2014-15 Departmental Performance Report

Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Program 2.2 - Fisheries Protection

Description

Canada's freshwater and marine fish species and fish habitat play an important role in Canada's sustainable aquatic ecosystem and economic prosperity. Diverse activities undertaken in and near freshwater and marine fisheries waters such as oil and gas exploration and development, forestry, mining, hydroelectric power generation and agriculture have the potential to negatively impact fisheries by causing serious harm to the fish and fish habitat that support them. The Fisheries Protection Program policy objective is to contribute to the ongoing productivity and sustainability of Canada's commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries by minimizing threats from works undertakings and activities taking place in and near Canadian waters. This policy objective will, to the extent that the Fisheries Protection Program's mandate permits, contribute to the goal that the fisheries resources they support are maintained to provide for the sustainability and productivity of Canadian fisheries and their use by Canadians now and in the future. This, in turn, is expected to maintain the related economic, social and other benefits that are derived from such efforts from the fisheries and from development. The program's immediate goals are to: ensure that those conducting regulatory reviews of development projects have the necessary direction, guidance and training to respond to requests according to the legislative and regulatory framework; ensure that those undertaking development activities in or near commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries waters have the necessary direction to comply with legal and regulatory requirements under the Fisheries Act; and, provide organizations with resources, in cooperation with other funding partners to take remedial action on impacted habitat in areas that would improve Canada's recreational fisheries.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15
Main Estimates Planned Spending Total Authorities Available for Use Actual Spending (authorities used) Difference
(actual minus planned)
62,943,218 62,943,218 62,584,993 60,892,985 -2,050,233

Human Resources (full-time equivalents)

2014-15
Planned Actual Difference
(actual minus planned)
396.5 365.5 -31.0

Performance Measurement

Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Progress toward transformation from the management of fish habitat to providing for the sustainability and ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fisheries A new, national Fisheries Protection Policy framework is in place 100% by March 31, 2015 100%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Fisheries Protection program was successful in implementing a new, national Fisheries Protection Policy framework. The Fisheries Protection Policy Statement, Fisheries Productivity Investment Policy, Applicants' Guide to Submitting an Application for Authorization under Paragraph 35(2) (b) of the Fisheries Act, and a web-interface that includes a self-assessment tool and measures to avoid harm to fish, are available publically on the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Projects Near Water website; this constitutes the foundational components of the Fisheries Protection Program Policy framework. The development of additional policies and tools to support regulatory decision-making within the Fisheries Protection Program is ongoing. Further guidance to support regulatory decision-making, habitat banking and standards and guidelines are under development.


Sub-program 2.2.1 - Regulatory Reviews, Standards and Guidelines

Description

Fisheries and Oceans Canada's Fisheries Protection program is a federal regulator of development projects occurring in or around waters that support commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries across the country. The program's activities contribute to minimizing threats to the productivity of commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries. In the context of government-wide initiatives for responsible resource development and streamlined regulations, the program helps Canadians avoid, mitigate or manage serious harm to fisheries of commercial, recreational or Aboriginal importance. The program uses scientific knowledge and understanding to develop regulations and policies; provide formal advice and direction; provide input to environmental assessments (Canadian Environmental Assessment Act 2012 and Northern environmental regimes), engage with individuals, organizations, and other levels of government in order to and manage compliance in support of its fisheries protection objectives, and provides an expert support function to custodians under the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference
(actual minus planned)
39,619,180 36,965,311 -2,653,869

Human Resources (full-time equivalents)

2014-15
Planned Actual Difference
(actual minus planned)
304.5 275.8 -28.7

Performance Measurement

Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Progress toward transformation from the management of fish habitat to providing for the sustainability and ongoing productivity of commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fisheries A new, national Fisheries Protection Policy framework is in place 100% by March 31, 2015 100%
Proponents of projects have the necessary information to avoid/mitigate serious harm to fish and fish habitat that contribute to or support commercial, recreational, or aboriginal fisheries Percentage of the total projects submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada that do not require a site-specific review 25% by March 31, 2015 63.1%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Regulatory Reviews, Standards and Guidelines sub-program successfully implemented the new Fisheries Protection Program's policy framework. This framework has been broadly communicated to internal and external partners and stakeholders. Regulatory reviews are being carried out according to Program policy direction, and analysis and development of standards and guidelines in support of Program requirements is continuing. Ongoing communication, training and coordination will be of vital importance to maintain progress on Program transformation. Program governance and decision-making processes are being implemented and refined to ensure that this continues.

Of the 3,058 total projects submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 1,931 projects (63.1%) did not require a site-specific review. For this particular indicator, a low result is more favourable. Although the target of 25% was not met, data collected to date indicates that the trend is continuing to move towards reducing the percentage closer to the target. It is worth noting that the indicator has been modified for clarity for 2015-16. The new indicator is Percentage of the total projects submitted to Fisheries and Oceans Canada that require a site-specific review with a target of 75%. The desired result remains the same.


Sub-program 2.2.2 - Partnerships and Regulatory Arrangements

Description

The Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program promotes multi-partner initiatives and supports projects led by recreational fishing and angling groups, as well as conservation organizations, aimed at improving Canada's recreational fisheries. These groups have established expertise and collaborative approaches in fisheries conservation and are well positioned to deliver habitat restoration projects that benefit recreational fisheries. Program funding allows program recipients to take action to restore, rebuild and rehabilitate compromised and/or threatened fisheries habitat in areas that are important to the sustainability and productivity of Canada's recreational fisheries. In addition, the Fisheries Protection program staff maintains arrangements with other regulatory authorities from the federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal governments, or other parties that are best-placed to provide or support fisheries protection services to Canadians. The program framework's high level policy goal incorporates both regulatory and non-regulatory aspects of fisheries protection. This would provide for a mix of regulatory strategies designed to minimize threats to fish and fish habitat that are part of, or support, commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fisheries and non-regulatory strategies, that would involve, for example, working with partners to support habitat conservation. The Fisheries Protection program uses funding from the following transfer payment: Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference
(actual minus planned)
9,129,768 10,163,670 1,033,902

Human Resources (full-time equivalents)

2014-15
Planned Actual Difference
(actual minus planned)
18.0 13.5 -4.5

Note: The variance between planned and actual human resources is a result of a range of staffing arrangements, based on needs and priorities.

Performance Measurement

Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Partnership projects are implemented Number of projects funded 150 by March 31, 2015 284
Number of partners 300 by March 31, 2015 559
Targeted recreational fisheries habitat is restored Area of fisheries habitat restored 90% by March 31, 2015 90%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Partnerships and Regulatory Arrangements sub-program funded 284 projects, surpassing their target of 150 as a result of increased funding under the Economic Action Plan 2014.

The sub-program has 559 partners, surpassing its target of 300. The target was surpassed for two reasons: more partnerships than anticipated have been formed under this program per project and an additional $15 million was added to the program in Budget 2014, including an additional $5 million in 2014-15.

Based on information available to date, the program will meet its target of 90% of planned recreational fisheries habitat restored in both areal (square meter) and lineal (kilometer) measures.


Sub-program 2.2.3 - Aquatic Invasive Species

Description

As part of the Canadian Action Plan to Address the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species, Fisheries and Oceans Canada is developing new regulations to prevent the introduction of aquatic invasive species, detect new invaders early, respond rapidly to new invaders, and, where necessary, manage established and spreading invaders. Once brought into force, the Department will work with federal, provincial and territorial partners to administer and enforce the regulations. The administration of regulations will be supported by ongoing scientific activities, such as research on pathways of invasion, methodologies to detect new invasions, risk assessments and control measures.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2014-15
Planned Spending Actual Spending Difference
(actual minus planned)
14,194,270 13,764,005 -430,265

Human Resources (full-time equivalents)

2014-15
Planned Actual Difference
(actual minus planned)
74.0 76.2 2.2

Performance Measurement

Expected Result Performance Indicator Target Actual Result
Decision-makers and legislative authorities have science information and tools to manage aquatic invasive species domestically and internationally Number of risk assessments on Aquatic Invasive Species for which science advice is provided Maintain 5 year average of 2 by March 31, 2015 2
Sea lamprey abundance in Great Lakes falls within individual lake targets Number of Great Lakes with sea lamprey abundance at or below the lake specific sea lamprey levels established by the Great Lakes Fishery Commission 5 by March 31, 2015 4
Program managers have the tools necessary to prevent or manage the spread of Asian carp in the Great Lakes Percentage of requested tools (e.g., scientific reports, publications, outreach products) delivered to managers within the required timelines Maintain 5 year average of 80% by March 31, 2015 85%

Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

Science advice was provided as required for all the risk assessments underway.

Sea Lamprey control was successful in 4 of the 5 Great Lakes during 2014-15, the best performance in 20 years. Sea Lamprey abundance is estimated from trap catches of adult sea lampreys during their spawning migrations. In 2014, Sea Lamprey abundance estimates were at or below targets in all Great Lakes except Erie, where production from the uncontrolled St. Clair River population is having a negative impact. The estimates for Lakes Ontario and Huron were the lowest in 35 and 34 years, respectively. Increased investment in Sea Lamprey treatment efforts has been successful.

Critical tools were delivered to prevent the arrival and spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. These include extensive early detection surveys, effective outreach products and education efforts to engage the public in prevention, and a public reporting hot line was improved. Extensive early detection was delivered in over 500 sites in all Canadian Great Lakes in close cooperation with Ontario and the United States. Working closely with the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and the Invasive Species Centre, new outreach and education products were produced with positive uptake. These collaborations enabled new communication efforts including workshops and participation in approximately 200 community events and tradeshows which communicated messages about how the public can help prevent Asian Carp. Investment in efforts to protect Canadian waters from Asian Carp has been successful. Collaboration and coordination with the Province of Ontario and with partners in the United States was key to this success.