2017-2020 Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy
Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard

Published by:
Strategic Policy
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0E6

DFO/2017-1999
Cat. No. Fs1-85E-PDF
ISSN 2561-3367

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada 2017

Section 1: Introduction

The 2016-19 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development goals and targets, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the objectives of the Act to integrate environmental, social and economic considerations into decision-making, and make such decisions more transparent and accountable to Parliament, DFO/CCG support reaching goals laid out in the FSDS through the activities described in this Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy (DSDS).

Section 2: Sustainable Development in Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO/CCG)

FSDS Goal: Low Carbon Government

DFO/CCG is committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our own operations and taking action on climate change. The Department will continue to work with the Centre for Greening Government at the Treasury Board Secretariat as they release government-wide direction related to the Low Carbon Government goal. DFO has already incorporated energy management considerations into departmental real property decision-making and daily operations and will continue to do so moving forward. Additionally, through the Federal Infrastructure Initiative, the Department is investing in a number of clean energy and efficiency upgrade projects, which will support the transition to a low carbon government.

FSDS Goal: Effective action on climate change

The Department is working closely with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and other partners to increase our understanding of climate change impacts and to advance a long-term climate strategy for Canada. This includes conducting scientific research and monitoring activities that inform decisions related to fisheries management, species conservation, and marine safety. For example, scientists are improving our ability to predict changing ocean conditions, increasing our understanding of the biological impacts of ocean acidification on marine species and environments, and determining the vulnerability of commercial fish species and their prey to climate change impacts.

FSDS Goal: Healthy coasts and oceans

DFO/CCG is committed to protecting Canada’s coasts and oceans by leading the efforts, with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada, to achieve the Government of Canada’s commitment to protect marine and coastal areas to 5% by 2017, and 10% by 2020.

Work is also moving forward on continued implementation and development of the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF) policies for an ecosystem approach to fisheries management. Implementation of the SFF policies will help ensure that all major fish and invertebrate stocks are managed and harvested sustainably, legally, and applying ecosystem-based approaches.

In partnership with Transport Canada (TC), Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), and ECCC, DFO/CCG will be involved in initiatives under the Ocean Protection Plan (OPP) including:

FSDS Goal: Pristine lakes and rivers

DFO/CCG provides support to the International Institute for Sustainable Development Experimental Lakes Area to conduct scientific research that will help us better understand freshwater ecosystems. DFO/CCG will also continue to conduct scientific research and monitoring activities in freshwater environments, with a focus on the Lake Winnipeg Basin and the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin.

FSDS Goal: Healthy wildlife population

The Species at Risk Act (SARA) is key federal government legislation. DFO/CCG, in cooperation with Parks Canada, supports the protection and recovery of listed aquatic species in Canada and their critical habitats and residences with the ultimate goal of preventing the extirpation or extinction of aquatic species. The Department provides scientific information and advice on species status reports produced by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) to help inform the risk status of aquatic species. The Species at Risk program is informed by sound scientific research and Indigenous and community knowledge and takes into account socio-economic and stakeholder considerations, in support of activities in the species at risk conservation cycle.

DFO/CCG also contributes to: the ECCC-led General Status of Species in Canada measure of species assessed as secure or at-risk which provides a measure of potential extinction risk and an indicator of the overall state of biodiversity in Canada; and, to the ECCC-led Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators Species at Risk Population Trends which assesses recovery trends of listed species.

FSDS Goal: Sustainable food

Aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector and now provides 50 percent of all fish for human consumption in the world. Canadian aquaculture represents around 15 percent of fish production in the country and close to 30 percent in value. In the coming decade, a shortfall in fish and seafood is projected, which can be met by increased aquaculture production. DFO/CCG contributes to the goal of sustainable food by supporting sustainable aquaculture production through aquaculture-science research, science-based decision making, and improved regulations.

DFO also conducts scientific research to increase knowledge of effects from agriculture and aquaculture on the environment. This research can assist in maintaining ecosystem health.

FSDS Goal: Safe and healthy communities

DFO/CCG is working to implement contaminated sites management and is committed to complete remediation and risk management activities for all priority contaminated sites on the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory. The Department is working to identify and remediate all contaminated sites and expects to be able to clear 800 sites by 2020.

DFO/CCG’s Support for International Agreements

The 2017–2020 DSDS details DFO/CCG’s work that supports the Government’s sustainable development goals (SDG). The strategy also forms the foundation of our response to global efforts to implement sustainable development including the:

In September, 2015, United Nations (UN) member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including 17 SDGs and 169 targets.

Countries and organizations around the world continue to develop plans to implement the 2030 Agenda. For example, UN member states are working to develop a follow-up and review process, including indicators to measure progress toward the SDGs and targets.

UN SDG 14, Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development, is the main focus of DFO/CCG’s work on Agenda 2030.

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Logo

  1. By 2025, prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities, including marine debris and nutrient pollution.
  2. By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans.
  3. Minimize and address the impacts of ocean acidification, including through enhanced scientific cooperation at all levels.
  4. By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics.
  5. By 2020, conserve at least 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, consistent with national and international law and based on the best available scientific information.
  6. By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation.
  7. By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism.
  1. Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries.
  2. Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets.
  3. Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want.

United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity

The objectives of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity include: the conservation of biological diversity; the sustainable use of its components; and, the fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the use of genetic resources.

In 2010, Canada and other parties to the Convention adopted the 2011–2020 Strategic Plan for Biodiversity which includes 20 global biodiversity targets known as the Aichi Targets. Subsequently, in February 2015, Canada adopted the 2020 Biodiversity Goals and targets for Canada, national objectives that will help guide collective action on biodiversity conservation in Canada and support progress toward Canada’s commitments under the Convention. DFO/CCG supports the Aichi targets with a particular focus on the following targets.

Aichi targets:

Aichi Biodiversity Targets Icon 3

By 2020, at the latest, incentives, including subsidies, harmful to biodiversity are eliminated, phased out or reformed in order to minimize or avoid negative impacts, and positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity are developed and applied, consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, taking into account national socio economic conditions.

 
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By 2020 all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem based approaches, so that overfishing is avoided, recovery plans and measures are in place for all depleted species, fisheries have no significant adverse impacts on threatened species and vulnerable ecosystems and the impacts of fisheries on stocks, species and ecosystems are within safe ecological limits.

 
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By 2020 areas under agriculture, aquaculture and forestry are managed sustainably, ensuring conservation of biodiversity.

 
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By 2015, the multiple anthropogenic pressures on coral reefs, and other vulnerable ecosystems impacted by climate change or ocean acidification are minimized, so as to maintain their integrity and functioning.

 
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By 2020, at least 17 per cent of terrestrial and inland water, and 10 per cent of coastal and marine areas, especially areas of particular importance for biodiversity and ecosystem services, are conserved through effectively and equitably managed, ecologically representative and well connected systems of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures, and integrated into the wider landscapes and seascapes.

 
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By 2020 the extinction of known threatened species has been prevented and their conservation status, particularly of those most in decline, has been improved and sustained.

Section 3: Commitments for Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Low-Carbon Government: The Government of Canada leads by example by making its operations low-carbon

Responsible Minister: All ministers

FSDS Targets: Reduce GHG emissions from federal government buildings and fleets by 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, with an aspiration to achieve this reduction by 2025.

FSDS Contributing Actions:

Improve the energy efficiency of our buildings/operations.

Modernize our fleet.

Support the transition to a low-carbon economy through green procurement.

Departmental Actions

Replace old Marine Communications and Traffic Services and Aids to Navigation power generation equipment, with cleaner, low-carbon energy solutions.

Consider opportunities to implement building automation and commissioning for new construction or major renovation/upgrade, during project proposal and planning phase.

Continue to develop an approach for building operator training in Fisheries and Oceans Canada-Owned buildings, to ensure that appropriate personnel receive training in industry-certified, best practices of maximizing energy efficiency and conservation measures

Review, update, and integrate environmental considerations into corporate governing frameworks including but not limited to policies, programs and practices.

Implement accommodation projects to increase population density and promote effective space utilization.

Adopt updated National Energy Code for Buildings for new construction and major renovations projects as well as review programs, assets, facilities, and base building equipment to identify/inventory sources of departmental real property greenhouse gas emissions and quantify climate change impacts and vulnerabilities.

Continue Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s commitment to achieve a high level of environmental performance for new construction, major renovations, and existing building projects, by using industry-recognized assessment and verification tools.

Undertake energy audits at custodial facilities to determine the current state of energy consumption and to identify further opportunities for energy conservation measures. Compile, inventory and evaluate the recommendations of the energy audits.

Develop a work plan for clean energy infrastructure implementation opportunities for identified departmental sites, prioritizing by emissions, specifically aiming to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from heating and cooling needs.

Develop an overarching, evergreen Climate Risks and Vulnerabilities Identification Framework, focused on identifying short and long-term climate change risks and vulnerabilities associated with sites across Canada.

Install a solar wall at Canso Canal (Nova Scotia) to reduce energy consumption and operating costs.

Install solar panels or a solar wall at Search and Rescue Stations to reduce energy consumption and operating costs.

Install high efficiency motors/speed drives on system pumps at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Nova Scotia).

Upgrade all windows in the Murray building at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Nova Scotia).

Upgrade to energy efficient lighting at multiple sites including:

Install building shading at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Nova Scotia) to control heat load.

Retrofit piping to extend sea-water cooling system to Murray and Holland Buildings at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Nova Scotia)

Install solar panels at the following Canadian Coast Guard bases:

Install solar thermal at the following Canadian Coast Guard bases:

Install photovoltaic panels in order to generate electricity onsite at Spius Hatchery (British Columbia).

Install solar hot water panels on the roof of the hatchery and office buildings at Spius Hatchery (British Columbia).

Install a hybrid power generation system at the following lightstations:

Maintain or improve sustainable motor vehicle fleet management.

Ensure right sizing of vehicle fleet for operational fleet optimization.

Promote motor vehicle operator behavior changes.

Purchase or replace vehicles with reduced carbon intensity in the vehicle fleet, where operationally feasible.

Switch to less GHG intensive sources of fuels, where operationally feasible.

Utilize the Departmental Vehicle Acquisition Plan process to identify motor vehicles for replacement and analyze business case submissions for new program requirements.

Train procurement and/or materiel management specialists on green procurement.

Use Standing Offers, and other approved instruments, for specific commodities which include criteria to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal.

Ensure key officials include contribution to and support for the Government of Canada Policy on Green Procurement objectives in their performance evaluations.

Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

New power generation units burn less fuel and produce less emissions.

Building automation will minimize human error and enhance information datasets which will assist the department to more efficiently manage building operations.

Building operator training will assist operators in acquiring skills to maximize building performance and implement best management practices to enhance energy saving techniques.

For facilities where investment is not a priority, building operator training will equip the staff to determine and implement carbon saving techniques customized to the needs of individual site.

An evergreen process of re-evaluating environmental considerations into corporate processes will assist in tracking the environmental footprint of the department’s activities and identify opportunities for improvements.

Maximizing space-utilization efficiency will result in savings of energy and greenhouse gas emissions from building operations, especially heating and cooling.

Adopting updated National Energy Code for Buildings and DFO’s goal of meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver, Green Globes Design 3 Globes or equivalent certifications for new construction and major renovation projects, will ensure the Department’s continued commitment to achieving a high level of environmental performance within its custodial facilities. These goals can be augmented by striving to achieve LEED Gold or Platinum in order to yield additional reductions in operations related greenhouse gas emissions. Finally applying similar certifications to existing buildings via industry-recognized assessment and verification tools, i.e. Building Owners and Managers Association (BOMA) Building Environmental Standards (BEST), will assist in identifying and reducing operational carbon emissions in existing custodial facilities.

Energy audits provide a snapshot of the current state of energy consumption of a facility and will assist the department in identifying emissions reduction opportunities.

A significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions are the result of heating and cooling needs of a building. A large reduction of these emissions will be offset utilizing clean energy infrastructure projects that have a reasonable return on investment and a longer project lifespan.

Identification of key vulnerabilities and risks within real property’s portfolio will aid in developing departmental adaptive capacity.

A combination of policy and infrastructure measures can produce significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from custodial facilities over the lifespan of the current Federal Sustainable Development Strategy.

A focus on greenhouse gas related emissions information development, auditing, feasibility studies, and funding renewable energy infrastructure in the short-term will help to ensure overall greenhouse reduction targets will be met by the 2025 deadline.

Concurrently, policy measures and energy efficiency upgrades will be implemented to ensure carbon and greenhouse gas emissions related to operations are monitored and improved upon as newer technologies and adaptation measures arise. Risks identified in the framework will then be included in program and investment decision-making.

Solar Wall systems deliver life-cycle cost savings and require limited maintenance over their lifespan. Solar wall will displace heating load and corresponding GHG emissions.

Installing solar panels will reduce electrical/fuel consumption, which will help reduce dependence on fossil fuel.

A variable speed drive will reduce energy consumption and contribute to reduction in GHG emissions.

Upgraded windows will contribute to energy savings and reduced load on Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems

Upgraded lighting will be more efficient as compared to conventional lighting currently used at these sites.

The shading device will control solar heat gain through windows and reduce load on building HVAC systems, thereby contributing to the reduction in GHG emissions.

Using seawater for cooling the condenser will reduce energy consumption.

Implementing renewable energy projects will reduce energy consumption and benefit the environment by reducing dependence on other non-renewable sources of energy.

Solar panels generate reliable power producing clean, cost-efficient energy.

By incorporating cycle-charging operations, and alternative power generation, this project will greatly reduce the fuel required to power lightstations.

Materiel Management Specialists will use life cycle management principles and standing offers, or other approved instruments, to reduce the environmental impact associated with the acquisition, use, maintenance, repairs, and/or disposal of vehicles within the Department.

Procurement officers will use standing offers, or other approved instruments to reduce the environmental impact associated with the production, acquisition, use and/or disposal of goods and services.

Starting point and performance indicators

Performance Indicators:

Programs in which the Departmental Actions will occur:

Effective Action on Climate Change: A low-carbon economy contributes to limiting global average temperature rise to well below two degrees Celsius and supports efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; supported by a whole-of-government approach to implementation

FSDS Target:  By 2030, reduce Canada’s total GHG emissions by 30%, relative to 2005 emission levels.

FSDS Contributing Action:  Develop a solid base of scientific research and analysis on climate change.

Departmental Actions:

Conduct two annual 28-day ocean water sampling projects from CCG vessels, which are used for climate change research and other research areas.

Support ice monitoring in the eastern Northwest Passage, where moorings collect data on water temperature.

Contribution by each departmental action to the FSDS goal and target

DFO/CCG’s support for marine science underpins important research on climate change and its impacts. This work is particularly vital in the Arctic, where climate change is occurring at a more rapid rate than anywhere else in Canada.

Starting point and performance Indicators

Performance Indicator:

Programs in which departmental action will occur

Additional Departmental Sustainable Development Activities and Initiatives:

Develop a solid base of scientific research and analysis on climate change, including improving our ability to predict changes in ocean conditions and undertaking fish stock/climate vulnerability assessments to determine their susceptibility to climate change impacts.

Performance Indicators:

Program in which departmental action will occur

Healthy Coasts and Oceans: Coasts and oceans support healthy, resilient and productive ecosystems

Responsible Minister: Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

FSDS Targets:

By 2020, 10% of coastal and marine areas are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.

By 2020, all fish and invertebrate stocks and aquatic plants are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem-based approaches starting at 96% in 2015.

FSDS Contributing Actions

Protect and manage marine and coastal areas

Build our knowledge of coastal ecosystems, MPAs and fisheries

Work with partners to protect and restore coastal ecosystems

Implement policies for sustainable fisheries

Innovate to reduce acoustic pollution in the marine environment

Departmental Actions

DFO/CCG are working to achieve marine conservation targets:

Establishing mechanisms to support collaboration with Federal/Provincial/Territorial and other stakeholders to support ocean management and marine conservation activities, through:

Continuing to use data and information related to the conservation and management of the marine environment to support decision-making.

Conduct scientific research and monitoring and provide science advice to support marine conservation.

Scientific monitoring and research activities are conducted for aquatic species.  Species are assessed and this information forms science advice that informs the sustainable management of Canadian fish stocks.

Take concrete steps to implement an ecosystem approach to fisheries management through the continued implementation of the Sustainable Fisheries Framework (SFF) policies in Canada’s fisheries.

Continue to develop SFF policies, where required. DFO/CCG is developing a national fishery monitoring policy to ensure adequate and consistent monitoring of catches in individual fisheries, to further strengthen the management of fisheries.

Reduce noise pollution by using state of the art science research vessels that minimize underwater radiated noise.

Contribution By each departmental action to FSDS goal and target

Proposed amendments to the Oceans Act will better facilitate the process for establishing MPAs without sacrificing science or the public’s opportunity to provide input. DFO/CCG has developed science-based guidance on OEABCMs which may contribute to the target (as of June 2017, 30 fishery area closures qualify based on criteria).

Collaboration and coordination amongst stakeholders is vital to healthy coasts and oceans, and to achieving our marine conservation target. Departmental actions to establish these mechanisms will sustain healthy relationships, information sharing and communication amongst key stakeholders.

Use of data and information via risk assessments, socio-economic analysis and ecological analysis, will provide transparency and support an evidence-based decision-making approach.

Identify and describe ecologically significant areas to inform marine conservation measures.

State of the Ocean Ecosystem Reports will be produced for each of Canada’s three oceans.

Science advice informs decisions that contribute to the sustainable management of fisheries.

The continued implementation of the SFF policies will help ensure that all major fish and invertebrate stocks are managed and harvested sustainably, legally and applying ecosystem-based approaches.

Reduce negative impacts on marine species associated with acoustic pollution.

Starting point and performance Indicators

Starting point:

Performance Indicators:

Programs in which the Departmental Actions will occur

Additional Departmental Sustainable Development Activities and Initiatives:

Oceans Protection Plan

The OPP is a multi-year project that is being developed in stages. More performance indicators and departmental actions will be released in future DSDS updates

Oceans Protection Plan – Pillar I: A State-of-the-Art Marine Safety System.

The Government of Canada will create a world-leading marine safety system that improves responsible shipping and protects Canada’s waters. By world-leading, this means that the system will meet or exceed the best practices in the world. Initiatives under this pillar aim to better position Canada’s marine safety system to prevent and respond to marine safety and pollution incidents.

Initiatives involved in enhancing the prevention of marine incidents include:

Initiatives involved in strengthening of responses to marine incidents include:

Performance Indicators:

Oceans Protection Plan – Pillar II: Preservation and Restoration of Marine Ecosystems

Marine ecosystems will be preserved and restored using new tools and research, as well as taking measures to address abandoned and derelict vessels and wrecks. Initiatives under this pillar aim to protect and restore marine habitats and ecosystems in key strategic areas.

Initiatives under this pillar include:

Performance Indicators:

Oceans Protection Plan – Pillar III: Indigenous Partnerships

The OPP will build and strengthen partnerships with Indigenous and coastal communities. The Government will look to build local capacity, and for Indigenous groups to play a meaningful role in emergency response and waterway management. In addition to the increased engagement and involvement of Indigenous groups in the other pillars, initiatives under this pillar aim to increase the participation of Indigenous groups within Canada’s marine sector by exploring new governance arrangements and building the capacity of these groups within the marine sector.

Initiatives under this pillar include:

Performance Indicators:

Oceans Protection Plan – Pillar IV: A Stronger Evidence Base and Increased Community Participation and Public Awareness

The OPP includes important new work to ensure that Canada’s marine safety system is built on a stronger evidence base, supported by science and local knowledge. This includes investing in oil spill cleanup research and methods to ensure that decisions taken in emergencies are evidence-based. Initiatives under this pillar aim to increase knowledge of the behaviour and impacts of oil, to engage local communities, and increase public confidence in Canada’s marine safety system.

Initiatives under this pillar include:

Performance Indicators:

Pristine Lakes and Rivers: Clean and healthy lakes and rivers support economic prosperity and the well-being of Canadians

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change

FSDS Target:  Restore lake and river ecosystems

By 2019, restore beneficial uses that will assist in the delisting of five Canadian Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOCs). In the remaining AOCs, increase the number of beneficial use impairment re-designations from 18 in 2014 to 30 in 2019.

FSDS Contributing Action:  Provide in-kind support and funding for projects

Departmental Action:

Conduct scientific research and monitoring activities and provide support for the Experimental Lakes Area in Northwestern Ontario.

Contribution By each departmental action to FSDS goal and target:

Results of scientific activities will provide information and advice to inform decisions related to the restoration of Canadian freshwater ecosystems.

Starting point and performance indicators:

Performance Indicator:

Programs in which the Departmental Actions will occur:

Aquatic Ecosystem Science

Healthy Wildlife Populations: All species have healthy and viable populations

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change

FSDS Targets:

By 2020, species that are secure remain secure, and populations of species at risk listed under federal law exhibit trends that are consistent with recovery strategies and management plans. 

FSDS Contributing Actions:

Work with partners to protect species and their habitats

Support Implementation of the Species at Risk Act.

Departmental Actions

Publish recovery or management documents on the public-facing Species at Risk Public Registry.

Identify critical habitat, either partially or completely in recovery documents.

Provide science advice and information in support of species assessment, listing and recovery planning under the Species at Risk Act.

Contribution By each departmental action to FSDS goal and target

DFO/CCG has committed to identify and publish evidence-based information on listed aquatic Species at Risk and their habitats. This assists partners and other key stakeholders to make decisions and guide behaviour for the conservation and protection of listed aquatic species at risk. 

Peer-reviewed science information and advice supports species at risk assessment and recovery.

Starting point and performance indicators

Starting point:

Performance Indicators:

Programs in which the Departmental Actions will occur

Sustainable Food: Innovation and ingenuity contribute to a world-leading agricultural sector and food economy for the benefit of all Canadians

Responsible Minister: Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food; Minister of Health; Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

FSDS Target: By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is managed under a science-based regime that promotes the sustainable use of aquatic resources (marine and freshwater) in ways that conserve biodiversity

FSDS Contributing Actions

Increase knowledge of sustainable agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture

Use legislation and regulations to ensure safe and secure food

Conduct aquaculture regulatory reform

Departmental Actions

Conduct targeted regulatory research on fish pest and pathogen interactions, ecosystem management and interactions with wild populations.

Tracking the incidence of morbidity or mortality in Commercial, Recreational and Aboriginal fish species from pesticide treatments at salmon farms, as per the Aquaculture Activities Regulations.

Carry out amendments to the:

Contribution By each departmental action to FSDS goal and target

Information and science advice resulting from this regulatory research supports science-based aquaculture management decisions that help minimize the environmental impacts from aquaculture.

Ensures that the impact of pesticides on fisheries species is minimized.

Provide the aquaculture sector with a robust regime that will enable environmentally responsible development through the targeted aquaculture regulatory reform agenda.

Starting point and performance indicators

Starting Point:

Performance Indicator:

Programs in which the Departmental Actions will occur

Safe and Healthy Communities: All Canadians live in clean, sustainable communities that contribute to their health and well-being

Responsible Minister: Minister of Environment and Climate Change; Minister of Health

FSDS Target: By 2020, address the 4,300 substances identified as priorities for action under the Chemicals Management Plan.

FSDS Contributing Actions: Demonstrate leadership on assessing and remediating contaminated sites

Departmental Actions

Implement contaminated sites management activities according to a Five-Year Strategic Plan, and in the context of the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan . Committed to complete remediation and risk management activities for highest priority contaminated sites on the Federal Contaminated Sites Inventory

Contribution By each departmental action to FSDS goal and target

Identify contaminated sites and commence assessment, remediation, and monitoring.

Starting point and performance indicators

Starting Point:

In FY 2016-17, the Department has identified a total of 3,048 sites where contamination may exist and assessment, remediation and monitoring may be required.

Performance Indicator:

By 2020, the Department expects to:

Programs in which the Departmental Actions will occur

Section 4: Integrating Sustainable Development

Per the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan, and Program Proposals, DFO/CCG continues to ensure that its decision-making process includes sustainable development considerations through Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEA). The DFO/CCG SEA process requires assessment of whether the policy, program, or proposal impacts the achievement of the goals and targets of the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy. The Department also determines specific environmental effects either positive or negative and investigates whether the policy, program, or proposal would affect the environmental footprint of Canadian government operations. By answering these questions the Department fully integrates environmental considerations in the analysis of each option presented before Ministers along with economic and social analysis. In the current fiscal year, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard has brought forward eight Memoranda to Cabinet (MC) for Cabinet consideration, and the Department has ensured SEAs were conducted for each MC resulting in a 100% compliance rate.

Public statements on the results of DFO/CCG’s assessments are released when an initiative has undergone a detailed SEA (see here). The purpose of the public statements is to demonstrate that the environmental effects, including the impacts on achieving the FSDS goals and targets, of the approved policy, plan or program have been considered during proposal development and decision making.

DFO/CCG also seeks ways to further integrate sustainable development considerations into many of its key priorities as well as day-to-day operations.

Marine Conservation Targets

International calls to increase marine conservation beyond 10% after 2020 are mounting. Balancing this ambitious conservation agenda with increasing demand for space with greater potential for cumulative impacts requires an integrated approach to management (i.e., marine spatial planning). Provisions under the Oceans Act authorize the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard to lead the development of national strategies and integrated oceans management plans, in collaboration with federal, provincial, and territorial authorities, Indigenous groups and stakeholders. While a foundation for integrated oceans management in some key domestic areas has been built, much can be learned and applied from recent international experience to improve how Canada manages its three oceans. This goal is reflected in the DFO/CGG Minister’s mandate letter. The Department is exploring options to meet this goal, including development of a new national oceans policy, renewal of Canada’s Oceans Strategy (2002), and/or additional changes to the Oceans Act.

Canadian Coast Guard Renewal

The Canadian Coast Guard is charting an ambitious path toward becoming a world leader in maritime safety and security. New investment, under the Oceans Protection Plan, is driving change at an unprecedented rate, and with that comes both challenges and opportunities. One of these opportunities vital to well-being is sustainable development.

Transitioning out of a period of fiscal restraint, where the Coast Guard had limited ability to purchase innovative, more sustainable technology, we are building on a history of excellent marine engineering that has sought fuel and GHG emission savings through creative means. Foresight around future international regulations driving down emissions from marine vessels has already seen the Coast Guard design new vessels around more stringent emissions limits than required. However, there is progress to be made in terms of mainstreaming sustainable development across CCG.

This challenge runs parallel to mainstreaming sustainable development across Canadian society; it will involve cultural change. Coast Guard will mainstream sustainable development or ‘sustainability’ across all lines of business, creating a ‘new normal.’ In the case of procurement, this will entail establishing means of weighing cost factors against lifecycle factors, including full cost accounting.

This is a new frontier for the Coast Guard, and it will not be easy. However, this is a necessary step toward supporting a national and global transition to first a low-carbon reality, then taking the next step, toward a circular economic model, where resources are recirculated through the production/manufacturing – consumption – use – and remanufacturing loop.

The Coast Guard of the future will drive and support domestic innovation in the maritime sector, leading the way through life-cycle management from a cradle to cradle approach. The Coast Guard will be part of transformative change, not as an observer, but an agent. This includes leveraging opportunities to protect Canada’s waters and coastlines while concurrently reducing the carbon footprint of CCG operations and those of the maritime sector.