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Forward Regulatory Plan 2022-2024

Fisheries Management

British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations, 1996 (Omnibus amendments)

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
The proposed regulatory amendments seek to amend several areas of the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations, 1996. The regulations would cover the following:

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments.

Public consultation opportunities
The Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) is a recognized forum for consultation with recreational fishers in the British Columbia.  The SFAB meets twice a year; once in the spring and once in the fall. The proposed changes are a regular agenda item at SFAB biannual meetings and were consulted on in April 2021. The Department anticipates pre-publishing the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I in the 2022-24 planning period for a 30-day public comment period.

Information on future consultation opportunities for this regulatory proposal will be provided as it becomes available.

Further information
N/A

Departmental contact

Genevieve Cauffope
Chief of Regulations, Pacific Region
Telephone:  604-666-0588
E-mail:  genevieve.cauffope@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2018

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Nunavut Fishery Regulations

Enabling act(s): Fisheries Act; Nunavut Land Claims Agreement Act (Nunavut Agreement), Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement Act (Nunavik Inuit Land Claims Agreement).

Description of the objective
Although the Nunavut Agreement came into effect in 1993 and Nunavut was established in 1999, Nunavut fisheries are still managed under a suite of fishery regulations including the Northwest Territories Fishery Regulations, the Marine Mammal Regulations, the Fishery (General) Regulations, the Atlantic Fishery Regulations.  New regulations are needed that are consistent with harvesting rights and wildlife management systems established under northern land claims agreements, and to modernize governance structures that support implementation of Indigenous self-determination.

The proposed Nunavut Fishery Regulations are being co-developed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, the Government of Nunavut, and the Makivik Corporation. The proposed regulations would apply to all fish (including marine mammals) as defined by the Fisheries Act, and to Nunavut and adjacent marine waters (including the Areas of Equal Use and Occupancy, the Nunavik Marine Region, and the Eeyou Marine Region).

The development of new Nunavut Fishery Regulations would help meet Canada’s obligations to implement the fishery management elements of several Land Claim Agreements, and in particular would help to:

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or the Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
The Nunavut Fishery Regulations are being co-developed in partnership with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated, the Government of Nunavut, the Government of Nunavut, and the Nunavut Wildlife Management Board, along with Makivik Corporation representing the interests of Nunavik Inuit in areas of equal use and occupancy.

As part of the regulatory development process, consultation and engagement sessions with Nunavut and Nunavik community members, beneficiaries, key Indigenous parties, co-management organizations and stakeholders will take place.

This initiative may have implications for fisheries whose stocks straddle Canada’s Exclusive Economic Zone, particularly Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization managed stocks. Appropriate consultations with international partners will take place as needed.

Public consultation opportunities
Further engagement and consultation will take place with rights holders, and as well as with other governments, Indigenous communities and stakeholders inside and adjacent to Nunavut.

A draft policy proposal and subsequent pre-publication of the regulatory proposal is targeted for the 2022-24 planning period, subject to the support of co-development partners.

Further information
While the initial policy consultation period has closed, more information on the proposed Nunavut Fishery Regulations can be found here.

Departmental contact

Allison McPhee
A/Regional Director, Fisheries Management
Central and Arctic Region
Telephone:  204-983-7110
Email:  allison.mcphee@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2018

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Pacific Fishery Regulations, 1993 – Stand-Alone Licences for Lingcod and Spiny Dogfish

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
The proposed regulatory amendments would create standalone licences for Lingcod and Spiny Dogfish.  Fishing for these species is currently authorized through licence conditions of vessel-based licences (“primary licences”), which allow harvest of a primary species (e.g. salmon, halibut, sablefish, etc.) and all Schedule II species.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments.

Public consultation opportunities
Some commercial fishing sectors have been engaged in the development of this proposal. Other stakeholders will be engaged through regular advisory processes across the Pacific region.

Information on future consultation opportunities for this regulatory proposal will be provided as it becomes available.

Further information
N/A

Departmental contact

Genevieve Cauffope
Chief of Regulations, Pacific Region
Telephone:  604-666-0588
E-mail:  genevieve.cauffope@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Amendments to the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985, the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations and the Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations – Tending Fishing Gear

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
The Atlantic Fishery Regulations (AFR), Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations (MPFR) and Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations (NLFR) have sections prohibiting any person from leaving fishing gear unattended in the water for more than 72 consecutive hours (96 hours for the NLFR). The purpose of these provisions is to minimize loss of fishing gear, incidental mortality, the potential for gear conflict, and spoilage of catch. The proposed amendments would provide for flexibility to consider alternative gear tending requirements on a fishery-by-fishery basis, such as longer or shorter gear tending times, where appropriate.

Indication of business impacts
Since the objective of the amendments are to increase flexibility, for commercial harvesters, there may be positive business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments.
However, discussions will be held with other agencies (e.g. provincial governments, Transport Canada) as appropriate to ensure they are aware of proposed changes and have opportunity to raise any concerns.

Public consultation opportunities
Some commercial fleets have already been engaged in the development of the proposal. Others will be engaged through regular advisory processes across Atlantic Canada where there is reason to believe there would be significant interest. Upon pre-publication of this regulatory proposal, stakeholders and the public will have another opportunity to comment during an official 30-day comment period.

Further information
N/A

Departmental contact

Denis Madore
Manager, Domestic Fisheries Policy
Telephone: 343-572-4788
Email: denis.madore@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2019

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Amendments to various regulations under the Fisheries Act (Close Times)

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
DFO is in the process of addressing issues raised by the Standing Joint Committee for the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR) regarding token or year-long fishery close times as set out in various regulations under the Fisheries Act. DFO would amend close times, as appropriate, in order to better reflect when fishing should not occur for conservation, biological or management reasons.

The proposed amendments would be made in a manner that would provide for the continuation of an orderly fishery, and preserve the DFO’s ability to address conservation concerns.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments.

Public consultation opportunities
Information on future consultation opportunities for this regulatory proposal will be provided as it becomes available.

Further information
N/A

Departmental contact

Houman Kousha
Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Strategic Policy Directorate
Email:  houman.kousha@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021
For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Fishery (General) Regulations – Identification of Fishing Gear

Enabling act:  Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
Section 27, in Part III of the Fishery (General) Regulations, requires that all fishing gear, other than mobile gear, be identified by marking both ends with a tag, float or buoy at the surface of the water. The purpose of the provision is to assist harvesters in locating their gear and minimizing gear conflict. In areas where fishing is dense, however, these vertical lines in the water column can create a substantial entanglement risk to whales and other marine mammals. The proposed amendment would repeal the two-endline requirement and make all aspects of gear marking the subject of conditions of licence. This approach would provide greater flexibility to vary the two-endline requirement on a fishery-by-fishery basis and to facilitate the introduction of new fishing technologies, including ropeless gear, which is currently being piloted in Atlantic Canada.

Indication of business impacts
The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply

Impacts on small businesses that could occur in some fisheries are expected to be limited in comparison to regulatory inaction, i.e. the loss of U.S. market access, something that could potentially impact up to $4.2B CND (2018) worth of Canadian fish and seafood products exported to the U.S.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
This initiative is related to a suite of potential fisheries management measures aimed at meeting the import requirements of the United States’ Marine Mammal Protection Act scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2023

Public consultation opportunities
Harvesters, including Indigenous harvesters, have participated in a series of regional workshops to discuss a suite of potential fisheries management measures to meet the import requirements of the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act, including the proposal to repeal the two-endline requirement in the Fishery (General) Regulations.

Upon pre-publication of this regulatory proposal in the Canada Gazette, Part I, stakeholders and the public would have another opportunity to comment during the official comment period which is anticipated to take place during the 2022-2024 planning period.

Further information
N/A.

Departmental contact

Denis Madore
Manager, Domestic Fisheries Policy
Telephone: 343-572-4788
Email: denis.madore@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Aquaculture Management

Phased Development of the General Aquaculture Regulations

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
DFO is developing the General Aquaculture Regulations (GAR) to improve and consolidate DFO's diverse regulatory provisions pertaining to aquaculture into one comprehensive set of regulations. The proposed GAR is an initiative identified in the Agri-food and Aquaculture Regulatory Roadmap, a product of the first round of Targeted Regulatory Reviews coordinated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. The Roadmap lays out a regulatory modernization plan in support of innovation and economic growth in the agri-food and aquaculture sector.

The GAR would streamline aquaculture-specific regulatory provisions, reduce red tape and administrative burden, increase regulatory transparency, and consider forward-looking authorities. The proposed new regulations would provide clarity and certainty to the aquaculture industry, while enhancing environmental protection and overall sustainability of the sector.

Development of the GAR would consider the shared federal-provincial-territorial jurisdiction over aquaculture, avoid duplication with provincial-territorial legislation and regulations, and recognize regional differences in the aquaculture sector where applicable.

DFO would develop the GAR in phases. This phased approach would allow DFO to reduce red tape and administrative burden, and address immediate modernization priorities, over the next two years while work continues on developing the proposed GAR.

As outlined below, in phases I-III DFO will complete amendments to improve aquaculture-related content within existing Fisheries Act regulations. Subsequently in phase IV, the GAR will be created to consolidate aquaculture-related regulatory provisions into one comprehensive set of regulations and incorporate additional improvements not completed in phases I-III. It is anticipated that the GAR will be created under a proposed new federal aquaculture act.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
As part of the development of the proposed regulations, DFO will work closely with provinces and territories, though the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, to respect provincial/territorial jurisdictions and endeavour to align with their aquaculture regimes.

As an outcome of direct involvement with the Canada-United States Regulatory Cooperation Council on aquaculture regulatory issues, DFO is committed to ongoing bilateral discussions with the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  Elements of the proposed GAR may be raised in this forum in the future.

Public consultation opportunities
Engagement efforts on the subsequent GAR phases are expected to take place during the 2022-2024 planning period.

Further information
For information on the Targeted Regulatory Review: Agri-food and Aquaculture Roadmap click here.

Departmental contact

Dean Medeiros
Manager, Aquaculture Policy Directorate
Telephone: 613-301-1904
E-mail: dean.medeiros@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2019

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Fish and Fish Habitat Protection

Prescribed Works And Waters Regulations

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
The proposed regulations would define classes of in-water projects (e.g. shoreline stabilization) that have the potential to result in the harmful alteration disruption or destruction of fish habitat (HADD) and death of fish (DoF), but which DFO would manage via the establishment of standardized, mandatory conditions.

The proposed regulations would also define specific classes of minor waters (e.g. storm water management ponds, ditches, etc.) to which the Fisheries Act currently applies, but for which Fisheries Act authorizations would no longer be required. Projects affecting minor waters would also be subject to mandatory conditions to ensure impacts to adjacent fish and fish habitat are avoided.

The proposed regulations intend to provide better protection for fish and fish habitat and increased regulatory efficiency by:

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments. However, it is anticipated that the proposed regulations have the potential to lay the groundwork for the establishment of future equivalency arrangements with other regulators (provinces, territories, Indigenous governing bodies).

Public consultation opportunities
A detailed engagement on the classes, conditions and waterbodies that would be codified in the regulation was initiated in January 2022. Other engagements are planned in fall 2022.

Further information
N/A.

Departmental contact

Charles Haines
Director, Ecosystems Management Policies & Practices
Telephone : 613-990-2574
Email : charles.haines@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan:  2021

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Fisheries Policy

Fishery (General) Regulations - Fish Stocks

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the Proposed Regulation
Regulations are proposed to prescribe the second “batch” of major stocks that will be subject to the Fish Stocks provisions by amending Schedule IX of the Fishery (General) Regulations. Amongst other things, the Fish Stocks provisions would require the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to:

Indication of business impacts
The proposed regulations introduce process requirements on DFO that build upon existing policies.  The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens do not apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments.

Public consultation opportunities
DFO intends to consult on the proposed “batch 2” list of stocks to be prescribed by regulation on its website for a 60-day public comment period in fall 2022. Following this, the aim is to have the regulations pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 30-day public comment period.

Further information
N/A

Departmental contact
Ingrid Burgetz
A/Director, Domestic Fisheries Policy
Emailingrid.burgetz@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan:  2022

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Marine Protected Areas and Marine Conservation

Marine Protected Areas

Enabling act: Oceans Act

Description of the objective
The Government of Canada has committed to conserving 25 per cent of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by 2025, and to working towards a 30 per cent target by 2030. Regulations may be developed under the Oceans Act to designate certain areas of the sea as Marine Protected Areas (MPAs). These areas can be designated to provide for the conservation and protection of:

MPAs are one of a suite of management tools that contribute to the improved health, integrity and productivity of our marine ecosystems and help advance integrated ocean management. The designation of MPAs is an ongoing process. Under the Oceans Act, MPAs may be designated either by Ministerial Order to freeze the footprint of human activities within their boundaries for a period no longer than 5 years, or through Governor in Council (GiC) regulations to provide comprehensive, long-term protection. Upcoming MPAs are expected to be made under each of these authorities based on their unique circumstances.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
The designation of MPAs contributes to Canada's efforts to implement measures relating to several international agreements, the most significant being the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). In May 2021, the CBD is expected adopt the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, including a new set of biodiversity targets, that will replace the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (which included the protection of 10% of coastal and marine areas under the Aichi Targets). The designation of MPAs would contribute to meeting these new international objectives.

Public consultation opportunities
Since the designation process can be complex, DFO is striving to ensure that the designation of an MPA is rooted in consultation with stakeholders, other orders of government, and Indigenous partners. Stakeholder Advisory Committees (composed of an array of affected/interested partners and stakeholders) participate in the policy work leading to the designation of each MPA. Local communities are also consulted to the extent possible.

It is anticipated that the “Offshore Pacific” Area of Interest will be proposed for designation as a GiC MPA in the Canada Gazette, Part I, during the 2022-2024 planning period. When proposed MPAs are pre-published in Canada Gazette, Part I, the public will have 30 days to provide comments to DFO.

Further information
Additional information regarding these initiatives can be found on DFO’s website, on the Areas of Interest page. Individual pages for each Area of Interest, including overviews, key objectives and approach, additional resources, and contact information can be found through that link.

Departmental contact

Hilary Ibey
Manager, Marine Conservation Operations
Telephone: 613-295-1022
E-mailHilary.Ibey@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2012 (Ongoing)

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Biodiversity Protection Regulations (s.43.3 of the Fisheries Act)

Enabling act: Fisheries Act

Description of the objective
The Government of Canada has committed to conserving 25 per cent of Canada’s marine and coastal area by 2025, and to working towards a 30% target by 2030.  A key part of Canada's plan to meet these targets is the establishment of Marine Refuges that qualify as “other effective area-based conservation measures” (“OECMs”) according to DFO science-based marine criteria.

The legislative tools that are currently used for the creation of Marine Refuges in Canada's oceans are licence conditions or variation orders under the Fisheries Act. Licence conditions and variation orders under the Fisheries Act can be in place for long durations, subject to the Minister's discretion. However, these tools are not specifically designed to address long-term biodiversity objectives, and are subject to adjustments or cancelation at any time.

The modernized Fisheries Act (2019) provides the Minister with authority to make regulations to establish long term spatial restrictions to fishing activities, specifically for the purpose of conserving and protecting marine biodiversity.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
Establishing Marine Refuges via ministerial regulations contributes to Canada's efforts to implement measures relating to several international agreements, the most significant being the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). International voluntary guidance on OECMs was adopted in November 2018, at the 14th conference of the Parties of the CBD. In May 2021, the CBD is expected to  adopt the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, including a new set of biodiversity targets, that replaced the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 (which included the protection of 10% of coastal and marine areas under the Aichi Targets) The establishment of the Marine Refuges via ministerial regulations will contribute to meeting new international guidance and objectives, by demonstrating the long term intent for these OECMs.

Public consultation opportunities
The concept of establishing existing and future Marine Refuges via ministerial regulations for the purpose of biodiversity protection has been included in broad engagement activities for the Fisheries Act Bill (Bill C-68); an Act to amend the Fisheries Act and other Acts in consequence.

Ministerial regulations could be made for existing new Marine Refuges, under the new regulatory authority to establish biodiversity protection regulations. Provincial and territorial governments, Indigenous groups and co-management partners, implicated fisheries advisory committees, and Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations will be engaged and consulted on these regulations.

Further information
General information about all existing marine refuges can be found here.

A geospatial dataset can be downloaded here.

The two web pages above are for information purposes only, and should not be considered legally authoritative. Please contact your local fishery officer for official coordinates and information about these closures.

Departmental contacts

Hilary Ibey
Manager, Marine Conservation Operations
Telephone:  613-295-1022
E-mail:  hilary.ibey@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Brett Gilchrist
Assistant Director, Integrated Resource Management
Telephone:  613-998-1779
E-mail:  Brett.Gilchrist@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan : 2018 (Ongoing)

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Species At Risk (Aquatic)

Proposed Listing Decisions for Aquatic Species under the Species At Risk Act

Enabling act: Species at Risk Act

Description of the objective
Changes to the List of Wildlife Species at Risk (Schedule 1 or the List) are made by an Order of the Governor in Council (GiC), on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment. An amendment to the List is considered a regulation within the meaning of the Statutory Instruments Act. Before making the recommendation, the Minister of the Environment must consult the competent minister or ministers for the species.  The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is the competent minister for aquatic species, other than individuals in or on federal lands administered by the Parks Canada Agency.  To that end, DFO prepares listing advice for the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to provide to the Minister of the Environment for his consideration in making listing recommendations to the GiC with respect to aquatic species.

Aquatic species listed on Schedule 1 as extirpated, endangered or threatened are, upon being listed, subject to the prohibitions under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) against the killing, harming, harassing, capturing, taking, possessing, collecting, buying, selling or trading of individuals of the listed species. It is also prohibited to damage or destroy the residence of individuals of a species that is listed as endangered or threatened, or that is listed as extirpated if a recovery strategy has recommended the reintroduction of the species into the wild in Canada. There are no prohibitions associated with aquatic species listed as species of special concern. SARA requires that an aquatic species' critical habitat be legally protected within 180 days of its identification in a final recovery strategy or action plan posted on the Species at Risk Public Registry.

This is a recurring process to amend Schedule 1 of SARA, based on the assessments of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). For species that are not yet on the List, the GiC may, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, add a species to the List, decide not to add a species to the List, or refer the matter back to COSEWIC for further information or consideration. For species already on the List, the GiC may, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, reclassify the species or remove it from the List. DFO takes into account a variety of factors in forming listing advice, including; science, stakeholder consultations, socio-economic analysis and species management.  DFO is planning to bring forward two substantial groups of species for listing consideration, during 2021-2023.

The regulatory proposals would amend Schedule 1 of SARA to reflect assessments done by the COSEWIC. The orders would propose that the GiC, on the recommendation of the Minister of the Environment, either 1) decide to add aquatic species to Schedule 1; 2) decide not to add aquatic species to Schedule 1; or 3) refer the matter back to COSEWIC.
The regulatory proposals aim to help to maintain Canada’s biodiversity and the wellbeing of Canadian ecosystems through the recovery and protection of species at risk.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
No regulatory cooperation efforts are required due to the nature of the proposed amendments.

However, there may be opportunities for regulatory cooperation efforts, for those species at risk that are added to Schedule 1, once DFO commences recovery planning required subsequent to listing.

Public consultation opportunities
Thorough and broad consultations are carried out in support of the development of listing recommendations. In addition, DFO offers  face-to-face meetings, or other forms of direct engagement, as appropriate. Various documents are published for public comment on the web-based Species at Risk Public Registry. An additional comment opportunity will be provided during the pre-publication of the proposed listing decisions in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

Further information

Information will be made available on each listing decision being proposed through the Species at Risk Public Registry, after a GiC decision.

Departmental contact

Corina Busby
Operations Manager, Species at Risk, Program Management
Telephone:  613-218-5945
E-mail:  corina.busby@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2012 (Ongoing)

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.


Orders for the Critical Habitat of Aquatic Species Listed Under The Species At Risk Act

Enabling act: Species at Risk Act

Description of the objective
Critical habitat is the habitat that is necessary for the survival or recovery of a wildlife species listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) and that is identified as the species' critical habitat in the recovery strategy or in an action plan for the species. Critical Habitat Orders (CHO) provide legal protection to the critical habitats of listed endangered or threatened species, or of a listed extirpated species, if a recovery strategy has recommended its reintroduction into the wild in Canada, through the application of the prohibition in subsection 58(1) of SARA against the destruction of any part of the species’ critical habitat.

SARA requires that the critical habitat be legally protected by provisions in, or measures under, SARA or any other Act of Parliament or by the application of subsection 58(1) of SARA within 180 days after the posting, on the Species at Risk Public Registry, of the final recovery strategy or action plan that identified the critical habitat.

The following is a list of species for which critical habitat has been identified and a CHO is being proposed by DFO:

CHOs for other aquatic species will be developed as recovery strategies or action plans, that identify critical habitat, are finalized.

Indication of business impacts
There may be business impacts. The “One-for-One” Rule and/or Small Business Lens may apply.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
The implementation of these SARA CHOs will complement existing federal legislation, such as the Fisheries Act.

SARA is a key tool for the conservation and protection of Canada’s biological diversity and fulfills a commitment made under the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity. As such, the Orders will respect this international agreement in furthering the protection of significant habitats in Canada to conserve a Canadian species at risk.

There are no international trade agreements that will be impacted as a result of the CHOs.

Public consultation opportunities
For all species, consultation on the CHO begins during the preparation of the recovery strategy or action plan that identifies critical habitat. SARA mandates that the recovery strategy and action plan be prepared in cooperation and consultation with certain persons, organizations or wildlife management boards. Upon completion, the proposed recovery strategy or action plan is included on the Species at Risk Public Registry, at which time all Canadians are given a 60 day period to provide comments. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans then has 30 days to review the comments or make appropriate changes before posting a final version of the recovery strategy or action plan on the Public Registry.

During the 2022-2024 planning period, it is anticipated that for some species, the proposed CHO will be pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I to give Canadians a further 30 day notice period to provide comments. After the closure of the pre-publication period, the final version of the CHO is published in the Canada Gazette, Part II.

Further information
You can visit the Species at Risk Public Registry for more information on aquatic species at risk and critical habitat.

Departmental contact

Julie Châteauvert
Manager, Species at Risk Recovery and Protection Manager
Telephone:  343-571-4670
Email:  julie.châteauvert@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2012 (Ongoing)

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

Miscellaneous Amendments

Regulations Amending Certain Department of Fisheries and Oceans Regulations (Miscellaneous Program)

Enabling act(s): Fisheries Act, Coastal Fisheries Protection Act

Description of the objective
Numerous minor, and administrative, amendments are proposed for various regulations made under the Fisheries Act and the Coastal Fisheries Protection Act. The majority of amendments respond to recommendations made by the Standing Joint Committee on the Scrutiny of Regulations (SJCSR).

The proposed amendments encompass the following:

Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 (AFR, 1985)
The proposed amendments ensure that the regulations are clear, accurate, and serve to minimize the possibility of misinterpretation of their regulatory requirements; update the regulations to reflect current terminology and remove any outdated references; repeal obsolete or spent regulatory provisions which have no current application; correct a discrepancy between the French and English versions; add clarity to a regulatory provision; and correct typographical or grammatical errors.

Maritimes Provinces Fishery Regulations (SOR/93-55)
The proposed amendment repeals an obsolete provision.

Saskatchewan Fishery Regulations, 1995 (SOR/95-233)
The proposed amendment responds to a recommendation made by the SJCSR to correct a typographical error.

Pacific Fishery Regulations, 1993 (SOR/93-54)
The proposed amendments correct typographical or grammatical errors, correct discrepancies between the French and English versions, remove obsolete references, add definitions for terms used in the regulations, ensure that the regulations are clear, accurate, and serve to minimize the possibility of misinterpretation of their regulatory requirements, and respond to other recommendations made by the SJCSR.

Coastal Fisheries Protection Regulations (C.R.C., c. 413)
The proposed amendment responds to a recommendation made by the SJCSR to correct a discrepancy between the French and English versions.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)
The proposed amendments are all administrative in nature and thus no regulatory cooperation efforts are required.

Public consultation opportunities
N/A

Further information
N/A

Departmental contact

Houman Kousha
Manager, Regulatory Affairs, Strategic Policy
Telephone:  613-993-1841
Email:  houman.kousha@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Date the regulatory initiative was first included in the Forward Regulatory Plan: 2021

For more information

To learn about upcoming or ongoing consultations on proposed federal regulations, visit the Canada Gazette and Consulting with Canadians websites.

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