Consultation on a Regulatory Proposal to Prescribe Stocks to the Fish Stocks Provisions in the Fisheries Act
Current status: Closed
This consultation ran from October 19, 2022, to December 19, 2022.
Background on the Fish Stocks provisions in the Fisheries Act and regulatory rebuilding requirements
The Fish Stock provisions (FSP) in the amended Fisheries Act (ss. 6.1-6.3) came into force through amendments to the Fishery (General) Regulations (FGR) on April 4, 2022. One of the amendments to the FGR listed the first batch of 30 major fish stocks to be subject to the FSP (s. 69 and Schedule IX).
The FSP establish binding obligations on the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to (1) maintain major fish stocks at levels necessary to promote sustainability (s. 6.1); and (2) develop and implement rebuilding plans for stocks that have declined to or below their limit reference point (s. 6.2). The limit reference point is the stock level below which productivity is sufficiently impaired to cause serious harm to the stock. These obligations only apply to stocks that have been prescribed in regulation (s. 6.3).
The FGR amendments also set out requirements for rebuilding plans for major stocks subject to the FSP (s. 70). Specifically, these include:
- The required contents of rebuilding plans (e.g., reasons for the stock’s decline, rebuilding objectives, management measures to achieve those objectives, etc.);
- A 24-month timeline to develop a rebuilding plan, with the possibility to extend the timeline by 12 months for a total of 36 months; and
- An obligation that the level of fishing on a stock (if any) is consistent with rebuilding the stock while the rebuilding plan is in development.
Intent of the regulatory proposal
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is proposing to prescribe a second batch of 62 major stocks to the FSP, by amending Schedule IX of the FGR (see the list below or download the PDF). In addition, if these stocks are added to Schedule IX of the FGR, any that are at or below their limit reference point will also be subject to the regulatory requirements of s. 70 of the FGR.
Additional information on the list of major stocks proposed to be added to Schedule IX of the FGR
The proposed list of 62 stocks were selected from DFO’s annual Sustainability Survey for Fisheries. The Survey includes 180 of Canada’s key harvested fish stocks, from all DFO regions. It includes finfish, invertebrates and marine mammals. Over time, DFO aims to prescribe the majority of the stocks on the Survey to the FSP.
Forty-nine (49) of the proposed stocks are currently above their limit reference point. If prescribed by regulation, they would be subject to s. 6.1 of the FSP, which requires that the fisheries management measures maintain these stocks at or above the level necessary to promote their sustainability. These measures could comprise any number of actions that are already taken by DFO for each stock in the course of their normal management, including the quantity of fish harvested in a fishing season, fishing gear types used, and geographic and seasonal fishery closures.
Three (3) of the proposed stocks are currently at or below their limit reference point. If prescribed by regulation, they would be subject to s. 6.2 of the FSP, which requires that a rebuilding plan be developed and implemented to rebuild these stocks above their limit reference point. They would also be subject to the regulatory requirements of s. 70 of the FGR.
Ten (10) of the proposed stocks do not have limit reference points in place at this time, thus DFO has made it a priority to establish them.
|Stock||Managing DFO region||Current stock status relative to Limit Reference Point (LRP)|
|Canary Rockfish - Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Halibut – Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Ocean Perch – PMFC 3CD-WCVI||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Ocean Perch – PMFC 5ABC-QCS||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Ocean Perch – PMFC 5DE-HS/DE/WHG||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Quillback Rockfish – Inside||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Quillback Rockfish – Outside||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Yellowmouth Rockfish – Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Geoduck – Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Giant Red Sea Cucumber - Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Green Sea Urchin - Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Red Sea Urchin - Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Spot Prawn - Coastwide||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Herring – Central Coast||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Herring – Prince Rupert District||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Herring – Strait of Georgia||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Pacific Herring - WCVI||Pacific||Above LRP|
|Chinook Salmon – Yukon||Pacific||No LRP|
|Pink Salmon – Fraser||Pacific||No LRP|
|Sockeye Salmon – Fraser (Early Stuart)||Pacific||No LRP|
|Sockeye Salmon – Somass (Barkley Sound)||Pacific||No LRP|
|Arctic Char – Cambridge Bay, Halokvik River||Arctic||Above LRP|
|Arctic Char – Cambridge Bay, Jayko River||Arctic||Above LRP|
|Arctic Char – Cumberland Sound, Ijaruvung Lake||Arctic||Above LRP|
|Arctic Char – Cumberland Sound, Iqalujjuaq Fiord||Arctic||Above LRP|
|Arctic Char – Cumberland Sound, Irvine Inlet||Arctic||Above LRP|
|Northern shrimp – SFA 5||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Northern shrimp (Borealis) – SFA 1||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Northern shrimp (Borealis) – SFA 4||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Northern shrimp (Borealis) – EAZ||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Striped Shrimp (Montagui) – EAZ||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Redfish (Sebastes faciatus) – Unit 1 + 2||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Redfish (Sebastes mentella) – Unit 1 + 2||National Capital Region||Above LRP|
|Greenland Halibut – NAFO 4RST||Québec||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Zone 22||Québec||Above LRP|
|Sea Scallop – Zone 20||Québec||Above LRP|
|Atlantic Halibut – NAFO 4RST||Québec||No LRP|
|Icelandic Scallop – 16E||Québec||No LRP|
|Icelandic Scallop – 16F||Québec||No LRP|
|Snow Crab – 12A||Québec||No LRP|
|Snow Crab – 12B||Québec||No LRP|
|Herring – NAFO 4T (Fall Spawner)||Gulf||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Southern Gulf (LFA 23, 24, 25, 26A, 26B)||Gulf||Above LRP|
|Yellowtail flounder – NAFO 4T||Gulf||At or Below LRP|
|Atlantic Cod – NAFO 4X5Y||Maritimes||At or Below LRP|
|Haddock – NAFO 4X5Y||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Herring – NAFO 4X5Y (Southwest Nova Scotia/Bay of Fundy Spawning Components)||Maritimes||At or Below LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 27||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 29||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 30||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 31A||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 31B||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 32||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 33||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Inshore LFA 34||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Lobster – Offshore LFA 41||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Pollock – NAFO 4X5 (Western Component)||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Shrimp – Scotian Shelf (SFA 13-15)||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Surf Clam – Banquereau||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Surf Clam – Grand Bank||Maritimes||Above LRP|
|Queen/Snow Crab – CFA 1-12||Newfoundland and Labrador||Above LRP|
|Capelin – NAFO 2J3KL||Newfoundland and Labrador||No LRP|
Participate in our consultation
Send your feedback on the regulatory proposal to DFO.Rebuilding-Retablissement.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
The deadline for sending us your feedback is December 19, 2022.
The authorities for this regulatory amendment are found in the Fisheries Act.
- Alternative format (PDF document) - Consultation on a Regulatory Proposal to Prescribe Stocks to the Fish Stocks Provisions of the Fisheries Act
- Date modified: