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External Review of the Department’s Last-In, First-Out Policy on Northern Shrimp

Current status: Closed

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard launched the Ministerial Advisory Panel to carry out the external review of the Department’s Last-In, First-Out policy (LIFO) for the Northern shrimp fishery.

The purpose of the review was to gather perspectives from those affected by LIFO and offer advice to the Minister on whether the Policy should be continued, modified or abolished for the 2016 season and beyond. The Panel held seven public consultation meetings in communities in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Iqaluit and Halifax and heard from hundreds of stakeholders.

The Panel has completed its report and delivered it to the Minister.

Statement: Minister LeBlanc Accepts Key Recommendation of Advisory Panel on LIFO.

The Panel

The Panel members include:

  • Barbara Crann
  • Wayne Follett
  • Paul Sprout (Chair)
  • Trevor Taylor

Read biographies


Public Consultation Meetings

The Panel held seven public consultation meetings in the following communities across Atlantic Canada:

  • May 10, Iqaluit, NU
  • May 24-25, St. John’s, NL:
  • May 26, Gander, NL
  • May 28, St. Anthony, NL
  • May 30, Mary’s Harbour, NL
  • May 31, Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
  • June 10, Halifax, NS (Translation will be provided)

View presentations provided to the Panel.

Pre-consultative Meetings

During the week of May 2, the Panel held pre-consultative meetings with a cross-section of interested parties to obtain advice on its plans for public consultations, including potential meeting locations and timelines in carrying out its responsibilities. The Panel did not seek views on LIFO during this time.

Site Visits

In April 28 and 29, the Ministerial Advisory Panel carried out its first round of site visits to various Northern shrimp facilities. The purpose of these visits was to give the Panel an opportunity to learn more about the shrimp fishery first-hand from those who work in it. Further site visits will be scheduled in the following weeks.

Dates for other site visits include:

  • May 27, Northern Peninsula, NL
  • May 29, Charlottetown, Labrador

Photo gallery (Click on the picture)

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Written submissions

The Panel received 41 written submissions.

View written submissions

Terms of reference

External advisory process to examine the last in, first out policy in the northern shrimp fishery

A. Introduction

The Minister will appoint a Ministerial Advisory Panel (MAP) that will be tasked with providing advice on whether the Last In, First Out (LIFO) policy specific to the Northern shrimp fishery should be continued, modified or abolished.

B. Background

After a period of substantive growth, the Department has used LIFO to implement Total Allowable Catches (TACs) reductions in the southern Shrimp Fishing Areas (SFAs) areas of the Northern shrimp fishery since 2010. LIFO prescribes that those who last entered the fishery would be the first removed should the TAC fall to a certain threshold. As a result of LIFO, the inshore fleet’s allocation in this fishery has been reduced from more than 76,000t to less than half that amount in 2016. Northern shrimp stakeholders maintain polarized perspectives on the use of LIFO, with the inshore fleet and aboriginal groups, including Land Claimants, being of the view that adjacency should be the determining factor in access and allocation decisions. Science projects that the changing ecological conditions that have been observed in the past few years will continue possibility until 2035, creating an environment that is less favorable to shellfish including shrimp, and more favourable to groundfish species. Of note, the anticipated declines in this fishery are expected to be significant and regardless of the use of LIFO, access to the SFA 6 fishery by all stakeholders into the future is uncertain.

C. Objectives

  • The MAP will consist of up to 7 individuals.
  • The MAP, guided by a Chair is to offer advice if LIFO should be continued, modified or abolished for the 2016 season and beyond. If LIFO should be modified or abolished, what are the elements of an appropriate access and allocation tool / mechanism for this fishery?
  • To pronounce on the validity of applying LIFO to reduce allocations in SFAs which are subject to any of the three Land Claims Agreements in the commercial shrimp fishery.
  • To engage stakeholders though written and oral forums to seek their perspectives, concerns and suggestions on what constitutes an appropriate access and allocation regime in this fishery, including views on LIFO, while directly considering the anticipated continued stock declines in the Northern shrimp fishery.
  • To seek advice from other experts outside of the MAP as deemed necessary and appropriate.

D. Scope

  1. The MAP will focus their activities on identifying the concerns of the Northern shrimp fleets, and through various processes will ensure that stakeholder submissions are factual and based on evidence that can be substantiated. Further to this, the MAP will also obtain the perspectives of relevant governments, agencies, special allocation holders, Land Claims Resource Management Boards and Aboriginal / Inuit organizations.
  2. The MAP will not undertake research, but will instead rely on 1) existing documentation from the Department, 2) oral discussions and written submissions from stakeholders, 3) the specific expertise of individual MAP members and 4) the input and perspectives of specialists as deemed appropriate by the MAP.

E. Methodology / Approach

  1. The MAP will solicit written submissions from interested parties, and at a later time the submitting parties will be invited to meet with the MAP in a public venue. This represents a forum in which the MAP may ask questions or challenge any detail of the submission to ensure that the MAP is basing its decisions on the best available and factual information. The following stakeholders / parties will be invited to participate:
    • The Offshore Shrimp Fleet
    • The Inshore Shrimp Fleet
    • Special Allocation Holders
    • Relevant provincial and territorial governments and agencies
    • Rights Holders
    • Relevant Land Claims Resource Management Boards
    • Relevant Aboriginal organizations
    • Other stakeholders in the Northern shrimp fishery
  2. The MAP may consult other interests as required to ensure a proper and inclusive understanding of the issues, to validate points or to offer opposing perspectives.
  3. The MAP will carry out interviews, obtain and examine relevant documents and information and consult with other experts to ensure a thorough understanding of the perspectives of all parties.
  4. The MAP will organize meetings with the primary parties either individually, collectively or both at its discretion and likewise, with DFO staff.
  5. The MAP will have access, as required and subject to Access to Information and Privacy Acts, to DFO documentation and DFO personnel when seeking information on the fishery.
  6. The Chair will prepare and submit a written report to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on the MAP’s observations and recommendations.
  7. The above written report to the Minister will be provided in French or English and a final copy will be provided to the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister (ADM) of Ecosystems and Fisheries Management (EFM) no later than June 15, 2016.
  8. The MAP will determine an appropriate media spokesperson if required.
  9. A package will be prepared for the reviewer outlining the official set of facts and figures related to this issue from the Department’s perspective.

F. Considerations

  1. The need to clearly articulate if LIFO should be continued, modified or abolished. If modified or abolished, what would the altered / new regime look like?
  2. The need to consider LIFO in terms of aboriginal groups, and specifically with respect to each of the three Land Claims, in each of the Shrimp Fishing Areas.
  3. The need to obtain the most relevant information available to validate the issues and concerns raised by all parties.
  4. The need to ensure that all information upon which decisions are being made is factual and defensible.
  5. The need to give a strong rationale to support each of the recommendations and decisions of the MAP.

G. Costs

The MAP’s costs including professional fees, travel, accommodations, translation services, and meeting facilities will be paid by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Travel and meals costs associated with the work of the review will be paid at Treasury Board of Canada rates in effect.

Fishery and stock status
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