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British Columbia Aquaculture Regulatory Program

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Service standards

Performance against this standard will be tracked, measured and reported to Treasury Board and the public annually using existing processes. The target for achieving the service standard is 90%.

Consistent with the Harmonized Application Process, we will be considered to have met our service standard when the relevant signing authority has made a decision on the outcome of an application. Additional decisions may be required by other federal or provincial partners before an aquaculture licence can be issued or amended.

Time required for us to seek additional information from applicants, meet obligations related to Indigenous consultation, or harmonize decision-making with other government partners through the Canada-British Columbia Harmonized Licensing Process will not count toward tracking and performance against the 365-day service standard.

Applications are submitted through FrontCounter BC. The service standard applies from the time we have determined that the application is complete and initiate our assessment process. Upon receipt of a fully completed application,, we will make a decision regarding new sites or major technical amendments within 365 calendar days.

Types of services

New sites and major technical amendments

In addition to new site applications, the service standard applies to applications for major technical amendments. we typically consider an amendment to be “major” when it requires:

Examples of major technical amendments include:

How to apply for new sites and major technical amendments

While licences for aquaculture operations in British Columbia are issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the provincial government and other federal departments continue to play a role in the licensing process. Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Transport Canada and the Province of British Columbia work together in a harmonized application process. All applications for new sites and major technical amendments to existing sites for freshwater/land-based, shellfish and marine finfish aquaculture operations are submitted through FrontCounter BC.

Additional information regarding the harmonized licensing process for aquaculture in British Columbia is available on our website.

Administrative amendments

Examples of administrative amendments include:

Upon receipt of a fully completed application, we will process administrative amendments to a licence within 30 calendar days.

Minor technical amendments

We typically consider an amendment to be “minor” when a decision can be reached without the need for a rigorous review and assessment process, or the involvement of outside parties.
Examples of minor technical amendments include:

Upon receipt of a fully completed application, we will process minor technical amendments to a licence within 120 calendar days. 

Performance target

For each category, the target for achieving the corresponding standard is set at 90%.

Performance information
Service Standard Target 2017 2018 2019
Marine finfish applications including:
  • new licence applications
  • major technical amendments
Decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada within 365 calendar days 90% 100% 100% 100%
Shellfish applications including:
  • new licence applications
  • major technical amendments
Decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada within 365 calendar days 90% 100% 100% 100%
Freshwater/land-based applications including:
  • new licence applications
  • major technical amendments
Decision by Fisheries and Oceans Canada within 365 calendar days 90% 100% 100% 100%

In addition to the above service standards, we strive to meet the following timelines when processing administrative or minor technical amendments.

Performance information
Service delivery guidelines Target 2017 2018 2019
Administrative amendments Processed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada within 30 calendar days 90% 100% 95% 100%
Minor technical amendments Processed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada within 120 calendar days 90% 100% 80% 100%

Contact us

Questions regarding the application process should be directed to: Aquaculture.Licensing@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

Concerns regarding our ability to achieve our service standards or service delivery guidelines should be submitted to the email address for the relevant sector:

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