Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program
Canada is well known for its recreational fisheries. Fishing has historically been one of the country's popular leisure activities for both Canadians and visitors alike. Every year, anglers from all around the world come to visit and participate in recreational fishing activities across Canada. The important socio-economic contributions of recreational fishing are felt in all of Canada's provinces and territories, particularly in some of the more remote areas of the country.
While Fisheries and Oceans Canada has a regulatory regime in place to mitigate threats to recreational fisheries, historical impacts have left these fisheries compromised and in need of improvement in many areas. Over the years, recreational fisheries have consistently faced multiple and interacting threats, including pollution, invasive species and habitat loss and degradation. Of these, the issue of habitat loss is the most commonly identified threat to freshwater fish, the target of most of Canada’s recreational fishing activities. Common forms of habitat loss include habitat degradation and erosion, barriers to fish migration and water flow alterations.
There is, however, potential to address these historical impacts through restorative action and partnerships. With government, recreational fishing and angling groups and others in the fisheries conservation field working together toward common goals, tangible progress can be made. At the local and community level, these groups possess important knowledge that can be used to help improve recreational fisheries across Canada.
To this end, legislative amendments to the Fisheries Act were recently put in place to strengthen cooperation with third parties in areas of common interest. These changes now allow the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to enter into agreements with third parties to undertake activities to restore fisheries habitat.
The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program forms a key component of the Government of Canada’s conservation agenda as outlined in Budget 2013 and aligns with the Government’s commitment to better protect Canada’s fisheries as reflected in the recent changes to the Fisheries Act.
The program aims to bring like-minded partners and their resources together with the common long‑term goal of enhancing the sustainability and ongoing productivity of Canada’s recreational fisheries. This goal would be achieved through the following program objective:
- Restore, rebuild and rehabilitate recreational fisheries habitat.
It also supports a key priority identified in Economic Action Plan 2013, namely, promoting a clean and sustainable environment.
The application period for the second year (2014-2015) of the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program is now open and will close on December 18, 2013.
Please click on the links below to download the Application Guidelines and Application Form. The Application Form must be completed as per the Application Guidelines, which also include information regarding program eligibility and requirements, as well as how proposals will be evaluated.
Following the application deadline, each proposal will be screened for eligibility and completeness. Those that pass the screening will be evaluated against national criteria, including the expected longevity of project results; clarity, thoroughness and soundness of the proposed work plan and budget; number of partners; evidence of leveraging; and expected performance results.
***Completed Application Forms and supporting documents must be sent to your respective regional office by 23:59 (local time) on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.***
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why does the program target recreational fishing/angling groups, as well as conservation organizations?
A. Canada has approximately 4 million anglers and recreational fisheries contributed $8.3 billion to the Canadian economy in 2010. Many of these groups and organizations are well placed to deliver enhancement and restoration projects that help support the ongoing productivity and sustainability of recreational fisheries in order to support this important economic activity.
Q. Are Aboriginal groups or commercial fisheries groups eligible for funding?
A. Aboriginal groups that are angling and/or conservation organizations are eligible for funding. In addition, Aboriginal groups could partner on a project and/or contribute to project delivery. Commercial fisheries groups are not eligible for funding but could be a partner in a project and/or contribute to project delivery.
Q. Are First Nations eligible for funding?
A. First Nations are not eligible for funding as they are neither recreational fishing/angling groups nor conservation organizations.
Q. Are projects that target marine recreational fisheries habitat eligible?
A.Yes, projects that target marine or freshwater recreational fisheries habitat are eligible for funding.
Q. Alien invasive species can have detrimental effects on the habitat of recreational fisheries. While “fish-outs” are not within the scope of the program, are projects that insulate/protect recreational fisheries habitat from alien invasive species eligible?
A. No, projects that insulate/protect recreational fisheries habitat from alien invasive species are not eligible as those projects do not align with the program objective, which is to restore, rebuild and rehabilitate recreational fisheries habitat.
Q. Do provinces have similar programs?
A. Yes, some provinces do have similar programs aimed at anglers in their respective jurisdictions. The program allows for leveraging of provincial funding, as well as partnering with provincial agencies, in order to allow project recipients to undertake effective restoration projects.
Q. What is the role of industry in the program?
A. Industry will be able to provide support (cash and in-kind) to project proponents.
Q. What kind of projects will the program fund?
A. The Program will fund projects that restore recreational fisheries habitat. Examples include removing barriers to fish passage (e.g., small dams, culverts) and restoring shorelines and/or streams.
Q. Is the purchase of land eligible under the program?
A.No, purchasing or otherwise securing land not eligible for funding.
Q. I submitted my application form and supporting documents by e-mail and received an automatic reply saying that my e-mail has exceeded a maximum limit. What does this mean?
A.A single e-mail cannot exceed approximately 13 MB in size. If this limit is exceeded, submit application information in multiple e-mails, each e-mail not exceeding the 13 MB size limit.
Q. Will projects that yield ongoing/year after year contribution to fisheries productivity be favoured over projects whose benefits expire in the short-term?
A. Yes, preference will be given to projects that result in on-going, sustainable results.
Q. Will proponents need to finance the entire project and wait for reimbursement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada?
A. No, as soon as funding decisions have been made and a contribution agreement signed between a proponent and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, payments can start flowing, as described in the contribution agreement.
Q. What tangible benefits will projects provide to fisheries?
A. By restoring compromised recreational fisheries habitat, these projects will help support more productive and sustainable fisheries and by extension, increased fishing opportunities.
Q. How will program success be measured?
A. The program seeks to improve recreational fisheries habitat and promote investments in recreational fisheries habitat restoration. Program success will be measured through indicators such as total funding allocated to restoration (from all sources, such as federal, provincial, industry and project proponents), leveraging ratios, square metres/kilometers of habitat restored and number of partners involved in restoration activities.
Questions can be submitted to your respective regional contact below.
Pacific Region (British Columbia and the Yukon)
Central and Arctic Region (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Northwest Territories and Nunavut)
Gulf Region (New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island)
Maritimes Region (Nova Scotia)
Newfoundland and Labrador Region
For information related to the Fisheries Protection Program please visit the Projects Near Water home page.
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