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Infographic: How farmed Pacific shellfish products are traced

Release date: August 2021
Infographic: How farmed Pacific shellfish products are traced Infographic: How farmed Pacific shellfish products are traced
Description: How farmed Pacific shellfish products are traced

How farmed Pacific shellfish products are traced

Under the shellfish aquaculture conditions of licence (AQSF COL), licence holders are required to comply with a number of requirements related to product movements: importation, transfer, harvest, relay and wet storage. Tagging, record keeping and statistical reporting are all key elements of a robust traceability system. Licence holders are responsible for understanding and adhering to the applicable regulations and reporting their activities to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

Steps for oyster and clams

There are additional notification and reporting requirements for harvests occurring under the authority of the Management of Contaminated Fisheries Regulations harvest and tag: Prior to leaving licensed area – AQSF COL s.12.1

  • logbook/electronic records: Complete by 11:59 pm on the day of conclusion of product movements. Records must be submitted to DFO in an electronic and sortable format within 24 hours of a request by a Fishery Officer of Fishery Guardian – AQSF COL s.12.2
  • federal processing plant: COL s.1.1 and 1.2
  • statistical report (AASR): Submit annually by January 25 – COL 16.1

Wet storage only can occur on aquaculture facilities specifically licensed for the activity (COL 12.2).

Selling harvested product to a buyer/receiver prior to the product going to a federally licensed processing plant is not permitted under the AQSF COL. Harvested product can only be sold to or accepted by a federally licensed processing plant.

Be aware of bivalve shellfish contamination closures

Eating shellfish with high levels of certain toxins can lead to serious and potentially fatal illnesses. Always check for marine biotoxin and sanitary contamination closures for the area where you plan to harvest: http://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/contamination/index-eng.html.

Shellfish Aquaculture Conditions of Licence Relating to Traceability

3. Transfer of Fish

3.1 The licence holder may transfer live seed, spat, juveniles to or from the licensed facility and another licensed facility possessing a valid aquaculture licence provided that:

  1. while in transit to or from licensed facilities, the shellfish and transport water must not enter or come into contact with any growing waters; and
  2. harvested bivalve shellfish must not enter or come into contact with any growing waters while in transit from a licensed aquaculture facility to a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission.

12. Harvesting and Handling

12.1 In respect of tagging containers of shellfish:

  1. Prior to leaving the licensed facility, all containers holding harvested shellfish that are destined for market sale shall be marked with a visible tag identifying the following:
    1. licence holder name;
    2. species;
    3. Pacific Fishery Management Area;
    4. BC Land File number or DFO Facility Reference number; and
    5. date of harvest.
  2. Tags shall be waterproof and all information shall be written in water resistant ink and legible.
  3. The licence holder shall not use flagging tape as a tag, unless as part of a tagging plan that is authorized by DFO, as part of this licence.
  4. For the purpose of bulk tagging of shellfish destined for market sale, the licence holder shall not bulk tag harvested shellfish destined for market sale, unless as part of a tagging plan that is authorized by DFO, as part of this licence.

12.2 For the purposes of wet storage of market-sized bivalves, the licence holder shall not wet-store harvested shellfish on this licensed facility, originating from facilities other than the licensed facility unless authorized by DFO as part of this licence.

15. Records

15.1 The licence holder shall maintain written or electronic records relating to the licensed aquaculture activities throughout the species growing cycle. The records shall:

  1. contain the elements listed in Section 15.2, 15.3 and 15.4;
  2. be produced upon request by a Fishery Officer or Fishery Guardian;
  3. be submitted to DFO in an electronic and sortable format within 24 hours upon request of a Fishery Officer or a Fishery Guardian.

15.2 The licence holder shall record, by 11:59pm on the day of the conclusion of activity, for each individual licensed facility:

  1. the importation or transfer of shellfish to the licensed facility;
  2. the transfer of shellfish from the licensed facility;
  3. harvest for market sale for that day; and
  4. the transfer of harvested shellfish from other locations for wet storage or relay at the licensed facility, prior to market sale.

15.3 For each activity listed in Section 15.2, the licence holder shall record:

  1. BC Land File number, or DFO Facility Reference numbers, or groups of BC Land File numbers or DFO Facility Reference numbers associated with the licence holder for licensed facilities in the same Pacific Fishery Management Area;
  2. activity date;
  3. species common name;
  4. the nature of the activity (i.e. Activity Code (IP - Importation) (TS - Transfer) (H - Harvest for Market Sale) (W- Wet Storage) (R – Relay));
  5. number of containers;
  6. container type;
  7. source of shellfish arriving at the licensed facility (source BC Land File number or DFO Facility Reference number, or other); water classification of source of shellfish arriving at the licensed facility; destination of shellfish leaving the licensed facility including:
    1. destination facility BC Land File number or DFO Facility Reference number for transfers of product; or
    2. name of the facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency federally licensed with the appropriate shellfish processing permission (including Canadian Food Inspection Agency facility licence number), if product is harvested for market sale.

15.4 Within fourteen days of the product being accepted by a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission, the licence holder shall record:

  1. date product accepted a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission (must be completed even if product wet stored at another licensed aquaculture facility that is approved for wet storage); and
  2. total weight, OR number of dozens, OR number of individuals of harvested product accepted by a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission. The unit of measure reported must match what is reported in the Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report.

15.5 All transfers of shellfish that are leaving the licensed facility for grow-out at another destination, (at a licensed facility held by another licence holder, or in a different Pacific Fishery Management Area), shall be accompanied by a record of the date, source, destination, species and amount of shellfish in transit.

16. Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report

16.1 Starting January 25, 2022, and annually, not later than January 25 thereafter, the licence holder shall complete and submit to DFO the Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report (Appendix VIII) for the previous calendar year to the following email address: DFO.PACAASR-RSAAPAC.MPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

1. General Culture of Bivalve Species

1.1 The licence holder shall ensure all harvested bivalves are:

  1. sold to a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission prior to sale for human consumption; or
  2. received by a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission prior to sale for human consumption.

1.2 The licence holder shall not provide, or sell harvested bivalves to a shellfish buyer, or receiver, prior to the harvested bivalves being landed, or sold to a facility licensed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency with the appropriate shellfish processing permission.

  • Illustration of a log book.
  • Illustration of an Annual Aquaculture Statistical Report (AASR).
  • Illustration of a tag, showing space for recording:
    • species
    • licence holder name
    • Pacific Fishery Management Area
    • land file number or facility reference number
    • date of harvest
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