Language selection


New inshore regulations

Release date: April 2021
Infographic: New inshore regulations
Description: New inshore regulations – April 1, 2021

Do these apply to me?

Independent Core
If you hold:

  • an inshore commercial licence (all Atlantic and Quebec)

But not
If you hold:

  • a pre-1979 corporation licence (all Atlantic and Quebec)
  • a pre-1989 corporation licence that does not name the operator (Maritimes)
  • an Exempted Fleet licence (Maritimes)
  • a coastal licence in (Maritimes and Gulf)

The regulations do not apply to any licence issued under the authority of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licence Regulations.

How can I use and benefit from the licence?

You can

  1. Participate in the fishery
  2. Benefit from the catch
    • sales of the fish and how sales are divided
    • arrangements to sell the fish for a good or service
  3. Make all the decisions for your operations
    • when, where and how to fish
    • who is on your crew
    • where you land the catch
  4. Request a licence renewal or re-issuance to another eligible person

You must

  • Maintain control over the use of the licence and decisions made about the use of the licence at all times
  • Keeping a crew registry

Records of all the crew aboard your vessel on every fishing trip:

  • name
  • Fisher Identification Number or Provincial Fisher's Certificate
  • vessel
  • species
  • fishing trip start date
  • fishing trip end date

Keep these records for at least 5 years.

What do these mean if I own a fishing company?

You must

  • maintain control over the use of the licence and decisions made regarding the use of the licence at all times
  • meet independent core licence holder eligibility criteria
  • own and control 100% of the company's voting shares

If your company

  • has both voting and non-voting shares, you must have 100% of the voting shares, be the only director or administrator, and all non-voting shareholders must be immediate family
  • has non-voting shareholders, they must be immediate family
  • pays dividends, they must only be paid to immediate family
  • has a secondary structure, you must have 100% of voting shares
  • has a family trust under it, you must be the trustee and beneficiaries must all be immediate family

Immediate family include:

  • your wife, husband or common-law spouse
  • your or your spouse's parents or grandparents, brothers or sisters, children or grandchildren
  • common-law partners or spouses of your children or your spouse's children

Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and cousins are NOT included

When are “transfers” of licence use and benefits allowed?

You may

  • request that DFO authorize a substitute operator
  • have a crew-share agreement with people fishing aboard your vessel
  • use the licence as collateral in a loan agreement
  • transfer the benefits of the licence to a family fishing company if you have 100% control of the voting shares
  • request a transfer of quota or gear to another eligible licence holder

A licence re-issuance may also be requested in situations of bankruptcy, death or incapacitation of the licence holder.

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans maintains absolute discretion over licensing.

How do I confirm that I am compliant?

New electronic declaration

This declaration is nothing new for inshore licence holders.

When you or your NOLS representative go to pay the licence fees, the declaration will ‘pop up.'

Read it and check the box at the bottom to confirm that you understand the regulations and are compliant with them. Then, proceed to ‘Pay Now.'

Independent Core Licence Holders

Date modified: