Supplementary Information Tables
Response to Parliamentary Committees and External Audits
|Response to Parliamentary Committees
On May 6, 2016, Report 3 – A Report on the Closure of the Comox Marine Communications and Traffic Services was tabled at the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans (SCOFO). The Committee examined the impacts of the modernization of Marine Communications and Traffic Services (MCTS) on the West Coast, including the closure of the Comox MCTS Centre. The Government Response tabled on August 17, 2017 notes that the recommendations are consistent with the scope and intent of the project to upgrade the Canadian Coast Guard’s communications equipment and its consolidation of MCTS Centres across the country.
On January 30, 2017, Report 5 – Wild Atlantic Salmon in Eastern Canada was tabled at the House of Commons SCOFO. The Committee undertook a comprehensive study on the conservation, restoration and socio-economic issues related to the Atlantic salmon in Canada. The Committee found there was no single factor contributing to the continued decline of Wild Atlantic Salmon, rather overarching factors that contribute to the health of salmon. The Government Response tabled on May 30, 2017, notes the majority of the recommendations are consistent with initiatives currently being advanced or considered by the Department.
On February 24, 2017, Report 6 – Review of changes made in 2012 to the Fisheries Act: enhancing the protection of fish and fish habitat and the management of Canadian fisheries was tabled at the House of Commons SCOFO. The Committee states that healthy fish habitat is critical for the vitality of fish populations and sustainable fisheries. They note that there is room to enhance fish and fish habitat protections and fisheries management through proposed amendments to the Act. The Government Response tabled on June 20, 2017, states that the Committee’s insights will be a valuable contribution to the review of the Act currently underway along with other broader reviews of the environment and regulatory process in Canada.
On March 7, 2017, Report 10 – Newfoundland and Labrador’s Northern Cod Fishery: Charting a new sustainable future was tabled at the House of Commons SCOFO. The Committee found that to ensure a sustainable future northern cod fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador emphasis needs to be placed on the precautionary approach and long-term stock rebuilding considerations. The Government Response tabled on June 19, 2017 notes the majority of recommendations are consistent with initiatives currently being advanced or considered by the Department.
On March 24, 2017, Report 5 – Taking Action Today: Establishing Protected Areas for Canada’s Future was tabled at the House of Commons Standing Committee on the Environment and Sustainable Development. The Committee’s findings included recommendations for Fisheries and Oceans Canada with respect to the protection of ten percent of coastal and marine areas by 2020. The Government Response, tabled by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada, on June 16, 2017 found that the majority of the report’s recommendations are consistent with initiatives currently being addressed by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and other federal departments and agencies.
On June 20, 2016, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled its Fourth Report in three volumes: Volume One – Aquaculture industry and Governance in Canada, Volume Two – Aquaculture Industry and Governance in Norway and Scotland and Volume Three – An Ocean of Opportunities: Aquaculture in Canada. The Government Response tabled on November 1, 2016 notes that the majority of the recommendations are consistent with the actions and initiatives that are already being taken by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, other federal departments and agencies, and provincial, territorial and industry partners through the new Aquaculture Development Strategy, accepted by the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers in June 2016.
|Response to Audits Conducted by the Auditor General (including to the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development)
This audit focused on whether Fisheries and Oceans Canada had identified and put in place selected key elements needed to manage Canada’s fisheries for conservation and sustainability, such as management planning and the collection and analysis of information about the state of fish stocks and how many fish are caught. To determine this, the Commissioner of the Environment and Sustainable Development (CESD) Reports looked at the 154 major fish stocks that the Department is responsible for managing. It also examined the following selected fish stocks in closer detail: geoduck clam, and certain stocks of Greenland halibut, narwhal, bluefin tuna, capelin, chinook salmon, and lobster.
The CESD concluded that Fisheries and Oceans Canada had identified the key elements it needed for fisheries management: Integrated Fisheries Management Plans, scientific surveys, third-party fisheries observer programs, stock assessments, and reference points for establishing stock health. However, the Department had not put these elements in place for all major stocks.
It also concluded that Fisheries and Oceans Canada did not always apply these key planning elements to ensure management decisions for selected fisheries were focused on conservation and sustainable use.
The CESD audit report contains eight recommendations, for which the Department is in agreement with. Over the course of the past year, the Department has taken the following corrective actions to address the recommendations:
Recommendation 2.28: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should set out priorities, targets, and timelines for putting in place Integrated Fisheries Management Plans for all major fish stocks. These should include long-term, specific, measurable objectives, performance reviews, and rebuilding plans for stocks in the critical zone that are still being fished. These plans should also be made publicly accessible.
Recommendation 2.45: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should review its current scientific survey activities to identify gaps, and adjust its activities to ensure they are fully aligned with departmental priorities.
Recommendation 2.52: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should improve controls for third-party fisheries observer programs to ensure sufficient coverage of fishing vessels, timely data, and mitigation of potential or actual conflicts of interest on the part of observer companies.
Recommendation 2.63: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should set out priorities and timelines for establishing the reference points at which the major stocks it manages can be considered healthy, in the cautious zone, or in the critical zone.
Recommendation 2.65: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should set out priorities and timelines for identifying the measures to be taken if a major stock falls below a certain level, where this has not yet been done, so that sustainable fishing limits can be determined with greater certainty.
Recommendation 2.71: For each major fish stock, Fisheries and Oceans Canada should identify the indicators and values that would trigger a full stock assessment earlier than scheduled.
Recommendation 2.80: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should ensure it has allocated adequate resources to develop a system or systems that allow for data availability and comparison to enable more effective and efficient fisheries management.
Recommendation 2.93: Fisheries and Oceans Canada should improve coordination between regions so that it can better share the fisheries monitoring information needed to manage the northern and Atlantic Greenland halibut stocks
|Response to Audits Conducted by the Public Service Commission of Canada or the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
|There were no audits in 2016-17 requiring a response.
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