing business plan

Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
2.1 To prepare and implement an AICFI CF Business Development Plan, specific to each community, that will help build a successful commercial fisheries business. Individual communities can apply

NOTES:
All activities under this program must be approved by Chief and Council before the work starts.
The Chief and Council will need to prepare a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in the AICFI program.

The letter should provide a name and contact information for the lead contact for the work.

NOTE:
A step-by-step summary of the process can be found in Chapter 3 of the Guide.
Support is available through the Business Development Team for the following:

· preparing and document (or upgrading existing) commercial fisheries business plans

· making use of the Business Development Team to assist with the work

NOTES:
An AICFI Business Development Plan template is attached as Appendix C

The Business Development Team will notify DFO that the work has been completed. Details of business development and related work conducted by the BDT in support of the AICFI program objectives is owned by the MMFN involved and would be held in the strictest confidence by the BDT and not divulged to any other parties except at the request of your MMFN.

The Business Development Team service is available at no cost to eligible MMFNs.
A business development plan is an essential guidance document upon which a successful business is built.

Business plans:

·need to be updated regularly to reflect changing realities and change long-term development strategies to reflect these changes

· help ensure the right number of qualified personnel are available, vessels are well maintained to lower operating costs, and good markets for catches are in place before each fishing season starts

· provide a guide for how to manage finances so that funds are available when vessels and gear need maintenance, upgrading or replacement

· Allow for easy identification of project and activities eligible to receive funding under the AICFI program.

Component 2.2 - Fisheries Management System implementation

Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
2.2 To take an enhanced role in commercial fisheries development and capacity building.

For example, to arrange for:

· a demonstration of the Fisheries Management System (FMS).

· implementation of the computer-based FMS or an alternative, effective enterprise management process.

· training for the person who will be operating the Fisheries Management System (FMS).
Individual communities can apply.

NOTES:
All activities under this program must be approved by Chief and Council before the work starts.

The work will also be subject to regular reviews by both the community and DFO to make sure the approved work is being carried out as intended.
The Chief and Council will need to prepare and send a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in Component 2.2 of the AICFI program.

The Component 2.2 Application Template, found in Appendix B of the Guide, will need to be filled out and attached to the Chief's letter.

A Contribution Agreement, for signing by the Chief and DFO that sets out the requirements of work to be done will be prepared.
The Contribution Agreement may provide support for communities:

· to implement electronic Fisheries Management System (FMS).

· for some mentoring/ training for fisheries manager and system operator in how to put information into the system and how to generate useful reports using the Fisheries Management System (FMS).

· to make use of the Business Development Team for implementation of FMS and to help identify such training needs.

· to make use of the Fisheries Advisor available through the Knowledge Network (KN) to help implement training.
This work provides an effective way to track your fisheries business costs and income by:

· putting information on, for example, catch data, prices for catches, vessel expenses, personnel costs, etc., into the Fisheries Management System and

· using that electronic system to generate many different reports that will give you a very clear understanding of how the business is performing right now and

· using that information to plan for the future

NOTE:
FMS, or equivalent, must be in use before a community can make an application under Component 4.0.
Knowledge Network (Aggregate Bodies)
To provide support services to interested communities for the implementation of the Fisheries Management System. Knowledge Network Applications from the Knowledge Network will include a letter and a statement of proposed work. Activities would include the provision of a Business Development Team of experts to assist communities with the implementation of the Fisheries Management System.  
Contribution Agreements

For Component 2.2 (Fisheries Management System implementation), eligible communities wanting to participate will need to negotiate a contribution agreement; however, assistance will still be available from the Fisheries Advisor for activities under 2.2.

Component 2.3 - Implementation of the AICFI Commercial Fisheries (CF) Business Development Plan

Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
2.3 To implement the AICFI CF Business Development Plan and to operate a successful commercial fishery for the long term through increasing the community's knowledge and skills base.

For example, to help defray costs of employing additional skill or outside expertise needed to assist with implementation and to provide people working in the fisheries business office with mentoring/training in such areas as:

· business operations

· bookkeeping

· personnel management

· marketing, etc.
Individual communities can apply.

All activities under this program must be approved by Chief and Council before the work starts.

The work will also be subject to regular reviews by both the community and DFO to make sure the approved work is being carried out as intended.

NOTE:
An up-to date AICFI Business Development Plan must be completed and a commitment to implement a Fisheries Management System before application can be made to Component 2.3 activities.
The Chief and Council will need to prepare a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in Component 2.3 of the AICFI program.

The Component 2.3 Application Template found in Appendix B of this Guide, will need to be filled out and attached to the Chief's letter.

Proof of a community-approved AICFI CF Business Development Plan or equivalent.

A Contribution Agreement, for signing by the Chief and DFO that sets out the requirements of work to be done will be prepared.
The Contribution Agreement may provide support for communities to:

· implement the business plan

· help defray the costs of a fisheries coordinator

· hire other expertise as required (e.g. human resource, legal, accounting, marketing, etc.).

· mentor/train some key enterprise staff

· make use of the Business Development Team to assist with the work.
This work provides an opportunity to build capacity in the commercial fisheries enterprise by:

· Gaining services of a fisheries coordinator and/or outside business expertise

· Developing the business knowledge and skills of commercial fishing enterprise staff.

Through these activities, the community can optimize revenues and other benefits from existing fisheries access.

NOTE:
Captain and crew may be doing an excellent job of catching the fish but, if the business management and administration side of things is not working well, these achievements could be unsupported and many of the benefits lost.
Contribution Agreement

For Component 2.3 (business plan implementation), eligible communities wanting to participate will require a contribution agreement for funding; however, assistance will still be available from the Business Development Team for activities under 2.3.
An AICFI CF Business Development Plan is necessary to commence any activities under this component
Component 2.4 - In-class Training / At-sea Mentoring for Wheelhouse and Deckhand Personnel
Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
2.4 To make best use of existing access to get maximum economic benefit including job creation.

For example, at-sea mentoring and in class training to:

· improve operational effectiveness

· increase skills and knowledge needed to fish a variety of species effectively

· improve safety practices
 

Individual communities can apply.

NOTES:
All activities under this program must be approved by Chief and Council before the work starts.

The work will also be subject to regular reviews by both the community and DFO to make sure the approved work is being carried out as intended.

*Support for preparing a Fisheries Training Plan is available from the Knowledge Network.

The Chief and Council will need to prepare a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in Component 2.4 of the AICFI program.

The Component 2.4 Application Template found in Appendix B of this Guide, will need to be filled out and attached to the Chief's letter.

Include a Fisheries Training Plan with the application.

NOTE:
A Contribution Agreement, for signing by the Chief and DFO that sets out the work to be done will be prepared.
The Contribution Agreement may provide support for communities to:

· mentor/train some fishing operations staff for wheelhouse and/or as deckhands and

· make use of MMFN Service Provider (Knowledge Network) to help implement training.

Priority for this funding will be given to:

· In-class training (e.g. Fishing Master Class IV, Marine Emergency Duties, Radiotelephone Operator, Global Positioning System, engine mechanics, navigation, etc.) for developing capacity of wheelhouse and deckhand personnel.

· At-sea mentoring/training of deckhands from communities that were not ready to participate earlier.
This work provides an opportunity to:

· Continue strengthening the fisheries workforce and

· Support implementation of the business plan through more effective harvesting operations

A well-trained work force and up-to-date and operational business plan is the best way to maximize use of existing fisheries access and to increase employment and the community's economic benefits from the industry.
Knowledge Network (Aggregate Bodies)
To act as a Service Provider to interested communities for at-sea mentoring and other in-class fisheries related training. Knowledge Network Applications from the Knowledge Network will include a letter and a statement of proposed work. Activities would include the provision of at-sea mentoring and other in-class fisheries related training. See Appendix D for more details.  
Contribution Agreements

In-class Training: Following funding approval, a contribution agreement will be negotiated and signed by the community and DFO. Subject to yearly revision, funding will be provided under the terms of this detailed multi-year contribution agreement based on needs presented in approved Fisheries Training Plans.

At-sea Mentoring: Following funding approval, a cost-shared, contribution agreement will be signed by the community and DFO. Subject to yearly revision, funding will be provided under the terms of this detailed multi-year contribution agreement based on needs presented in approved Fisheries Training Plans. The agreement will be designed to ensure that DFO funding is released simultaneously with First Nation funding. Communities may use funding from other sources, including governments, but "in kind" contributions from First Nations will not be acceptable.

Component 3 - Co-management Capacity Building

Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
To help AAROM Bodies get fishing industry information in a timely manner so they can assist their member communities to participate collectively on an equal footing with other stakeholders at fisheries advisory and other related group meetings. Eligible watershed-based Aggregate (AAROM) Bodies can apply. The AAROM Body will need to prepare a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in Component 3 of the AICFI program.

 
A Contribution Agreement can provide support for AAROM Bodies to:

· Employ a Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator to provide "eyes and ears" support for MMFN members at advisory committee and related meetings

· Travel to advisory committee and related meetings

· Organize meetings with member communities for debriefing and discussion
This work provides a mechanism for

· Supporting long-term capacity building and successful operation of First Nation commercial fishing businesses through collective action;

· Fostering First Nation participation in fisheries co-management mainly through Aggregate Bodies and also by individual communities; and

· Contributing traditional knowledge to commercial fisheries issues and new points of view to advisory groups.
Contribution Agreements

Following funding approval, a multi-year contribution agreement will be signed by the eligible watershed-based AAROM Body and DFO. Subject to yearly revision, funding will be provided under the terms of this detailed agreement based on work to be completed and related needs presented in the application.

Component 4 - Commercial Fisheries Diversification

Purpose Who can apply How to apply Activities/costs covered Benefits to Participants
To provide some limited funds to participating communities for fishing vessel and equipment improvements and other development costs

Commencing in 2009, eligible communities can apply to DFO to access the "First Nations Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunity Source.
Individual communities can apply.

NOTES:
All activities under this program must be approved by Chief and Council before the work starts.

The work will also be subject to regular reviews by both the community and DFO to make sure the approved work is being carried out as intended.

An up-to date AICFI CF Business Development Plan must be completed and an effective Fisheries Management System in operation before application can be made to Component 4 activities.
The Chief and Council will need to prepare a letter to DFO saying they want to take part in Component 4 of the AICFI program, and how the funds will be used.

The Component 4 Application Template found in Appendix B of this Guide, will need to be filled out and attached to the Chief's letter.

Attach an active AICFI CF Business Development Plan, or the equivalent, and a detailed business case in support of the funding request.

The commercial fishing enterprise must be using the Fisheries Management System or equivalent and be able to provide evidence of this.

NOTES:
Once the work is agreed, a Contribution Agreement, for signing by the Chief and DFO that sets out the requirements of work to be done will be prepared.

Contributions from other sources of funding are encouraged.

Applications will be submitted to an independent Application Review Board, to confirm both support and level of assistance.
The Contribution Agreement may provide support for communities to upgrade:

· Fishing vessel upgrades

· Fishing operations upgrades

· Commercial fisheries related on-shore facilities, upgrades

· Other needs (e.g. minor changes to round out existing access)
1. Fishing vessel modifications

Many FN fishing vessels are 10 years and older. Modifications could reflect needs associated with changes in harvesting locations, fishing methods and include advanced navigation equipment, re-engining, and testing and modifications needed to meet stability standards.

2. Fishing operations upgrades

Could include new fishing gear, sensors for monitoring data collection on fuel flow, winch loadings, hydraulics, and other equipment performance information

3. Commercial fisheries related onshore facilities

Could include minor onshore support for fishing operations, e.g. haul out, storage, ice making, offloading, and dockside transport facilities.

4. Other needs, e.g. minor changes to round out existing access

Needs vary widely from community to community. Requests will therefore vary but could include funding needed for minor adjustments to access e.g. through rounding out of existing access.
Contribution Agreements

Following Opportunity Source approval as outlined in the application process, a contribution agreement will be negotiated and signed by the community and DFO. Funding will be provided under the terms of this detailed agreement based on needs presented in the business case and the request for Opportunity Source funds.

Chapter 3: Summary of Main Steps in the AICFI Process

The following are summaries of the main steps to participation in the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative. Details of what activities can be supported, the application process, and assistance available for each of the steps are set out in separate parts of this Guide.

Main Steps in the AICFI Process for Component 1:

1 - Enterprise Governance Enhancement

Step1
DFO Team meets with community to provide an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested community should write letter to DFO saying they would like to participate. (See Chapter 2 for details)

Step 3
DFO refers the community to the Business Development Team Leader.

Step 4
The Business Development Team will meet with the designated MMFN representatives to commence engagement exercise and work towards the completion of AICFI CF Business Development Plan (this process may take numerous sessions between the Business Development Team and the MMFN).

Step 5
Projects and activities identified in the community's completed AICFI Business Development Plan, form the basis for a negotiated Contribution Agreement. Following the signing of a Contribution Agreement work can proceed in accordance with the Agreement (the Business Development Team support will remain available throughout the implementation period).

Step 6
The community reviews ongoing work and the Business Development Team notifies DFO that the work has been completed. The details of business development and related work conducted by the BDT with your community in support of the AICFI program objectives is owned by the your community and would be held in the strictest confidence by the BDT and not divulged to any other parties except at the request of the MMFN involved in writing.

Step 7
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

NOTE:

An enterprise governance structure including an AICFI CF Business Development Plan is required before some fisheries operational capacity building work (Component 2.3) and the diversification activities (Component 4) can be considered.

Main Steps in the AICFI Process for Component 2:

2.1 - AICFI CF Business Plan Development

Step 1
DFO Team meets with community to provide an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested community should write a letter to DFO saying they would like to participate. (See Chapter 2 for details)

Step 3
DFO refers the community to the Business Development Team Leader.

Step 4
The Business Development Team will meet with the designated MMFN representatives to commence engagement exercise and work towards the completion of AICFI CF Business Development Plan (this process may take numerous sessions between the Business Development Team and the MMFN).

Step 5
Chief and Council endorse completed AICFI CF Business development Plan through a Band Council Resolution. MMFN and Business Development Team notify DFO.

Step 6
The completed AICFI CF Business Development Plan forms the basis for identifying the types of eligible projects and activities to be considered for funding under AICFI as a part of a Contribution Agreement. Details of the AICFI CF Business Development Plan will be held in the strictest confidence by the BDT and not divulged to any other parties except at the request of the MMFN involved in writing.

Step 7
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

NOTE:

An AICFI CF Business Development Plan including the enterprise governance structure is required before some fisheries operational capacity building work (Component 2.3) and the diversification activities (Component 4) can be considered.

2.2 - Fisheries Management System Implementation

Step 1
DFO Team meets with community to provide an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested community should write a letter to DFO saying the community would like to participate, including a completed application (See Appendix B for application and Chapter 2 for details)

Step 3
DFO reviews the proposal and discusses details and arrangements for the work with the community. Referral of community will be made to the Knowledge Network.

Step 4
Once the work is agreed, DFO develops a Contribution Agreement for signature by the Chief and DFO. When signed, the work can begin in accordance with the Agreement.

Step 5
Work proceeds as described in the Agreement using, where applicable, the services available through the Knowledge Network (Fisheries Advisor assistance).

Step 6
The community reviews ongoing work and submits progress and final reports to DFO, as set out in the Contribution Agreement.

Step 7
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

2.3 - Implementation of the AICFI Business Development Plan

Step 1
DFO Team meets with community to provide an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested MMFN meets with the Business Development Team to outline the areas highlighted by their AICFI Business Development Plan which require attention.

Step 3
Interested community writes letter to DFO saying the community would like to participate, including a completed application (See Appendix B) and indication that they have a completed and approved AICFI CF Business Development Plan (See Section 2 for details). The Business Development Team can assist with the completion of applications.

Step 4
DFO reviews the proposal and discusses details and arrangements for the work with the community.

Step 5
Once the work is agreed, DFO develops a Contribution Agreement for signature by the Chief and DFO. When signed, the work can begin in accordance with the Agreement.

Step 6
Work proceeds as described in the Agreement using services, where applicable, available through the Knowledge Network (Business Development Team support)

Step 7
The community reviews ongoing work and submits progress and final reports to DFO, as set out in the Contribution Agreement.

Step 8
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

2.4 - In-Class and At-Sea Mentoring / Training

Step 1
DFO Team meets with community to provide an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested community should write a letter to DFO saying their community would like to participate and include a completed application form (See Appendix B) and Fisheries Training Plan. (See Chapter 2 for details.)
NOTE: In the role of Service Provider, the Knowledge Network is available to assist communities with Fisheries Training Plans as well as with specific implementation proposals.

Step 3
DFO reviews the proposal and discusses details and arrangements for the work with the community, if necessary.

Step 4
Once the work is agreed, DFO develops a Contribution Agreement for signature by the Chief and DFO. When signed, the work can begin in accordance with the Agreement.

Step 5
Work proceeds as described in the Agreement using services available through the Knowledge Network (Service Provider for At-Sea Mentoring activities)

Step 6
The community reviews ongoing work and Service Provider submits progress and final reports to DFO, as set out in the Contribution Agreement.

Step 7
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

Main Steps in the AICFI Process for Component 3:

3 - Commercial Fisheries Co-management

Step 1
DFO Team meets with eligible watershed-based Aggregate Bodies and provides an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested Aggregate Body writes a letter to DFO saying it would like to participate and includes supporting documentation as needed, depending on work proposed. (See Chapter 2 for details)

Step 3
DFO reviews the proposal and discusses details and arrangements for the work with the Interested Aggregate Body.

Step 4
Once the work is agreed, DFO develops a Contribution Agreement for signature by the Aggregate Body and DFO. When signed, the work can begin in accordance with the Agreement.

Step 5
Work proceeds as described using services of the Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator.

Step 6
The Aggregate Body reviews ongoing work and submits progress and final reports to DFO, as set out in the Contribution Agreement.

Step 7
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

Main Steps in the AICFI Process for Component 4:

4 - Commercial Fisheries Diversification

Step 1
DFO Team meets with community to provide an overview of the initiative.

Step 2
Interested community writes a letter to DFO saying they would like to participate and include a completed application form (See Appendix B), a business case supporting the work proposed, proof of an active AICFI CF Business Development Plan and an operational Fisheries Management System or equivalent. (See Chapter 2 for details)

Step 3
DFO will submit the application to an independent Application Review Board (that includes First Nation representation), together with a separate assessment, prepared by Regional DFO staff, on current status of the commercial fishing enterprise. Evaluation will be based on indicators of sound governance structures and management/ administration/ operation processes in use.

Results of the Application Review Board exercise and recommendation on support will be passed to DFO to confirm both support and the level of assistance under the Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunity Source (CFDOS).

Step 4
Once the work and level of funding are agreed, DFO develops a Contribution Agreement for signature by the Chief and DFO. When signed, the work can begin in accordance with the Agreement.

Step 5
Work proceeds as described using services available through the Knowledge Network.

Step 6
The community reviews ongoing work and submits progress and final reports to DFO, as set out in the Contribution Agreement.

Step 7
Follow-up review and evaluation is carried out by DFO.

NOTE:

An active AICFI CF Business Development Plan and an operational Fisheries Management System (or equivalent) are required before commercial fisheries diversification activities (Component 4) can be considered.

Chapter 4: Contact Information

AICFI Program Authority

Director, AICFI
Aboriginal Policy and Governance

Kevin Fram

Program Officer, AICFI
Aboriginal Policy and Governance

Gwen Martel

Program Officer, AICFI
Aboriginal Policy and Governance

Robert Mercer

General Enquiries

Quebec Region
Acting Regional Chief,
Aboriginal Fisheries Division

Michel Tremblay

Maritimes Region
Director,
Aboriginal Fisheries

Kathi Stewart

Gulf Region
Acting Director,
Aboriginal Fisheries

Janice Poirier

Appendix A: Glossary

Aggregate Body: a formal group which represents some or all of the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nations (MMFNs) communities in the Gaspé region of Québec, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia affected by the Supreme Court of Canada Marshall Decision in relation to any of the following commercial fisheries related issues: business development, fisheries co-management and harvesting training. Examples include: MMFN AAROM groups and the MMFN Fisheries Knowledge Network.

AICFI Commercial Fisheries (CF) Business Development Plan: Such a plan is critical to the work undertaken through AICFI. A template outlining the minimum requirements for a plan is provided in Appendix C.

Aboriginal Aquatic Resources and Ocean Management (AAROM) Body: Watershed-based management structure that develops technical expertise from within the Aboriginal community.

Business Development Team: The team will provide support and advice to participating communities in relation to AICFI CF Business Development Plan preparation (including enterprise governance, business management, administration, and operational practices and procedures, long-term planning, human resource and fisheries training plan, etc.) and help with implementation of the business development plan.

Co-management: When referenced in the AICFI program, "co-management" refers to participation in all aspects of the integrated commercial fisheries by MMFNs (fishermen, their commercial fishing enterprises and community fisheries stakeholders) to that is currently afforded to their non-native counterparts.

This term is not to be confused with the FN third-party financial "co-management" of Bands, which refers to the operation of community financial affairs by an external financial institution.

Commercial Fisheries Development Opportunity Source (CFDOS): This provides funds for some MMFN fisheries diversification and development through upgrading of harvesting equipment, vessels and other needs. Requests for this funding are made under Component 4 and must be accompanied by a business case, and proof of an active AICFI CF Business Development Plan and an operational Fisheries Management System. DFO will arrange for an independent review of submissions prior to entering into discussions and possible contribution agreements.

Commercial Fisheries Liaison Coordinator: The person hired by an eligible watershed-based Aggregate (AAROM) Body to act as "eyes and ears" for member communities at Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP) meetings and other fisheries management committees and boards. This person's primary focus will be to attend these co-management meetings and provide debriefing to member communities of the Aggregate (AAROM) Body

Enterprise Governance Structure: This structure defines the relationship between the commercial fisheries enterprise senior MMFN Band leadership, MMFN Band members employed by the Commercial Fishing Enterprise (CFE) as well as other Band members and outside stakeholders. A long-term vision for the Bands commercial fishery articulated along with processes for sharing/reinvesting CFE revenue.

Enterprise Management Structure: Sets out the leadership and management positions in a commercial fisheries enterprise, the roles and responsibilities for each of these positions, and how the fisheries assets are operated (this includes such things as operating policies and procedures, human resource policies, etc.).

Fisheries Advisor: a resource person from the Knowledge Network to assist/mentor on the electronic Fisheries Management System/Fisheries Management at the request of interested MMFNs.

Fisheries Management System (FMS): A software tool, developed by MMFNs to assist in planning and reporting in the management of their commercial fishing enterprise.

MMFN: Refers to Mi'kmaq and Maliseet First Nation in the Maritime Provinces and Gaspé Region of Québec.

Project: Activities described in the schedules set out in the contribution agreements

Project Descriptions: A statement of the activities described in the schedules in contribution agreement

Training Plan: Identifies strategies to maximize participation of MMFN fishers in specific fisheries, improve harvesting performance and maximize benefits accruing to the First Nation.

Technical Advisory Committee (TAC): The TAC, comprising people with administration and technical expertise in fisheries training, will review proposals for deployment of mentors associated with the At-Sea Mentoring Initiative.

Appendix B: AICFI Program Application Templates

Application Template for Component 2.2 (CONFIDENTIAL)

Request for Assistance with Fisheries Management System Implementation

Community Name:

Commercial Fishing Enterprise Name:

Mailing Address: (Street name and number, P.O. Box, community name, province and postal code)

Contact Information (name of main contact, phone, fax and e-mail address):

Lead Facilitator for the Work if different from the main contact (name and contact information):

Date of Application:

Full work plan and schedule, and breakdown of estimated costs are attached? Yes No
Supporting letter signed by the Chief is attached? Yes No

Summarize the work proposed and provide an estimate of total costs below:

Summary of work proposed:

Estimate of Total costs:

Application Template for Component 2.3 (CONFIDENTIAL)

Request for Assistance with AICFI Business Development Plan Implementation

Community Name:

Commercial Fishing Enterprise Name:

Mailing Address: (Street name and number, P.O. Box, community name, province and postal code)

Contact Information (name of main contact, phone, fax and e-mail address):

Lead Facilitator for the Work if different from the main contact (name and contact information):

Date of Application:

Full work plan, schedule and breakdown of estimated costs are attached? Yes No
Has an AICFI CF Business Development Plan been completed? Yes No
Supporting letter signed by the Chief is attached? Yes No

Summarize the work proposed and give an estimate of total costs:

Summary of work proposed:

Estimate of Total costs:

Application Template for Component 2.4 (CONFIDENTIAL)

Request for Assistance with Operational Staff Development

Community Name:

Commercial Fishing Enterprise Name:

Mailing Address: (Street name and number, P.O. Box, community name, province and postal code)

Contact Information (name of main contact, phone, fax and e-mail address):

Lead Facilitator for the Work if different from the main contact (name and contact information):

Date of Application:

Fisheries Training Plan is attached? Yes No
Supporting letter signed by the Chief is attached? Yes No

Summarize the work proposed and give an estimate of total costs:

Summary of work proposed:

Estimate of Total costs:

Application Template for Component 4 (CONFIDENTIAL)

Request for Assistance with Commercial Fisheries Enterprise Diversification

Community Name:

Commercial Fishing Enterprise Name:

Mailing Address: (Street name and number, P.O. Box, community name, province and postal code)

Contact Information (name of main contact, phone, fax and e-mail address):

Lead Facilitator for the Work if different from the main contact (name and contact information):

Date of application:

Full work plan and schedule, and breakdown of estimated costs are attached? Yes No
An AICFI CF Business Development Plan is in active use? Yes No
Fisheries Management System (or equivalent) is in use? Yes No
Business case (following up on long-term business development
objectives of the plan) is attached?
Yes No
Supporting letter signed by the Chief is attached. Yes No

Summarize the work proposed and give an estimate of total costs:

Summary of work proposed:

Estimate of Total costs:

Appendix C: AICFI CF Business Development Plan Template

AICFI CF Business Development Plan Template

COMPANY NAME

AICFI CF Business Development Plan

Date

Contact information:
Name
Company Name
Street address
City, Province, Postal Code
Phone, Fax
E-Mail, Web-site (if any)

Executive Summary:

This section provides a concise description of your product or service and should be no more than two pages. It is easier to write this section after the main business plan is completed.

1. Company Information

  1. Business Name:
  2. Address:
  3. Phone:
  4. Contact Person:
  5. Business Structure: Corporation - Co-operative - Other
  6. Banking Information:
    Bank:
    Address:
    Phone:
    Contact:
    Fax:
    Title:
  7. Original Start Date / Anticipated Start Date:
    If existing, when did the enterprise start operations? If new, when do you want to start this business or this expansion?
  8. Business concept:
    Your reader needs a clear description of what exactly your product and/or services are. Use layman terms and outline the background of the business.
  9. Business operations (facilities, equipment, etc.)
    Briefly describe how you intend to operate? Where are the main office and home ports located? Provide some details about the facility itself, the equipment, etc.
    Then in one sentence summarize your communal fisheries business goals over the next three years.
  10. Number of employees:
    Summarize your operational staff and indicate new staff needs and turnover rates. Say what specific qualifications are required for which staff, Note also which employee is invaluable to operations. Such employees must have a management contract or some alternative arrangement. These contracts and the staff's résumé's should be included into the attachments to your plan.
  11. Management team background and experiences:
    Summarize your management staff. Describe who is involved in management along with a description of the roles and responsibilities.
  12. Enterprise Governance Structure:
    Summarize how your business is governed. Describe the policies and procedures that apply and guide the commercial fishing enterprise management team. This information is a required part of the AICFI Business Development Plan.
  13. Market Niche:
    What is unique or special about your products or what market advantage your business has? This is where your response will demonstrate your market or industry knowledge.
  14. Customer Base:
    It is vital to know who your client is in both the planning and the operating of a business. Describe them thoroughly to help you plan, and also to demonstrate that you know your customer(s).
  15. Why do you think your business will succeed?
    This is the time to be immodest, a difficult task even for the most assured business person. This is your closing statement to most readers and you must summarize all the reasons why this business is viable and will be sustainable.

2. Current (2006) Financial Summary of This Operation

Summarize your current operating costs and revenues.

Item (Cost) / Revenue
Salaries (e.g. staff, captains, crews, maintenance personnel) ($
Harvesting Operations Expenses (e.g. fuel, insurance, supplies) ($
Vessel and gear maintenance, repair, storage, upgrades, replacements ($
2006 Total Expenses ($
Sale of Fish/Seafood Landings  $
Other income  $
2006 Total Revenues  $
2006 Total Profit (Loss)  $
  1. Expected income from the next/first three years of operations:
    Arriving at how much you expect to make from sales is best done combining market based, industry based and demand based pricing. In other words what is reasonable to charge and what are your competitors charging? Once you have answered these questions you can set out your cash flow, which will determine your final revenues per year. Sales increases per year should be 10%, and not exceed 15-20%.
2007 2008 2009
$ $ $
Table of Contents
    Page
Section A Business Plan:  
  Business Description  
  Business and Industry Market Analysis  
  Enterprise Governance Structure  
  Operational Plan  
  Organizational Plan: Management and Staffing  
  Marketing Plan & Competition  
  Business Feasibility & SWOT Analysis  
Section B Financial Projections:  
  12 month cash flow projections  
  3 year cash flow projections  
  3 year projected income statement and balance sheet  
Section C Supporting Documents:  

Samples of Supporting Documents that should be included are:

  1. Resumes of the persons identified as ownership or management of the company
  2. Copy of the Articles or Certificates of Incorporation
  3. List of Fishing Licences with fishing areas, quotas, seasons and any other restrictions
  4. Information of physical assets (vessels, etc.) including photos
  5. Written quotes for any proposed additional equipment, renovations, etc.
  6. Copy of the land or building lease agreement
  7. Evidence of equity
  8. Insurance statements
  9. Evidence of vessel maintenance and lay-up arrangements for previous years
  10. Financial statements for previous three years
  11. Copy of maps of the area, including location of main office and home ports
  12. Floor plan of and shore-based facilities owned/operated by the enterprise
  13. Supporting references, testimonial letters, etc.
  14. Training Plans
  15. Sample Data Collection Sheet

Section A: Business Plan

1) Business Description

a. Type of fisheries business: e.g. harvesting, harvesting and processing, retail, etc.

b. Business Structure:

Corporation
Co-operative
Other _________________

c. Ownership

Name
1._(Band Name):
2.________________
Percentage of Aboriginal ownership:

% ownership
__ 100 ____%
__________%
__________%

  1. Products or services the business will provide:
    Give details of species fished (and projected*), harvesting/product level, quality of product, optimal use of all profitable licences, and how consistency of supply is achieved. Use pictures and the charts to explain your products/services. A good explanation should educate anyone reading this and also proves to possible future funders that you know your business. (* existing licences not yet in use)
  2. Business logo:
    Provide a sample of the company logo or the band logo.
  3. Mission Statement:
    A mission statement is a concise statement defining what the Company is all about. It must have meaning for the present and also define the focus of the business for years to come. Some ideas that might be useful for a fish harvesting business would be:
    "To achieve sustainable harvesting in harmony with local/regional ecology"
    "To achieve sustainable returns and necessary reinvestment to provide long-term growth and capacity building for the community in harmony with the surrounding environment"
    "To provide consistent financial and employment support to the community (the shareholders) for the present and the future"

2) Business and Industry Market Analysis

  1. Industry Sector:
    Resource
    Other
  2. A history of the industry:
    A history of the fishing industry in your region (both within your community and outside) is relevant to understanding the business and of the market where you are going to operate your business. Fish and seafood are very different/special natural resources that require particular care. Detail the big picture. List the important economic factors that will affect your product, for example, the value of fish in modern diets, world shortages of fish, and the overall rising prices for seafood products. Consider things such as country growth, industry health, economic trends, rising prices, etc. Indicate current industry conditions and trends. Why are the current market distributions the way they are? What has your competition done to achieve their market share? Are there any legal factors that will affect your market? Can fish product cost/supply fluctuations be used as opportunities to broaden market share?

    Where available, provide research that supports your determination that there is a market and a need for your product. List the trade associations that service your industry. If you are planning a business expansion, use material supplied by these organizations to support statements and assumptions you are making as to why such an expansion is needed.
  3. Direct and Indirect Competition:
    Know your competition. There are two types of competition, direct and indirect. Those that provide the same product, at the same price, to the same client are direct. Those that provide similar products in differing markets or at a different price point are your indirect competitors.

    Outline the Direct Competitors first, followed by an overview of the indirect competitors.

List as much detail for each major competitor, direct and indirect, as you can, for example:

  • Company Name
  • Address
  • Years in Business
  • Market Share
  • Price/Strategy
  • Product
  • Advantages/Disadvantages

Explain how competitive relationships can be turned into co-operative arrangements (e.g. with other FN communities or non-native groups to reduce expenses), strategic partnershIPS (e.g. as part of an AAROM/aggregate body), buyouts and acquisitions (e.g. vessels), etc. in the future.

3) Enterprise Governance Structure

An Enterprise Governance Structure includes written policies and principles that apply and guide the commercial fisheries enterprise management team. This information is a required part of the AICFI Business Development Plan. Where such policies and procedures have not been written down, broad community discussions may be required. Assistance with preparing a written enterprise governance structure is available from the Knowledge Network (Business Development Team).

4) Operational Plan

  1. Location & Description of Business Assets and Staff:
    1. On-shore Facilities:
      Where are the main office and other onshore facilities located? Describe the location, ownership details (own or lease), advantages or disadvantages, cost and proposed improvements. Include maps of the area, region and highlight access roads if they benefit operations. Include floor plans, pictures any anything else that would help paint the picture. (See also Attachment 12)
    2. Vessels, Fishing Gear and Licences:
      List the fishing licences (and their quotas, timing, fishing areas and other restrictions) held by the community, fishing vessels (year built, type, length, gross tonnage, construction material) and gear belonging to the enterprise as well as fishing ports used by each vessel. Use maps to indicate geographical areas/distances involved and photos of vessels and gear to help readers visualize number and size of business assets and total area over which these assets are deployed and managed. (See Attachments 2 and 3 for complete details)
    3. On-shore management, administration and other support staff:
      List all staff employed to run your business and give their titles and responsibilities. These should include not only your fisheries coordinator but also other full-time or part-time staff, for example bookkeeper/ financial manager, maintenance personnel, marketing people, etc. (See also Attachment 1)
    4. Captains and crew members:
      List all captains and crew members that operate each of the vessels, listing their qualifications and experience and what their job is.
       
  2. Data Collection and Use for Management
    Monitoring of fishing and business performance is crucial to the effective and optimal operations of all fishing and directly related activities. The existing or proposed use of data collection spreadsheets and other data logging methods should be clearly stated. Attach sample data collection sheets to your business plan.

    The method of making sure that the critical and routine activities required in the operation are carried out at the correct time and in the correct way should be described. The AICFI Business Development Plan, as required for participation in some parts of the program, specifically calls for adoption of the Fisheries Management System (FMS), available through the Knowledge Network) or an equivalent computer-based or manual data management system. The arrangements and detailed plans for training staff and implementation of such a system should be noted.

     
  3. Harvesting Plan and Fishing Strategies:
    Harvesting Plans should be mostly market driven. Businesses usually plan when to harvest their quotas based on when prices are best for each species. This timing does not always coincide with when each species is most abundant and most easily caught. Your harvesting plan should describe how your business does the work required to supply its customers (e.g. fish buyers/processing plants) giving the fishing strategy for each vessel and licence, persons responsible, on-shore catch handling procedures, space requirements, inventory requirements, and distribution methods.

    Fishing Strategies outline how you plan to use each vessel to carry out your harvesting plans. These strategies must be developed in discussion with each vessel's captain and include such items as: what species is to be fished and when, exact geographical location within fishing grounds to be fished on each trip, depth of water to be fished, choice of seabed most suitable to gear being used, selection of gear to be used to target most valuable segment of species fished, which bait to use, length of fishing trip, duration of active fishing effort, time of day when active fishing is to be carried out, handling and holding of catch onboard, etc.

    Use graphs, pictures, or anything else that helps convey your production and distribution methods. Some photos of vessels during typical fishing activities (e.g. preparing the vessel before departure, going to the fishing grounds, harvesting catch, off-loading at dockside, chilling/storing catch, and delivering catch to buyer) will help readers understand your business.
     
  4. Annual Work Plan:
    Because seafood harvesting is often mainly seasonal, your business needs an annual work plan to get from one fishing season to the next in the most business-like way (i.e. cost effective over the long-term). Start by listing the year's goals by month or by quarter and give steps you will undertake to accomplish this. Include a breakdown of the specific work plans needed to achieve these goals, for example:
    1. Integrated harvesting plan and fishing strategies so that the available quota can be harvested in the most economical and efficient way and at times most likely to bring you the best market prices but also so that harvesting remains in harmony with general habitat and ecological conditions to ensure sustainability (details in Section 3.b above).
    2. A quality control plan so that the catches will be in excellent condition at market and bring the best price available
    3. A marketing plan and strategy that will help you develop markets for your products and get the best prices in established markets (reference details in Section 7 below).
    4. A human resource/personnel development plan so that, between fishing seasons, crew (existing and new) are continually being trained and upgraded and all on-shore staff are given opportunities for professional development that will benefit your existing/growing business operations.(See Attachment 14 for Training Plans)
    5. Maintenance, repair and upgrade plans for all your businesses physical assets, especially vessels and gear. Vessels are subject to a lot of stress and can be damaged during fishing operations. Vessels and fishing gear (depending on construction, size, materials, and maintenance) also get old and need to be replaced (approximately every 15 years for vessels and every 5 years for gear), meanwhile they also need to be maintained, repaired and upgraded regularly. These activities can be very expensive and some of the profit from sales must be put aside ahead of time to cover these costs. Poorly maintained and outdated/inefficient gear and vessels will have a very negative effect on sustainability of fishing operations over time.

      For each of the plans/strategies, include timetables for tasks to be done and checkpoints you will use to measure results (i.e. condition of vessels and gear, staff professional development, market information collected, quantity and quality of product, and overall productivity levels).
       
  5. Major Suppliers
    Supplier for: Contact Information Products Terms
    Fuel      
    Ice      
    Bait      
    Fish boxes      
    Food for onboard      
    Vessel maintenance, servicing, repairs, and lay-up      
    Services for catch landing, holding, and transport      
    Other      
  6. Licences, Permits, and Insurance
    In addition to fishing licences, what other licences, permits, or types of insurance are required to operate this business? What steps in achieving proper licensing have been undertaken? Provide proof of licensing established in the attachments to this document. For example,
    1. Vessel licences and insurance
    2. Captain and crew insurance
    3. Captain /crew qualifications required (FM IV, MED, Radio Operator Certificate)

4) Organizational Plan: Management and Staffing

Management of any business can play a large role in the company's success or failure. Give information that demonstrates how your management procedures make the business successful at present and for the future, for example, outline roles and responsibilities of managers and senior staff, show reporting structure/procedures/schedules, outline company financial procedures, indicate how major decisions are made, and show how long-term (3 years minimum) goals/objectives are set, reviewed and updated annually. For manager(s), fisheries coordinator(s) and other senior staff, provide details of qualifications/experience, attach resumes and certificates of qualification, and note any training or upgrading completed.

5) The Marketing Plan & Competition

  1. Overall market:
    This is one of the most important pieces of information to include in your business plan. List it as thoroughly as possible. You must know your market in the planning stage and while harvesting is ongoing. Is your market increasing/ decreasing/ stable? The information you include in this section will help with planning as well as prove that you possess the industry knowledge necessary to undertake this project should you need a loan to expand the business.
  2. The Target Customers
    Because of the special nature of fish and their handling/holding requirements, there are serious limitations on the numbers of immediate customers for fishing enterprises. Your company can either sell catches to fish buyers in the area or work towards direct sales to wider markets. Define and describe the local fish buyers and/or other customer groups within the geographical range of your business. Socio-economic factors and client interest are important considerations. Provide whatever demographic and statistical information is available on potential customers in your area.
  3. Marketing Strategy
    What is your Market Approach? Describe how your business plans to continue to build a customer base, e.g. by getting out the word that you are a reliable source of certain species and sizes of fish catches during specific fishing seasons, and have consistent and good (fresh) quality products.
  4. Pricing Strategy and Target Sales
    Describe your strategy for getting the best returns for catches. It may be possible to get better returns as part of an aggregate body that would collectively represent a larger fishery and longer/year-round fishing season. Note any volume discounts, seasonal variations, turnover rates, and inventory control methods used. Detail your revenue for each month/ season/ year. Use these numbers to outline your anticipated annual sales for three years of operation. Keep in mind that these numbers should be very conservative with annual increases not exceed 15-20%. Higher rates of increases are generally considered too optimistic and will negatively affect the rest of your plan.

    Are your prices in line with the industry and what your customers will pay? What are your sales/credit terms? Avoid slipping into any debt with buyers which will put you at a disadvantage and result in lower prices for your catches and long-term commitments of more benefit to the buyer.

6) Risk Assessment and Response Planning

  1. S.W.O.T. (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) Analysis.
    Look carefully at your management, operations, and marketing for the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in each, then consider how to take advantage of the strengths and opportunities and avoid or minimize weaknesses and threats (see example of SWOT analysis below). Also, compare your strengths and weaknesses to your competition. Consider the effect of such things as location, size of resources, reputation, services, personnel, etc.

A Sample SWOT analysis follows:

Strengths

  1. Alliance with major buyers
  2. Quality Products
  3. Skilled and committed captains and crew
  4. High margins on sale of lobster and crab
  5. Outsourcing of labour and vessels to fill gaps
  6. Existing operation so that new set-up costs are low

Capitalize on Strengths

  1. Market entry and to gain market knowledge
  2. Favourable buyer/consumer perception
  3. Team has skills and experience in a variety of areas; ready to fish other species and gear types
  4. Ability to make a profit even on volume sales
  5. Reduces costs
  6. Reduces additional investment risk and exposure

Weaknesses

  1. Reliance on one customer/buyer
  2. Exposure to fluctuating operational costs
  3. Management team has not worked together for long period
  4. Board not yet finalized
  5. Sales/market strategy not yet in place
  6. Limited experience with non-traditional markets

Address Weaknesses

  1. Commit to expand customer base
  2. Provide flexibility through contingency funds
  3. Corporate governance structures in place
  4. Positions to be offered to respected FN leaders
  5. Board members with expertise and good contacts with potential buyers
  6. Addressed by introductions through Board's action plan to improve/ implement links to new markets

Opportunities

  1. Expanding market
  2. Increasing awareness of value of fish products
  3. Scope for innovation in existing market
  4. Cooperation with other FNs in bulk purchase arrangements
  5. Timing of production/harvesting

Maximize Opportunities

  1. Build on customer base
  2. Contribute to efforts of advertising the dietary and other benefits of fish/shellfish products
  3. Commitment to innovation (selective harvesting, handling/holding)
  4. Lower operating costs
  5. Higher returns for catches

Threats

  1. Major resource failure
  2. Major product value downturn
  3. Labour shortage
  4. Unanticipated major capital asset replacement

Minimize Threats

  1. Diversified operations
  2. Diversified operations and careful timing of harvests
  3. Expand recruitment and training in home community; work collectively with other FNs/aggregate bodies
  4. Adequate insurance and contingency funding
  1. Risk Events and Responses
    Dealing with risk is a key component of business success and creating a contingency plan to manage risk will increase your long-term success. SWOT analysis is a good way to anticipate and assess business risks and prepare responses in advance. Keeping a record of major risk events in your company's operations and how the company responded can also be very helpful. For example, list the effects and your responses to critical external factors (economic, regulatory, shifts in consumer demand), list the effects and your responses to critical internal factors (loss of key management or staff, vessel problems, bad weather, scarce resources, drop in sales and/or price of fish). When recorded, this information becomes part of your corporate history and can be very helpful in finding solutions when similar problems are anticipated/encountered in future.
  2. Viability and Long Range Plans:
    Summarize why/how the business can be sustainable over the longer term? How successful can your products be? What is your long-term view of your existing market and any potential markets? List all the reasons why this business will continue to work and be of benefit to your entire community (the shareholders).

    These are your final words in your document, make them lasting.

Section B: Financial Projections

The business plan will require the following financial projections:

  • 12 month cash flow projections
  • 3 year cash flow projections
  • 3 year projected income statements and balance sheets
  • Notes to financial statements or assumptions

Section C: Supporting Documents

Samples of Supporting Documents that should be included are:

  1. Resumes of the persons identified as ownership or management of the company
  2. Copy of the Articles or Certificates of Incorporation
  3. List of Fishing Licences with fishing areas, quotas, seasons and any other restrictions
  4. Information of physical assets (vessels, etc.) including photos
  5. Written quotes for any proposed additional equipment, renovations, etc.
  6. Copy of the land or building lease agreement
  7. Evidence of equity
  8. Insurance statements
  9. Evidence of vessel maintenance and lay-up arrangements for previous years
  10. Financial statements for previous three years
  11. Copy of maps of the area, including location of main office and home ports
  12. Floor plan of and shore-based facilities owned/operated by the enterprise
  13. Supporting references, testimonial letters, etc.
  14. Training Plans
  15. Sample Data Collection Sheet

Business Plan Reference Material

There is a lot of useful business planning information available online. These websites have some good business plans, planning tools and relevant documentation.

Business information, interactive business planning tools, financial planning:

Canada Business Network

Business Plan Templace

Preparing Business Plan

Sample Business Plans

While no sample business plans for commercial fishing enterprises were found, there are many other sample business plans available for a range of businesses from provision of services (e.g. truck stops) to manufacturing and international marketing. Some of these can be found at:

Free Sample Business Plans

Center for Business Planning

Sample business plans for resource-based/agricultural enterprises are rare. The following two relate to bee keeping and are rather small-scale but may be of interest. In any case, the components of these two business plans are in line with those for more complex enterprises.

Ministry of Agriculture - Business Planning Guides

Canadian Honey Council

Appendix D: Service Provider Responsibilities

A service provider (Knowledge Network) will manage the process in the field through coordination, monitoring, evaluation, and reporting on all deployment activities.

The service provider (Knowledge Network) will report to First Nations and DFO.

Activities to be carried out by the service provider (Knowledge Network) will include:

  • Maintenance of Mentor Pool
    • Make arrangements for the maintenance of mentor pool to cover attrition and provide upgrading as required; and
    • Arrange for delivery of the existing First Nation mentor training certification program for training deckhands and potential captains.
  • Development of Fisheries Training Plans
    • Help with development of community fisheries training plans, where necessary, and AICFI applications for Component 2.4 assistance.
  • At-Sea Mentor Deployment
    • When there is a signed contribution agreement with the community, communicate with them on mentoring to be delivered, mentors to be used and schedule of delivery;
    • Ensure the mentor assesses individual trainees to evaluate skill level at the onset to establish duration of training and to evaluate skill level on completion of their training under the initiative;
    • Work directly with each First Nation to develop a mentor deployment schedule in accordance with the First Nation's approved multi-year training plan; and
    • Collect initial, progress and final reports from mentors for each mentoring activity and submit reports, using the format established under the AICFI program, on each activity to DFO. Such reports can trigger contribution agreement payments to participating communities.
  • In-Class Training
    • Link participating communities with eligible training institution(s) delivering standard fisheries, navigation and safety courses (for example, Fishing Master Class IV, Marine Emergency Duties, Radiotelephone Operator, Global Positioning System, navigation, engine maintenance and repair, etc.) to be delivered by qualified training institution; and
    • Monitor progress and final outcomes of each training activity and submit reports to DFO.

The external Technical Advisory Committee, reporting directly to DFO, will provide technical assistance to the service provider as required.

The Chief and Council of each First Nation must approve the proposed training schedule, including the employment of specific individuals as mentors once the service provider(s) have made their recommendations.