Atlantic Fishery Regulations (1985) – Tending of Fishing Gear

Enabling act(s): Fisheries Act

Description of the objective

The Atlantic Fishery Regulations (1985) Section 115.2 prohibit any person from leaving fishing gear unattended in the water for more than 72 consecutive hours. The purpose of the regulation is to minimize loss of fishing gear, incidental mortality, the potential for gear conflict and spoilage of catch. Representatives from some fixed gear fishing fleets believe that, as fisheries change, new fisheries develop and new science becomes available, these outcomes may be more effectively met through other means and in a manner that better accommodates the operational and safety needs of the fishery. The proposed amendment 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 amendment is to increase flexibility, there could be savings for business. The “One-for-One” Rule and Small Business Lens would not be triggered.

Regulatory cooperation efforts (domestic and international)

No regulatory cooperation efforts are anticipated to be necessary. However, discussions will be held with other agencies (e.g. provincial government, Transport Canada) as may be appropriate to ensure they are aware of proposed changes and have opportunity to raise any concerns. Consideration will also be given to other related DFO regulations.

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 which is anticipated to take place during the 2020-22 planning period.

Further information

More information will be publicly available online following the consultation.

Departmental contact


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

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