Supplementary Information Tables

Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

1. Overview of the federal government’s approach to sustainable development

The 2013-16 Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) presents the Government of Canada’s sustainable development activities, as required by the Federal Sustainable Development Act. In keeping with the objectives of the Act to make environmental decision making more transparent and accountable to Parliament, Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO/CCG) supports the implementation of the FSDS through the activities described in this supplementary information table.

2. Our Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy

This Departmental Sustainable Development Strategy describes DFO/CCG’s actions in support of: Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; Theme III: Protecting Nature and Canadians; and, Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint, Beginning with Government. The report for 2016–17 presents a high level overview of results and is the final report under the 2013–16 FSDS. Last year’s report is available on the departmental website.

3. Departmental performance highlights

Theme 1: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

Under Theme I, DFO/CCG contributed to the 2013-16 FSDS through 1 implementation strategies for Goal 1: Climate Change.

Implementation Strategies: Performance Summary

As DFO/CCG does not lead on Theme 1 no FSDS goal and target details are included.

Implementation Strategies Results
1.2.8. Through the assessment of risk and the development of science-based knowledge and applied adaptation tools, enable climate change considerations to influence decision-making by the Department and by Canadians at large.
  • DFO/CCG obtained a two-year renewal of the Aquatic Climate Change Adaptation Services Program (ACCASP) through Budget 2016. DFO/CCG funds research focused on the areas of highest risk identified in climate change risk assessments conducted under ACCASP (2011-2016) for Canada’s three oceans and major inland waterways including:
    • Ocean acidification;
    • Vulnerability of fisheries and small craft harbours to climate change, and methods to incorporate climate change considerations in management decisions;
    • Refinement of Applied Ocean Models; and,
    • National Synthesis and Communication of Climate Risks.
  • DFO/CCG is monitoring and studying the effects that changing ocean conditions, including water temperature and chemistry, are having on Canada’s fisheries, aquatic ecosystems, and coastlines. The Department also looked at the impacts of sea-level rise and more frequent storms and storm surges on coasts and ocean infrastructure to inform departmental decisions related to adapting fisheries and oceans management and coastal infrastructure. For example, DFO/CCG expanded the coverage of the National Coastal Infrastructure Vulnerability Index to examine additional DFO/CCG marine Small Craft Harbour sites.

Theme III: Protecting Nature and Canadians

Under Theme III, DFO/CCG contributed to the 2013–16 FSDS through 7 implementation strategies for Goal 4: Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems, Wildlife and Habitat, and Protecting Canadians; and, 6 implementation strategies for Goal 5: Biological Resources.

The following table shows the FSDS target led by DFO/CCG, along with the associated FSDS goal, performance indicator and performance results.

FSDS goal FSDS target FSDS performance indicator FSDS performance results
Goal 4: Conserving and Restoring Ecosystems, Wildlife and Habitat, and Protecting Canadians. Target 4.5
Marine Ecosystems:
By 2020, 10% of coastal and marine areas are conserved through networks of protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures.
Percentage of total coastal and marine territory conserved in marine protected areas and other effective area-based conservation measures. The pre-existing Federal Provincial and Territorial contribution to the targets was 0.9%. New fisheries closures were announced in September 2016 (0.16%); Anguniaqvia niqiqyuam Marine Protected Area (MPA) announced in November 2016 (0.04%); and, the Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs MPA was announced in February 2017 (0.04%). With these new measures, the percentage of Canada’s ocean protection is 1.14%.
Goal 5: Biological Resources. Target 5.1
Sustainable Fisheries:
Improve the management and conservation of major stocks.
Percentage of major fish stocks where the harvest rate is at or below approved levels.

Of the 170 major fish stocks tracked by the Sustainability Survey for Fisheries, 91% have a harvest rate level at or below approved levels (e.g., removal reference, quota, total allowable catch).

For more information on this indicator, refer to 5.1 Sustainable Fisheries.

Target 5.2
Sustainable Aquaculture:
By 2020, all aquaculture in Canada is managed under a science-based regime that promotes the sustainable use of aquatic resources (including marine, freshwater, and land based) in ways that conserve biodiversity.
Aquaculture under a science framework:
The extent to which aquaculture is managed under a science-based environmental regulatory framework.

The entire Canadian aquaculture sector (100%) is managed under the science-based environmental framework of the Fisheries Act and its associated regulations.

For more information on this indicator, refer to 5.2 Sustainable Aquaculture.

Implementation strategies: performance summary

Implementation Strategies Results
4.1.8. Enhance the implementation of the Species at Risk Act (SARA) within DFO/CCG to protect and recover species at risk relative to their respective mandates by preparing recovery strategies, and management and action plans as applicable.
  • As part of the Government’s commitment to preserve Canada’s biodiversity, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Parks Canada, and DFO/CCG are working towards ensuring more timely and effective protection of species at risk by completing pending recovery documents.
  • DFO/CCG published its recovery document posting plan for aquatic listed species in February 2016. To date, DFO/CCG has published recovery documents for 48 of 64 or 75% of aquatic species as detailed below by recovery document type.
    • Recovery Strategies for 7 of 9 (78%) aquatic species.
    • Management Plans for 9 of 13 (69%) aquatic species.
    • Action Plans for 32 of 42 (76%) aquatic species.
4.5.1. Develop a federal-provincial-territorial network of Marine Protected Areas.
  • MPA network development is underway in five bioregions. Main activities include continued engagement with interested parties, technical work through decision support software to advance network designs and a Science Advisory Process in the Gulf of St. Lawrence Bioregion to review a preliminary draft network design.
4.5.2. Adopt integrated management approaches for ocean activities.
  • DFO is implementing priority actions from the Integrated Oceans Management (IOM) plans that have been developed with planning partners in five large oceans management areas. In February 2017, the Government of Canada endorsed the final one of these IOM plans – the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area (PNCIMA) plan.
  • A four-step Integrated Oceans Management Implementation Framework and Module have been developed. This will ensure a consistency in implementation across the Regions through the use of an implementation framework; provide specific guidance around each of the four implementation steps and how the different phases of IOM inter-relate; and, present a common set of tools and templates to be used by IOM practitioners.
  • An Ecologically and Biologically Significant Area (EBSA) guidance module has also been developed to increase general awareness of EBSAs and their utility in characterizing and assessing the ecosystems in the management area.
  • To advance IOM, DFO is now moving towards implementing marine planning processes in specific priority marine bioregions under pressure from human activities. These have been integrated into the Program’s Risk management Module.
  • Funding was provided through the Oceans Protection Plan to engage key stakeholders in the development of a new governance framework to foster better co-management of Canada’s oceans, including an early adoption project of marine spatial planning in the Pacific North Coast.
4.5.4. Undertake research and provide advice to decision makers on marine ecosystems, including impacts of environmental stressors on species at risk and ecological risks associated with specific high-priority ocean activities.
  • As part of the new whale protections under Canada’s Oceans Protection Plan (OPP) announced in November 2016, DFO/CCG initiated a science-based review of the effectiveness of current recovery actions underway for three whale species (North Atlantic Right Whale, Southern Resident Killer Whale, and St. Lawrence-Estuary Beluga) listed under SARA. For more information visits the Let’s Talk Whales webpage.
4.5.5. Make demonstrable progress in protecting ecologically significant marine areas.
  • On June 8, 2016, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced the Government of Canada’s commitment to put in place a plan to reach its domestic and international marine conservation targets of protecting 5 percent of Canada’s marine and coastal areas by 2017 and 10 percent by 2020.
  • Two areas: Anguniaqvia Niqiqyuam and Hecate Strait and Queen Charlotte Sound Glass Sponge Reefs, were designated as Marine Protected Areas under the Oceans Act in November 2016 and February 2017, respectively. The Regulations for St. Anns Bank were pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 17, 2016, for a 45-day public comment period.
  • The Department continued working with stakeholders to identify new Areas of Interest. These new areas will be announced as part of the Marine Conservation Target Initiative.
  • The Department developed operational guidance intended to provide a consistent and science-based approach to identifying and reporting on marine Other Effective Area-Based Conservation Measures (OEABCMs) that contribute to Canada’s international and domestic marine conservation targets.
  • The Department examined how the Oceans Act can be updated to facilitate the designation process for MPAs.
4.6.4. Decision makers and legislative authorities have science information and tools to manage aquatic invasive species domestically and internationally.
  • 100% of approved requests for science advice were completed in 2016-17.
  • Research documents and science advice from the National Risk Assessment of Recreational Boating as a path for Aquatic Invasive Species peer-review meeting were finalized.
  • Identified and refined client needs for science advice on a national risk assessment of the aquarium and pet trade as a path for aquatic invasive species.
  • National peer-review meeting was held to provide science advice to ensure the Canadian Marine Invasive Screening Tool (CMIST) would be suitable for use on all potentially invasive species listed in the Pacific Fisheries Regulation Schedule VIII.
4.8.1. Implement the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan and complete remediation and risk management activities at known high priority federal contaminated sites.
  • DFO/CCG implemented assessment activities at 28 sites funded by the Federal Contaminated Sites Action Plan (FCSAP), and of these, the assessment phase for 10 sites is now complete.
  • DFO/CCG undertook remediation and risk management activities at 166 FCSAP sites, and of these, the remediation work is now complete for 40 sites. These 40 sites could therefore be closed.
  • DFO/CCG closed 61 contaminated sites that were funded by FCSAP, which indicates that the human health and environmental risks are fully mitigated.
5.1.1. Deliver an integrated fisheries program that is credible, science-based, affordable, effective and contributes to sustainable wealth for Canadians.
  • In 30% of Integrated Fisheries Management Plans Sustainable Fisheries Framework tools have been used.
  • The target has been met with respect to the percentage of major stocks (Atlantic and Pacific) with stable sharing arrangements.
  • With respect to Fishery Checklist for major stocks, the target has been met. A survey has been completed for 100% of the major stocks.
5.1.2. Undertake research to improve understanding of marine ecosystems.
  • In 2016/17, DFO/CCG conducted research and monitoring activities in the Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic Oceans to further knowledge of these marine ecosystems. This research included, for example, identifying important areas and species, determining how environmental conditions influence fish recruitment and migration, investigating predator-prey dynamics, and examining the impacts of human activities on marine ecosystems.
5.1.3. Increase knowledge of fisheries resources, their productivity and the ecosystem factors affecting them.
  • Under Budget 2016, the Department created 63 new positions in Fisheries Science. These new scientists have increased capacity for research, monitoring, and for carrying out state-of-the-art stock assessments. In the last year a large number of assessments have included analyses of ecosystem factors affecting productivity including: analyses of community structure and composition; diet composition; predation mortality; available thermal habitat; composite thermal indexes; and, temperature regime shifts. Examples of such assessments from 2016-2017 are: Snow Crab in Newfoundland waters, in the Gulf of St Lawrence, and on the Scotian shelf; Northern shrimp in Newfoundland waters and on the Scotian shelf; herring in Newfoundland waters; and, haddock on the Scotian Shelf.
5.2.1. Deliver an efficient federal-provincial aquaculture regulatory management regime that is developed consistent with regulatory best practices.
  • DFO/CCG and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency commenced working with Atlantic Provinces to coordinate/streamline authorizations in advance of the implementation of the Health Policy of the Atlantic Provinces for the Transfer of Live Cultured Finfish in Atlantic Canada.
  • To improve the harmonization of the monitoring requirements of the Aquaculture Activities Regulations (AAR), DFO/CCG has maintained collaboration with provinces through established mechanisms under the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM).
  • CCFAM endorsed the Aquaculture Development Strategy in June 2016, to support continued federal-provincial cooperation on aquaculture.
5.2.2. Develop and release reporting to Canadians on aquaculture sustainability.
  • Aquaculture operators submitted their first reports (on the use of drug and pesticides) required under the AAR. The Department analyzed the data and assessed options for public reporting.
5.2.3. Increase the science knowledge base needed to support informed ecosystem-based environmental regulation and decision making, especially that of regulatory-based programs such as Aquaculture Management.
  • Conducted research to support aquaculture regulatory and management decisions. Research was conducted in the areas of fish pest and pathogen management; interactions between wild populations and cultured finfish and shellfish; release of organic matter into the environment; and, the cumulative effects of aquaculture on the ecosystem. Both new and ongoing research has built upon and increased scientific understanding and will contribute to better management decisions.

Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint, Beginning with Government

Under Theme IV, DFO/CCG contributed to the 2013–16 FSDS through 25 implementation strategies for Goal 6: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Energy; Goal 7: Waste and Asset Management; and, Goal 8: Water Management.

FSDS goal FSDS target FSDS performance indicator FSDS performance results
Goal 6: Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions and Energy:
Reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption of federal operations.
Target 6.1
GHG emissions reduction:
The Government of Canada will reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its buildings and fleets by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.
Departmental GHG emission reductions from building and fleets relative to fiscal year 2005–06, expressed as a percentage.

Overall, DFO/CCG achieved a 24.6% reduction in emissions relative to the FY 2005-06 baseline. Specifically, DFO/CCG’s 58 tracked facilities achieved a reduction of 21.6% relative to 2005-06, and DFO/CCG vehicle fleet achieved a reduction of 35.2% relative to 2005-06.

*Figures for Facilities are calculated using the Fixed Emissions Factor approach for electricity generation.

Goal 7: Waste and Asset Management:
Reduce waste generated, and minimize the environmental impacts of assets throughout their life cycle.
Target 7.1
Real Property Environmental Performance: As of April 1, 2014, and pursuant to departmental Real Property Sustainability Frameworks, an industry recognized level of high environmental performance will be achieved in Government of Canada real property projects and operations.

Total number of existing Crown-owned buildings (over 1000 m2) and new lease or lease renewal projects (over 1000 m2) where the Crown is the major lessee, assessed for environmental performance using an industry-recognized assessment tool, and associated floor space (m2).








Total number of existing Crown-owned buildings, new construction, build-to-lease projects, major renovations projects, achieving an industry-recognized level of high environmental performance, and associated floor space (m2)

Number of fit-up and refit projects achieving an industry-recognized level of high environmental performance

In FY 2016-17, six existing Crown-owned buildings (located at the Pacific Biological Station, Saint Andrews Biological Station, and the Freshwater Institute) amounting to 37,190 m2 of floor space were assessed for environmental performance using the Builders Owners Management Association (BOMA) Building Environmental Standards (BEST) assessment program.

DFO/CCG had no new lease or lease renewal projects targeted under this indicator in FY 16-17.



DFO/CCG had no fit-up or refit projects targeted under this indicator in FY 2016-17.

Target 7.2: Green Procurement:
As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will continue to take action to embed environmental considerations into public procurement, in accordance with the federal Policy on Green Procurement.

Departmental approach to further the implementation of the Policy on Green Procurement in place.

Number and percentage of specialists in procurement and/or material management who have completed the Canada School of Public Service Procurement course or equivalent, in the given fiscal year.

Number and percentage of managers and functional heads of procurement and materiel whose performance evaluation includes support and contribution toward green procurement, in the given fiscal year.




2 (of 3) (66%).







5 (100%).
All managers, and functional heads of procurement and materiel, whose performance evaluation includes support and contributions towards green procurement complied to be environmentally responsible in acquisition, use and disposal of goods and services.

Target 7.3: Sustainable Workplace Operations:
As of April 1, 2015, the Government of Canada will update and adopt policies and practices to improve the sustainability of its workplace operations.
Existence of departmental approach to maintain or improve the sustainability of workplace policies and practices. DFO/CCG’s Sustainable Workplace Approach was approved in April 2015.
Goal 8: Water Management Target 8.1: Water Management: As of April 1, 2014, the Government of Canada will take further action to improve water management within its real property portfolio

Existence of an approach to improving water management in departmental Real Property Sustainability Framework.



Amount and percentage of floor space of new Crown-owned construction and major renovation projects that includes water metering, in the given fiscal year.

DFO/CCG’s Real Property Sustainability Framework was approved in March 2015. This Framework includes DFO/CCG’s approach to improving water management.

DFO/CCG has drafted an operational directive which standardizes the Department's approach to water conservation within its custodial facilities. Included in this directive are standards regarding water metering requirements for new construction. DFO/CCG had no new construction or major renovation projects targeted under this indicator in FY 16-17.

Implementation Strategies: Performance Summary

  • Due to the high emissions factors for electricity in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Maritimes and Gulf regional facilities accounted for 73% of total greenhouse gas emissions from facilities. As a result, it is necessary energy consumption in these two regions is managed effectively and investments are made to increase the efficiency of these facilities. Moving forward, DFO/CCG has plans in place to hire a dedicated energy manager to assist with ongoing energy management in these regions. It should be noted that DFO/CCG’s 2 largest facilities in terms of size, the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, and the Canadian Coast Guard College, are located in Nova Scotia.
  • The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from DFO/CCG’s vehicle fleet is the result of continued departmental initiatives aimed at right-sizing DFO/CCG’s vehicle fleet relative to its operational requirements.
  • DFO/CCG has been undertaking environmental performance assessments of its existing buildings using the BOMA BEST program since 2012. Since that time, 14 facilities have been assessed and achieved a minimum of BOMA BEST Level 1 certification, which means that these facilities have met or exceeded industry best practices in the categories of energy, water, waste, emissions and effluents, indoor environment and environmental management systems. BOMA has recently released version 3.0 of their assessment program. The requirements of version 3.0 of the program are more stringent compared to version 2.0 and therefore will require additional resource requirements as well as additional delineation of roles and responsibilities. DFO/CCG is currently piloting the new program at the Bedford Institute of Oceanography, and the Institute of Ocean Sciences.

4. Report on Strategic Environmental Assessment

During the 2016–17 reporting cycle, DFO/CCG considered the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals, as part of its decision-making processes. Through the Strategic Environmental Assessment process, departmental proposals were found to have positive effects on progress toward the 2013–16 FSDS goals and targets in Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality, Theme III: Protecting Nature and Canadians, and Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint, Beginning with Government.

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