Beneficial Ownership Survey
From January 31, 2022 to April 30, 2022, a number of commercial fishing licence holders and vessel owners were required to complete a mandatory online survey. The information gathered through this survey will help the Department make better decisions for fish harvesters and their communities.
2022 Beneficial Ownership Survey results
About the survey
The Beneficial Ownership Survey will help the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) gather information about who is benefitting from having access to commercial fishing across Canada, including the amount of access allocated to small and medium sized businesses, concentration of access, and foreign ownership.
Beneficial owners are individuals who directly or indirectly own or control (in whole or in part) a corporation or an entity. Beneficial owners are not the corporations or entities.
The survey requested information from individuals – either vessel owners or licence holders – including: full names, citizenship, and the ownership percentage held by the beneficial owner(s). Individuals responsible for enterprises with multiple owners (“multi-tiered corporations”) needed to provide information about all of the direct or indirect beneficial owners for all parent companies that are in the full corporate structure related to the commercial fishing access.
In Pacific Region, the Beneficial Ownership Survey was mandatory for all:
- party-based licence holders
- contact vessel owners (or their designated signing authority) for vessels which hold a vessel-based licence eligibility
In the Atlantic, Quebec, and Arctic regions, the Beneficial Ownership Survey was mandatory for all:
- mid-shore licence holders
- offshore licence holders
- inshore exempted fleet licence holders
- inshore Elver licence holders
The following licence holders were exempt from the survey:
- inshore licence holders that are subject to Part III of the Atlantic Fisheries Regulations (1985) or Part I.1 of the Marine Provinces Fisheries Regulations (i.e. “the inshore regulations”) and do not hold any other commercial licence(s) that were issued under other regulations made under the Fisheries Act, such as Atlantic Fishery Regulations.
- communal-commercial licence holders who have been issued a licence under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations and do not hold any other commercial licence(s) that were issued under other regulations made under the Fisheries Act, such as the Pacific Fisheries Regulations and Atlantic Fishery Regulations.
The surveys are mandatory and the Minister has the authority under the Fisheries Act to ask licence holders and vessel owners for this kind of information. Failure to provide the required information through the survey constitutes a prosecutable offence under section 78 of the Fisheries Act.
Number of survey submissions required
Pacific region licence holders may need to complete the Survey more than once if they hold multiple types of fisheries access:
- party-based licence holders with multiple licences are only required to submit one survey, regardless of the number of licences they hold.
- contact vessel owners whose vessel(s) holds a vessel-based licence eligibility must submit one survey for each vessel with a unique ownership structure
- This means a contact vessel owner who owns more than one vessel that all have the same ownership structure is only required to submit one survey.
- contact vessel owners who also hold a party-based licence must submit another survey for their party-based licences
Atlantic Canada, Quebec, and Arctic region licence holders are only required to submit one survey, regardless of the number of licences issued to them.
- Date modified: