Maritimes Region Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy

  1. All persons making use of this document are reminded that it is a policy document and, as such, its content may change without prior notice. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans should be consulted for all purposes of interpreting and applying this policy.
  2. Notwithstanding the provisions specified in this document, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard retains complete discretion to make exceptions to these provisions.

Table of contents

Terminology

Introduction
Part One – General Licensing Policy
Chapter One – Entering the Commercial Fishery – General Requirements
  1. Personal Fisher Registration
  2. Vessels
  3. Commercial Licence Issuance
Chapter Two – Licence Eligibility
  1. Residency, Home port, or Area of Historical Fishing
  2. Coastal Sector Eligibility
  3. Inshore Sector Eligibility
  4. Exempted Fleets, Midshore, and Offshore Sectors Eligibility
Chapter Three: Inshore Sector Policies
  1. Owner-Operator Policy
  2. Fleet Separation Policy
  3. Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries
  4. Policy on Issuing Licences to Companies
Chapter Four: Accessing other Fisheries
  1. Exploratory Fisheries
  2. Recreational Fisheries
  3. Aboriginal Commercial Communal Fisheries
Chapter Five: Licence Amendments
  1. Licence Reissuance
  2. Harvest Benefit Combining
  3. Partnerships
  4. Stacking
  5. Substitute Operator
  6. Substitute Vessel
  7. Death of Licence Holder
Part Two – Species Policies
  1. Bait
  2. Clams
  3. Crab
  4. Eels
  5. Elvers (Glass Eels)
  6. Gaspereau
  7. Groundfish
  8. Hagfish (Slime Eels)
  9. Herring
  10. Lobster
  11. Mackerel
  12. Marine Plants
  13. Marine Worms
  14. Mussels
  15. Oysters
  16. Scallop
  17. Sea Cucumbers
  18. Sea Urchins
  19. Seals
  20. Shad
  21. Shrimp
  22. Smelt
  23. Squid
  24. Sturgeon (Atlantic)
  25. Swordfish
  26. Tuna, Bluefin
Annexes

Terminology

Controlling Agreement: An agreement between a licence holder and a person, corporation, or other entity that permits a person, other than the licence holder, to control or influence the licence holder’s decision to submit a request to DFO for issuance of a replacement licence to another fish harvester (commonly referred to as a “licence transfer”).

As set out in the Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries, agreements between the licence holder and a Recognized Financial Institution (RFI) are not Controlling Agreements if (1) there is no third party involved in the agreement or (2) any co-signor, guarantor, or other surety involved in an agreement does not control or influence the licence holder’s decision to submit a request to DFO for the issuance of a replacement licence to another fish harvester.

Core Enterprise: A fishing unit comprising a licence holder (head of enterprise), registered vessel(s), and the licences he or she holds, and which has been designated as such in 1996 under the approved criteria.

Fishery Entry:

Open Entry: Fisheries where licences are available upon request to fish harvesters who meet eligibility requirements.

Limited Entry: Fisheries where the total number of licences is limited. Limited entry licences must be acquired from an existing licence holder through the process for issuance of a replacement licence subject to eligibility criteria.

Closed Entry: Fisheries where new licences are not available and existing licences cannot be issued as replacement licences.

Fishery Sectors:

Coastal: The fishing sector where fish or plants are generally found close to shore and vessels may or may not be required. This sector was previously referred to as non-vessel based.

Inshore: The fishing sector where licence holders are restricted to using vessels less than 19.8m (65') length overall (LOA).

Midshore: The fishing sector where licence holders are permitted to use vessels 19.8m (65’) LOA and greater but less than 30.5m (100’) LOA.

Offshore: The fishing sector where licence holders are permitted to use vessels 30.5m (100') LOA and greater.

Head of a Core Enterprise : A person who was designated as such in 1996 under the approved criteria or a person who has replaced a previous head of a core enterprise.

Historic Overlap Privilege: Those specific areas beyond home sectors where inshore licence holders are permitted to continue fishing for Groundfish as a result of participation for two years within the 1978-1980 timeframe. This qualifying period was extended to the years 1980 and 1981 when it could be shown that commitments had been made to have a vessel replaced prior to 1980.

Historically fished: An individual is considered to have “historically fished” when he or she has participated in fisheries in the specified area within the previous 24 months.

Home port: Port identified by the fish harvester upon registering his or her vessel.

Independent Core (IC): Category assigned to the head of a core enterprise who is not party to a Controlling Agreement with respect to the licences issued in his or her name.

Length Overall (LOA): The horizontal distance measured between perpendiculars erected at the extreme ends of the outside of the main hull of a vessel. Transom platforms extending beyond the stern of a vessel for the purposes of this policy will be considered part of the main hull of a vessel.

For the purposes of the Lobster fishery in Lobster Fishing Areas 33 and 34, length overall (LOA) means the external, maximum horizontal distance measured between two perpendiculars erected at the extreme ends of the vessel (from the most forward part of the vessel to the afterpart of the stern bulkhead or transom) excluding all extensions, platforms, operational equipment or appendages of any type. The rudder stock/post shall be located inside the watertight bulkhead or transom.

Partnership: An arrangement authorized by DFO between two licence holders each holding similar licences for the same species and operating from the same vessel.

Replacement Licence: A licence issued as a replacement for an existing licence that is issued to an eligible fish harvester.

Resident: A person who has continuously had his or her main place of residence in a defined area for a period of not less than six months immediately preceding the time that residence becomes material for the purpose of licensing. Main place of residence is further defined as the place where one actually lives; his or her fixed permanent address to which he or she maintains residential ties, distinguished from a place of temporary residence such as a summer home or a temporary residence for work or school.  Residential ties of an individual include the dwelling place of the individual’s spouse or common-law partner and dependents.

Management Systems:

Effort Control: In effort controlled fisheries, there is no limit on the amount of fish that may be harvested. Restrictions on number of licences, gear types and amounts, vessel size, area of access, catch size, and fishing season may be used to control fishing effort.

Competitive: In competitive fisheries, licence holders fish until the combined catches for the entire fleet are equal to the Total Allowable Catch or quota allocated to the fleet.

Enterprise Allocation: The amount of fish from a particular stock allocated exclusively to a licence holder, usually a corporation. Such an allocation would normally apply to vessels greater than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ): A share of the Total Allowable Catch assigned to an individual licence. In ITQ fisheries, DFO may authorize transfers of shares between licence holders. The transferability of shares can be within season (temporary) or for more than one fishing season (permanent).

Total Allowable Catch (TAC): The total amount (mt) of fish allowed to be caught from a particular stock by all resource users over a particular period of time, normally 12 months.

Under Review: As stated in the Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries, DFO reserves the right to review the licence holder’s categorization through the Regional Review Committee if at any time DFO has reason to believe that the licence holder has been categorized as Independent Core but does not meet the criteria for the Independent Core category. Once the review process is initiated, the licence holder will be categorized as Under Review.

Variation Order: Under Section 43.1 (m) of the Fisheries Act, 1985, the Regional Director General has the authority to vary regulated close times, quotas, or limits for fisheries. These changes are called variation orders and may be found online at the DFO Maritimes Region Orders Registry.

Wholly Owned Company: A private corporation incorporated under the laws applicable in Canada, for which all voting and non-voting shares are issued to and controlled by one individual who meets the Independent Core eligibility criteria set out in the Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries.

Introduction

Purpose of Policy

This document was prepared to provide a clear and consistent statement regarding the Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) policy in the Maritimes Region respecting the registration of fishing enterprises and vessels and the issuance of certain types of fishing licences.

The Minister retains absolute discretion to make exceptions to these provisions.

Application of Policy

This policy applies to the issuance of licences in the Maritimes Region for specific fisheries in Canadian waters in the Maritimes Region and in the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO) regulatory area.

This policy does not apply to licences issued under the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations.

Legislative Background

By virtue of the Constitution Act, 1867 (formerly the British North America Act, 1867), the Parliament of Canada has legislative responsibility for Canada’s seacoast and inland fisheries. As a result, the federal government has constitutional authority for fisheries in Canada.

What is a Licence?

A licence grants permission to do something which, without such permission, would be prohibited. As such, a licence confers no property or other rights which can be legally sold, bartered, or bequeathed. Essentially, it is a privilege to do something, subject to the terms and conditions of the licence.

A fishing licence is an instrument by which the Minister, pursuant to the discretionary authority under the Fisheries Act grants permission to a person, corporation, Aboriginal organization, or other entity to harvest certain species of fish or marine plants subject to the conditions attached to the licence. This is not a permanent permission; it terminates upon expiry of the licence. The licence holder is given a limited fishing privilege; not any kind of absolute or permanent right or property.

As provided under the Fishery (General) Regulations, the issuance of a document of any type to any person does not imply or confer any future right or privilege for that person to be issued a document of the same type or any other type.

Licensing Principles

This policy is built on the principles outlined in the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada, 1996:

  1. be consistent with DFO's core mandate;
  2. achieve a balance between capacity and the resource;
  3. encourage environmentally sustainable harvesting;
  4. foster greater economic viability of the fishery sector;
  5. facilitate industry self-reliance;
  6. develop a greater degree of partnership with a professional group of harvesters; and
  7. streamline administration.

Appeals

Participants in the Maritimes Region commercial fishery who are dissatisfied with licensing decisions made by DFO have the opportunity to request an appeal.

Reasons for appealing a licensing decision which may result in an exception to policy must relate to one or more of the following:

Discussions on whether a policy is reasonable or appropriate should be addressed through the fisheries management advisory process. Decisions regarding access or allocation do not fall within the purview of the licensing appeal system.

Further information about the appeal process and procedures may be found in Chapter 7 of the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada, 1996.

Part One – General Licensing Policy

Chapter One – Entering the Commercial Fishery – General Requirements

1. Personal Fisher Registration

1.1 To fish commercially in the Maritimes Region, all individuals 16 years of age and older* must have a valid Personal Fisher Registration (PFR) in keeping with the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 (AFRs). This applies to commercial licence holders and individuals working as licence helpers including crew on a commercial fishing vessel.

A PFR may be issued to:

  1. a Canadian citizen;
  2. a permanent resident (landed immigrant);
  3. a foreign crewmember who is the holder of a valid work permit and is working on a Canadian fishing vessel.

*Except where the individual is fishing under the authority of the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations (MPFRs), in which case a PFR is required for individuals under 16 years of age.

1.2 In keeping with the terms of the agreement entered into by individuals who have participated in the Groundfsh Licence Retirement Program components of the Canadian Fisheries Adjustment and Recovery Plan (CFAR) or The Atlantic Groundfish Strategy (TAGS), participants are not eligible to participate in the commercial fishery and, therefore, not eligible to be issued a PFR.

1.3 The annual fee for a PFR is $50.

2. Vessels

2.1 Unless provided otherwise under the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 (AFRs) and the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations (MPFRs), every vessel used in a commercial fishery must be registered in the name of the licence holder using the vessel or for whom the vessel is being used.

2.2 A vessel can only be registered in the name of one licence holder at a given time.

2.3 A vessel may be registered by DFO on application, the payment of the proper fee and the provision of the required data on the vessel characteristics by the applicant.

2.4 Only Canadian vessels may be registered with DFO.

2.5 Vessel registrations may only be issued to persons who hold at least one commercial fishing licence where vessel registration is required.

2.6  The licence holder is responsible to ensure that the vessel he or she intends to operate meets the vessel replacement rules for the fishery in which it will be used.

2.7 A survey or measurement of the vessel may be required at the expense of the licence holder prior to registration or at any time if the vessel is modified and there is a requirement to confirm vessel size.

2.8 Registered vessels may be specified as a condition of a licence and registered in a licence holder's name for a minimum period of 30 days.

2.9 The fee for vessel registration is $50.

2.10 Unless otherwise mentioned in a specific species policy, stern extensions which extend beyond the maximum length overall (LOA) will not be authorized. 

2.11 The replacement of a vessel utilized in more than one fishery will be governed by the most restrictive vessel replacement rules.

2.12 If a vessel less than 19.8m (65’) LOA in any fishery is replaced with one of a smaller size, the licence will retain eligibility to return to a larger vessel limited to the length of the longest vessel historically authorized on the licence.

3. Commercial Licence Issuance

3.1 Subject to any sanction applied against a licence or a licence holder, a licence may only be issued to a person who:

  1. held such a licence for a given species in the preceding calendar year and a replacement licence was not issued for that licence to another person; or
  2. who is issued such a licence as a replacement ; or
  3. in cases where new licences are made available, meets the general eligibility requirements outlined in Sections 4 to 7 and any species-specific requirements outlined in Part Two.

3.2 In the case of licences held by a corporation, a director or an officer of the corporation must sign any licensing documents on behalf of the corporation.

3.3 Except where a fishery is closed for conservation purposes, licence renewal and payment of fees is mandatory on an annual basis in order to retain the privilege to be issued the licence.

3.4 When DFO determines that a species of fish has been over fished, one or more of the following measures may be adopted:

  1. restriction on the issuance of replacement licences to other persons;
  2. restriction on the issuance of additional licences;
  3. stricter vessel replacement rules;
  4. a licence moratorium;
  5. non-renewal of licences; or
  6. other appropriate measures.

3.5 Fees for licences vary by species and fishery management type. Fees are listed for each species in Part Two of this document and in Schedule II of the AFRs.

Chapter Two – Licence Eligibility

4. Residency, Home port, or Area of Historical Fishing

4.1 Residency, area of historical fishing, or home port may be used as eligibility requirements when new or replacement licences are issued. These requirements are outlined in the applicable species-specific sections of this policy. 

4.2 Where residency, area of historical fishing, or home port are not used as eligibility requirements of licence issuance, then the proposed recipient of a replacement licence must meet the eligibility requirements for the area of residence of the present licence holder.

5. Coastal Sector Eligibility

For a list of all fisheries included in this sector, see Annex I. Unless otherwise specified in a species-specific section of this policy, the following requirements apply.

5.1 Coastal sector commercial licences will only be issued to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who holds a valid PFR for the current year.

5.2 Proposed recipients must be a resident of the Maritimes Region. In some fisheries, the proposed recipient must be a resident of a specified area (see species-specific policies for additional information).

5.3 Owner-operator policy in the coastal sector:

5.3.1 Licences are issued in the name of an individual fish harvester.

5.3.2 Licence holders are required to personally fish the licences issued to them.

5.3.3 Licence holders are permitted to hold only one licence for a given species. Those licences may be valid for more than one gear type.

6. Inshore Sector Eligibility

For a list of all fisheries included in this sector, see Annex I.

6.1 Inshore sector commercial licences will only be issued to a Canadian citizen or permanent resident who holds a valid PFR for the current year.

6.2 Proposed recipients must be a resident of the Maritimes Region. In some fisheries, the proposed recipient must be a resident of a specified area (see species-specific policies for additional information).

6.3 Inshore fisheries are managed under the “core” concept. Fishery access is limited to a maximum number of multi-licensed core enterprises, each headed by an individual licence holder (head of core enterprise).

6.4 No new core enterprises will be created. Entry into the core group is possible only by replacing an existing head of a core enterprise. All licences subject to the inshore policies must be issued as a package to the proposed recipient.

6.5 To become the head of a core enterprise the proposed recipient must meet the criteria to be categorized as full time and the eligibility criteria established on April 12, 2007, to be categorized as Independent Core.

6.6 To be categorized as full time, an individual must have been:

  1. registered (held a valid personal fisher registration) and have participated in a commercial vessel-based fishery for the required period of time by county; or
  2. designated (under the authority of the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations) and participated in a commercial communal vessel-based fishery for the required period of time by county.

Participation and registration must have been for two of the previous five years immediately preceding application.

In addition to the required fishing experience, to be categorized as full time, an individual must meet the Transport Canada requirements to operate the size of vessel which is authorized to participate in the fishery.

The time required by county is as follows:

Area Sub Area Total Time Required per Year
ENS Victoria County to Cape North, NS 4 months
Cape Breton County, NS 4 months
Richmond & Guysborough Counties, NS 4 months
Halifax County (East of Pennant Point) 4 months
SWNS Halifax (West of Pennant Point), Lunenburg, Queens, NS 6 months
Shelburne & Yarmouth Counties, NS 8 months
Digby and Annapolis Counties, NS to Parkers Cove 6 months
SWNB East of Parkers Cove NS to Saint John, NB 4 months
West of Saint John to NB/USA border 6 months

6.7 To qualify as Independent Core, new applicants must file a Declaration confirming that they are not subject to a Controlling Agreement.

6.8 Inshore licences are subject to the policies outlined in Chapter Three.

7. Exempted Fleets, Midshore and Offshore Sector Eligibility

7.1 Licences can be issued to:

  1. a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; or
  2. a company incorporated under federal or provincial legislation that is at a minimum 51% Canadian owned.

7.2 There is no limit on the number of licences an individual or corporation can hold; however, concentration limits may be applicable and will be specified in the Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for the particular fishery.

7.3 For a list of all fisheries in the Exempted Fleets, see Annex I.

7.4 For a list of all fisheries with midshore and/or offshore licences, see Annex I.

Chapter Three: Inshore Sector Policies

8. Owner-Operator Policy

8.1 Licences are issued in the name of an individual fish harvester or the fish harvester’s wholly owned company in keeping with the criteria outlined in the Policy on Issuing Licences to Companies (see Section 11).

8.2 Licence holders are required to personally fish the licences issued to them.

8.3 Licence holders are permitted to be issued only one licence for a given species with the exception of fisheries where the stacking policy applies (see Section 18).

9. Fleet Separation Policy

9.1 As per the Section 15 of the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy, inshore licences may not be issued to corporations, including those involved in the processing sector, except corporations that meet the criteria outlined in the Policy on Issuing Licences to Companies.

9.2 Subject to subsection 9.3, corporations presently holding inshore licences may continue to do so, but they may not be issued new or replacement inshore licences.

9.3 Inshore fishing licences currently held by corporations that existed and held inshore fishing licences prior to 1979 (referred to as pre-1979 corporations) may be issued as replacement licences to another pre-1979 corporation which still holds inshore fishing licences or to an eligible recipient.

9.4 When all remaining inshore licences held by a pre-1979 corporation which were on the same vessel in 1978 are issued as replacement licences to a qualified new entrant, the new licence holder will become the head of core enterprise.

10. Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries

10.1 On April 12, 2007, the Minister introduced the Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada's Atlantic Fisheries (PIIFCAF).

10.2 PIIFCAF created two new categories of fish harvester: Independent Core and Under Review. As per Chapter 2, the Independent Core category is an eligibility criteria for the receipt of new or replacement licences in the inshore sector.

11. Policy on Issuing Licences to Companies

11.1 The Policy on Issuing Licences to Companies authorizes the issuance of inshore licences to wholly owned companies.

11.2 Before an eligible licence may be issued to a wholly owned company, the following criteria are to be met:

  1. the 100% controlling shareholder of the company must meet the Independent Core eligibility criteria as defined in PIIFCAF;
  2. the company must provide certification by legal counsel or a registered professional accountant verifying that all voting and non-voting shares of the company are issued to and controlled by the 100% controlling shareholder of the company;
  3. the company must file a Declaration confirming that the company is not party to a Controlling Agreement; and,
  4. the company must provide a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation showing the registration number and the official name of the company.

Chapter Four: Accessing other Fisheries

12. Exploratory Fisheries

For more information, see the New Emerging Fisheries Policy.

12.1 If a fishery is new, developing or underutilized, exploratory licences may be issued upon approval of the Minister.

12.2 New exploratory inshore licences will be offered only to heads of core enterprises who are categorized as Independent Core or to Aboriginal organizations.

12.3 The issuance of an exploratory licence to a person or entity does not imply any further commitment by the Minister to issue a similar licence to the same person upon expiry of the exploratory licence.

12.4 A fish harvester or entity issued an exploratory licence will be required to meet established participation requirements and other program requirements to be eligible to be issued a similar licence once that exploratory licence expires.

12.5 Holders of exploratory licences may be given priority to receive regular licences for the same fishery.

12.6 For the issuance of new exploratory licences for inshore fisheries, where the number of exploratory licences is limited and where there are more applicants than licences available, licence holders will be selected through a random draw among heads of core enterprises which meet criteria established in consultation with appropriate industry representatives.

12.7 For enterprise allocation fisheries, eligibility criteria and applicant selection mechanisms will be developed on a case-by-case basis.

13. Recreational Fisheries

13.1 For a list of Maritimes Region recreational fisheries and requirements, see Annex II and the Maritimes Region Recreational Fisheries website.

14. Aboriginal Commercial Communal Fisheries

14.1 The Aboriginal commercial communal fishery is managed in accordance with the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy and the Aboriginal Communal Fishing Licences Regulations.

Chapter Five: Licence Amendments

15. Licence Reissuance

15.1 Current legislation states that licences are not transferable. However, the Minister has for administrative efficiency prescribed in policy those conditions or requirements under which a licence can be reissued as a replacement licence (“licence transfer”). Certain licences may not be issued as replacement licences (see species-specific policies). Additional details are outlined in Section 16 of the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada, 1996.

15.2 A replacement licence may be issued upon request by the current licence holder. 

15.3 The proposed recipient must meet the eligibility criteria for the specific fishery sector and species.

15.4 A licence holder must have held a licence for a minimum of twelve months before they are eligible to request reissuance.

16. Harvest Benefit Combining

16.1 Harvest Benefit Combining (HBC) is available for Groundfish fixed gear <45’, Swordfish harpoon A, and Nova Scotia Sea Urchin. Under HBC, licence holders are eligible to receive harvest benefits such as catch history, gear types, fishing areas, and stocks associated with other licences. The licence divesting of benefits is then relinquished.

16.2 To be eligible for HBC, a fish harvester must be categorized as Independent Core and meet applicable inshore requirements.

16.3 HBC transactions are permanent. The licence holder bestowing his or her benefits must relinquish his or her licence.

16.4 Under HBC, gear amounts do not accumulate, but the recipient will be authorized to use the maximum amount of gear authorized on either licence. For example, if one licence authorizes the use of 50 tubs of longline and the other authorizes the use of 100 tubs of longline, the HBC recipient will be authorized to use 100 tubs.

16.5 With the exception of Swordfish harpoon, there is no limit to the number of licences from which one licence holder can accumulate benefits. See Swordfish section in this policy for further details.

16.6 Licences that are not otherwise eligible to be issued as a replacement licence (“transferred”) do not qualify for HBC.

17. Partnerships

17.1 Partnerships may be authorized in certain inshore fisheries. Partnerships authorize two separate licence holders to fish their licences using a single vessel. The partnership is authorized to use 150% of the trap limit for a single licence.

17.2 Licences must be for the same fishing area and both licence holders must be on board the vessel during fishing operations.

17.3 Lobster partnerships must be established prior to the start of the fishing season. Lobster partnerships may be dissolved mid-season.

18. Stacking

18.1 Licence stacking may be authorized in some certain inshore fisheries. Stacking allows one licence holder to hold two licences for the same species. The licence holder is authorized to use 150% of the trap limit for a single licence.

18.2 Both licences must be fished from a single vessel.

18.3 Both licences must be for the same fishing area.

18.4 The second licence must be obtained following regular replacement licence policies (see Section 6); all eligibility and residency requirements apply.

18.5 Licences must remain stacked for a minimum of 12 months.

19. Substitute Operator

19.1 In the inshore sector subject to the owner-operator policy (see Section 8) and in the coastal sector, a substitute operator may be authorized by DFO to carry out the activity under the licence. The situations in which a substitute operator may be authorized are listed in Annex III.

19.2 To act as a substitute operator, an individual must hold a valid personal fisher registration.

19.3 The authorized substitute operator must be on board at all times during the authorized period. The licence holder is not permitted to be on board any other commercial fishing vessel during this period. The licence holder may be on board his or her own vessel while a substitute operator is approved. 

19.4 The licence holder relinquishes all rights and privileges, with the exception of signing authority, to any commercial fishing activity during this period.

19.5 Licence holders who are not able to personally fish their inshore licences subject to the owner-operator policy for extended periods of time may not be eligible to acquire additional inshore licences.

20. Substitute Vessel

20.1 In case of emergency (mechanical failure, fire, sinking), a licence holder may be authorized to use a substitute vessel to tend or land their gear.

21. Death of Licence Holder

21.1 Upon the death of a licence holder, the re-issuable licences he or she held can be held in the licence holder’s estate, subject to annual renewal application and payment of applicable fees.

21.2 Non-reissuable licences expire upon the licence holder’s death.

21.3 The estate may be given up to five years after the death of the licence holder to recommend an eligible individual to whom a replacement licence may be issued.

21.4 The estate may designate a substitute operator to fish the licences for up to five years after the death of the licence holder.

21.5 Exploratory licences may remain in the estate until the estate is settled.

21.6 For the purpose of renewing licences, requesting an operator, or requesting the issuance of a replacement licence, the executor or the legally appointed administrator must sign all related documents.

21.7 Estates are not eligible to receive new or replacement licences.

Part Two – Species Policies

The following sections outline the general licensing policies for each species. Detailed requirements for fishing (such as minimum fish size, specific fishing areas, and bycatch instructions) are listed in licence conditions and in Conservation Harvesting Plans.

22. Bait

This policy applies to the harvesting of Herring/Mackerel or Gaspereau bait for use with the licence holder’s other commercial fishing licences. A bait-fishing licence may only be issued to the head of an enterprise who holds a licence to fish commercially. Fish caught under the authority of a bait licence is for the exclusive use of the licence holder to be used as bait fishing their commercial licences. Fish caught under the authority of a bait licence cannot be sold.

A. Fishery management

Herring/Mackerel bait is an open entry fishery subject to the eligibility criteria below.

Gaspereau bait is a closed entry fishery; no new licences will be issued and current licences cannot be reissued as replacement licences.

Who is eligible: Bait-fishing licences may only be issued to an individual who holds a licence to fish commercially by a method which traditionally includes the use of bait. Bait licence holders must hold one of the following licences:

Fishing area: Fished throughout the Maritimes Region; subject to closed areas described in the licence conditions.

Season: Open year-round, subject to licence conditions.

Licence fees:  $5.00/year.

B. Gear details

For both Herring/Mackerel and Gaspereau, up to three set/fixed gill nets may be used.

C. Polcy flexibility and restrictions

Bait fishing licences cannot be issued as replacement licences to another fish harvester.

23. Clams

This policy applies to the harvesting of clams for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

23.1 Coastal Sector

A. Fishery management

The coastal Clam fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through input controls and harvested competitively. Coastal sector Clam licence holders may harvest Bar Clams, Bay Quahogs, Razor Clams, and Soft Shell Clams.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5) and any specific requirements developed per Clam Harvesting Area. Applicants must be residents of the Clam Harvesting Area (CHA) for which the replacement licence is issued (e.g., CHA 1 licences may only be issued to residents of Colchester, Cumberland and Hants counties).

Fishing area: Licences are restricted to a single Clam Harvesting Area.

Season: Yearly close times for Clam harvesting are established under Part III, Section 32 of the MPFRs and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fees: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Clams may only be harvested by hand or with hand-held tools.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

There is a moratorium on the issuance of replacement licences in CHA 3.

23.2 Inshore Sector

Inshore Clam licence holders may harvest Stimpson Surf Clams, Ocean Quahogs, and Propeller Clams.

A. Fishery management

The inshore Clam fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Licences are restricted to the inshore shellfish areas described in licence conditions.

Season: Yearly close times for Clam harvesting are established under Schedule X.1 of the AFRs, and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fees: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to inshore Clam dredge.

Vessels are restricted to less than 13.7m (45’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No species-specific policies apply.

23.3 Offshore Sector

Offshore Clam licence holders harvest Arctic Surf Clams, Ocean Quahaugs, and Propeller Clams.

A. Fishery management

The offshore Clam fishery is a limited entry fishery managed under a Total Allowable Catch (TAC) system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: Outside the 12 nautical mile limit in NAFO Convention Areas 3LNO and 4VsW.

Season: Yearly close times for Clam harvesting are established under Schedule X.1 of the AFRs and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fees: $23.75/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to hydraulic Clam dredge.

Vessels are restricted to greater than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No species-specific restrictions apply.

24. Crab

This policy applies to the harvesting of Crab for commercial use in the Maritimes Region. Crab licences are issued according to subspecies. A fish harvester may hold licences for more than one subspecies of Crab.

24.1 Jonah Crab

Jonah Crab is fished in the inshore sector and offshore sector.

24.1.1 Inshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The inshore Jonah Crab fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6). Recipients must have a home port within the same Maritimes Region Administrative Area as the licence holder relinquishing the licence. LFA 38 licences can only be reissued to an eligible fish harvester with a home port within LFA 38.

Fishing area: Fishing occurs in Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) 32, 33, 34, 37 & 38.

Season:

Lobster Fishing Area Season
32 June 27 to December 31
33 & 34 June 7 to the second to last Monday in November
37 & 38 March 1 to October 31

Licence fees: $30.00/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Only conical Crab traps or Lobster traps approved by DFO are authorized.  Trap limits vary according to fishing area:

Lobster Fishing Area Trap Limit
32 250
33 & 34 375
37 & 38 300

Trap tags are required.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65 ’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Partnering and stacking may be authorized for LFA 33 & 34 by DFO upon request of the licence holder (see Sections 17 and 18). The trap limit is 200% of the limit of a single licence.

Valid Jonah Crab licence holders for LFA 33 & 34 that have not fished their licences for one or more seasons may transfer traps in increments of half the trap limit (187 traps) to Jonah Crab licence holders in their fishing area.

24.1.2 Offshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The offshore Jonah Crab fishery is a limited entry fishery managed under a TAC system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: Fishing is restricted to Lobster Fishing Area 41.

Season: Yearly close times for Crab are established under Schedule XII of the AFRs and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fees: $15/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to traps.

Vessels are restricted to greater than 19.8m (45’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licences are limited to an accumulation ceiling of 50% of the TAC.

24.2 Red Crab

Red Crab is fished in the inshore sector and midshore sector.

24.2.1 Inshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The inshore Red Crab fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Fishing occurs in NAFO Divisions 4WX and 5Z, subject to closed areas noted in licence conditions.

Season: January 1 – December 31.

Licence fees: $100/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Licence holders are authorized to use a maximum of 450 traps.

Trap tags are required. Licence holders may be authorized to transfer tags to another Red Crab licence holder authorized to fish in the same area to a maximum of 800 traps. 

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Partnerships between Red Crab licence holders may be authorized by DFO (see Section 17).

24.2.2 Midshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The midshore Red Crab fishery is a limited entry fishery managed under a TAC system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the midshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: NAFO Convention Areas 4WX and 5Z.

Season: January 1 – December 31.

Licence fees: $79.50/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

A maximum of 800 traps may be used.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific restrictions apply.

24.3 Rock Crab

A. Fishery management

Rock Crab is a limited entry, inshore fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6). Recipients must have a home port in the same Maritimes Region Administrative Area as the person relinquishing the licence.

Fishing area: Fishing occurs in Lobster Fishing Areas 27, 29, 30, 31, 32, 34, 35, 36, and 37.

Season:

Lobster Fishing Area Season
27 August 15 to December 31
29-32 July 1 to December 31
34 June 7 to the second to last Monday in November
35 August 7 to October 7
36 & 37 March 1 to December 31

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Only conical Crab traps or Lobster traps approved by DFO are authorized. Tags are required.

Lobster Fishing Area Trap Limit
27-32, 34 150
35 125
36 & 37 300

All vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Partnerships between Rock Crab licence holders may be authorized by DFO (see Section 17).

24.4 Snow Crab

A. Fishery management

Snow Crab is a limited entry, inshore fishery. TACs are set for N-ENS (CFA 20-22), S-ENS (managed separately for CFAs 23 & 24), and 4X, and distributed as individual licence percentage shares that are managed through ITQ’s. Licences are also issued to Snow Crab companies where the eligibility includes restrictions on shareholders who must be heads of core enterprises. 

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Fishing occurs in Crab Fishing Areas (CFAs) 20-22 (treated as a single CFA), 23, 24, and 4X.

In CFA 23, licence holders may choose to fish either the inner or outer area (less than or farther than 60 nautical miles from shore). Licence holders in the outer area have a higher trap limit, allowing them to land a comparable catch in fewer trips.

Season:

Crab Fishing Area Season
20-22 (N-ENS) Mid April – mid May; mid July – mid August
23 & 24 (S-ENS) April – September
4X November 1 – March 31

Licence fee: $123.00/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to conical traps. Tags are required.

Crab Fishing Area Trap Limit Partnership
20-22 30 45
23 (Inner) 55 80
23 (Outer) 75 105
24 60 90
4X 60 N/A

All vessels are restricted to less than 19.8 meters (65’) LOA.

Snow Crab Companies in CFA 23 & 24 may identify up to three registered vessels on their licence. Only one vessel can be fishing at any one time, subject to the licence conditions.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Partnerships between Snow Crab licence holders may be authorized by DFO (see Section 17).

Substitute Operators may be authorized when the licence holder holds both Snow Crab and Lobster licences and the seasons overlap. The authorization is limited to the overlap period, plus the two days immediately prior and two days immediately following the period. The licence holder must fish the Lobster licence; the substitute operator must fish the Snow Crab licence.

Quota allocations may be temporarily or permanently transferred between licence holders within a single CFA.

Snow Crab companies cannot be issued licences for any other species. Shareholders cannot also be issued an individual Snow Crab licence.

Snow Crab companies must identify a DFO Contact authorized to conduct business on behalf of the Company.

Snow Crab Companies must identify a registered fish harvester to operate the licence who is authorized via licence conditions.

24.5 Green Crab

Green Crab is an aquatic invasive species, subject to the regulations outlined in the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations.

A. Fishery management

Green Crab is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

New Green Crab licences are available to commercial Eel licence holders in Southwest Nova Scotia and Eastern Nova Scotia who meet the eligibility requirements for the coastal sector (see Section 5). To receive a new Green Crab licence, licence holders must relinquish the Eel licence issued to them.

Fishing area: Fishing occurs throughout the Southwest Nova Scotia Administrative Area (SWNS) and Eastern Nova Scotia Administration Area (ENS).

Season: January 1st to December 31st.

Licence fees: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Licence holders are authorized to use a maximum of 75 traps.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licences issued upon the relinquishment of an Eel licence authorize fishing in the same county as was authorized in the relinquished Eel licence. Upon request, licences may be authorized to fish in additional counties.

25. Eels

This policy applies to the harvesting of Eel for commercial use in the Maritimes Region. The Elver (Glass Eel) fishery is managed under a separate licence (see Section 26).

A. Fishery management

Eel is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Fishing occurs throughout the Maritimes Region. Licences must be fished in the specific area set out in the licence.

Season: Yearly close times for Eel fishing are set in Section 37, Subsection 1 of the MPFRs and vary by gear type and fishing area.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Eel pots, Eel traps, fyke nets, long lines, set lines, dip nets, and weirs may be used.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Eel licence holders in Southwest Nova Scotia may relinquish their licence in exchange for a Green Crab licence.

26. Elvers (Glass Eels)

This policy applies to the harvesting of Elvers for commercials use in the Maritime Region. Elvers are defined under the MPFRs as Eels less than 10 cm in length.

A. Fishery management

The Elver fishery is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed on the basis of an Enterprise Allocation system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences may be issued to:

  1. a Canadian citizen or permanent resident; or
  2. a company incorporated under federal or provincial legislation that is at a minimum 51% Canadian owned.

Fishing area: Elver fishing takes place at or near the head of tide at the mouth of rivers. Licences must be fished in the specific locations identified in the licence conditions.

Season: Late March/early April – July.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Dip nets, elver traps, pots, or push trawl may be authorized.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Although several policies for the coastal sector do not apply, licence holders are permitted to hold only one Elver licence.

Each Elver licence is allocated a quota and authorizes a maximum number of people to fish for the licence holder.

27. Gaspereau

This policy applies to commercial Gaspereau fishing in the Maritimes Region. There are two species of Gaspereau: Alewives and Blueback Herring. For Gaspereau bait licences, see Section 22.

Gaspereau fishers are subject to this policy and to one of the following area policies:

  1. Southwest New Brunswick;
  2. Lunenburg and Queens County, Nova Scotia; and
  3. Yarmouth and Shelburne County, Nova Scotia.

27.1 General Policy

A. Fishery management

Gaspereau is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Licence holders will be limited to the fishing area set out in the licence issued.

Seasons: As set out in Schedule V of the MPFRs, subject to any variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Licence holders will be restricted to the type and quantity of gear set out in the licence.

Authorized gear types are dip nets, gill nets, square nets, trap nets, or weirs.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Where a commercial dip net licence is issued for a county, fishing is not permitted on managed rivers with site-specific dip stands.

Where a commercial licence with a site-specific dip stand is issued, fishing is only permitted at the dip stand site stated in the licence, unless otherwise specified in the licence.

27.2 Southwest New Brunswick (SWNB)

A. Fishery management

SWNB Gaspereau is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Licence holders will be limited to the fishing area set out in licence conditions.

Season: As set out in Schedule V of the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations, subject to any variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Licence holders will be restricted to the type and quantity of gear set out in the licence.

Authorized gear types are dip nets, gill nets, or trap nets. Gill nets and trap nets may not be fished in inland waters.

The maximum number of trap nets permitted for any one licence is 12. A one-time gear split is permitted.

The maximum number of gill nets permitted for any one licence is eight.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No area-specific restrictions apply.

27.3 Lunenburg and Queens Counties

A. Fishery management

Lunenburg and Queens Gaspereau is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Licence holders will be limited to the fishing area set out in licence conditions.

Season: As set out in Schedule V of the MPFRs, subject to any variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Licence holders will be restricted to the type and quantity of gear set out in the licence.

Authorized gear types are dip nets, gill nets, square nets, trap nets, or weirs.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No area-specific restrictions apply.

27.4 Yarmouth and Shelburne County

A. Fishery management

Yarmouth and Shelburne County Gaspereau is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Licence holders will be limited to the fishing area set out in licence conditions.

Season: As set out in Schedule V of the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations, subject to any variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Authorized gear types are dip nets and gill nets.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No area-specific restrictions apply.

28. Groundfish

This policy applies to the harvesting of Groundfish for commercial use in the Maritimes Region. Groundfish is harvested in all sectors.

28.1 Inshore Sector

There are three distinct inshore Groundfish fleets: the Fixed Gear <45’ fleet; the exempted Fixed Gear 45’-65’ fleet; and the exempted Mobile Gear <65’ fleet. Licence holders in the Fixed Gear <45’ fleet fish competitively while licence holders in the two exempted fleets are allocated ITQs.

28.1.1 Fixed Gear <45’Fleet

A. Fishery management

The Fixed Gear <45’ fleet is a limited entry, inshore fishery. It is harvested competitively.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6). Gill net zone authorization may only be issued to an Independent Core fish harvester who, in the 12 month period preceding application, has a home port in the same gill net zone as the original licence holder.

Licence holders in this fleet typically fish through a Community Management Board. These Boards may have eligibility requirements and other policies that are not administered by DFO. Licence holders should contact their Community Management Board in advance of requesting replacement licence issuance in this fleet to ensure that they understand the management system and applicable Management Board policies. If a licence holder does not wish to fish through a Community Management Board, they can fish under the DFO-run Group X management plan.

Fishing area: Groundfish are harvested throughout the Maritimes Region. Licences will be restricted to a specific access area noted in licence conditions.

Season: Yearly close times for Groundfish are established under Schedule XXIII of the AFRs and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: $100/year for licences with access to NAFO Division 4X and Subarea 5. $30/year for all other areas.

B. Gear and vessel details

Licence holders will be limited to the type and quantity of gear set out in the licence.

Gill nets (set or fixed), longlines, jiggers (automated or manual), otter trawls, or hand lines may be used.

Special amendments are required to use gill nets in Shelburne, 5Z, West 5Z, and Canso. Should Canso licences be issued as replacement licences, the amendment must be removed and gill nets may not be used by the new licence holder. Shelburne, 5Z, and 5Z West licences retain the amendment upon reissuance.

A maximum of four automatic jiggers may be used per vessel.

When a longline licence is issued as a replacement licence the number of tubs may be increased to match the length of the new vessel.

Per the Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada (1996), Groundfish vessel size categories exist for vessels less than 35’ LOA; 35’- 44’ 11’’ LOA; and 45’- 64’ 11’’ LOA. Licence holders may replace their vessel with a vessel belonging to a smaller category but not with one belonging to a larger category. If the licence holder replaces his or her vessel with one belonging to a smaller category, he or she retains the ability to return to the original vessel category.

Vessels held by licence holders with home ports in LFAs 33 and 34 are restricted to a maximum length overall of 13.7m (44 ’11”) with an authorized stern extension of 1.5m (5’). For the purpose of applying this policy, length overall means the external, maximum horizontal distance measured between two perpendiculars erected at the extreme ends of the vessel (from the most forward part of the vessel to the afterpart of the stern bulkhead or transom) excluding all extensions, platforms, operational equipment or appendages of any type. The rudder stock/post shall be located inside the watertight bulkhead or transom.

Stern extensions may not be authorized on licences in the size category restricted to less than 35’ LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Harvest Benefit Combining (HBC) (see Section 16) is available for the Fixed Gear <45 fleet as per the Groundfish HBC policy document. In addition to the provisions in Section 16, when combining one or more <35’ licences authorizing gillnet or longline gear the recipient licence will be amended to allow a <45’ vessel.

Licences must originate in the same community group:

Canso-area Groundfish gill net licence amendments cannot be reissued with replacement licences or through HBC.

Licences held by heads of non-core enterprises that are not pre-79 corporations may not be issued as replacement licences to another fisher.

28.1.2 Exempted Fleets (Fixed Gear 45’-65’ and Mobile Gear <65’)

A. Fishery management

The exempted fleets are limited entry. They are managed through ITQ systems. While both fleets are subject to the same licensing policy, they are subject to different Conservation Harvesting Plans and have different target species.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements for exempted fleets (see Section 7). Gill net replacement licences may only be issued to a fish harvester who fished from a home port in the same gill net zone as the original licence holder during the 12 months immediately preceding application.

Fishing area: Groundfish are harvested throughout the Maritimes Region. Licences will be restricted to a specific access area noted in licence conditions.

Season: Yearly close times for Groundfish are established under Schedule XXIII of the AFR, 1985 and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: Fees vary by species. See Schedule II of AFR, 1985.

B. Gear and vessel details
Licence holders will be limited to the type and quantity of gear set out in the licence.

Fixed Gear 45’-65’ licences may be authorized to use gill nets (set or fixed), longlines, jiggers (automated or manual) or hand lines.

Mobile Gear <65’ licences may be authorized to use otter trawl, mid water trawl, gill nets (set or fixed), jiggers (automated or manual), long line, or hand line. Mobile Gear <65’ licences authorized to use fixed gear must do so under the Conservation Harvesting Plan for the Mobile Gear <65’ fleet.

A maximum of four automatic jiggers may be used per vessel.

When a longline licence is issued as a replacement licence the number of tubs may be increased to match the length of the new vessel.
Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Mobile Gear <65 ITQ will be able to replace vessels under 42’11” with vessels up to 42’11” and vessels 43’ and above can be replaced with vessels up to 64’11”.  

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Groundfish exempted fleet licences are exempt from PIIFCAF, Fleet Separation, and Owner-Operator policies.

28.2 Mid- and Offshore Sectors

A. Fishery management

The midshore and offshore Groundfish fishery is limited entry. It is managed through a Total Allowable Catch system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore and midshore sectors (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: Groundfish are harvested throughout the Maritimes Region. Licences will be restricted to a specific access area noted in licence conditions.

Season: Yearly close times for Groundfish are established under Schedule XXIII of the AFR, 1985 and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: Fees vary by species. See Schedule II of AFR, 1985.

B. Gear and vessel details

Midshore vessels are restricted to between 19.8 m (65’) and 30.48 m (100’).

Offshore vessels are restricted to greater than 30.48 m (100’).

Vessels are subject to the policies outlined in Chapter 4, Sections 25-28 of the CFLP, 1996.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific policies apply.

29. Hagfish (Slime Eels)

This policy applies to the harvesting of Hagfish in the Maritimes Region.

29.1 Inshore Sector

A. Fishery management
Hagfish is a limited entry, inshore fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Fishing occurs throughout the Maritimes Region. Licence holders will be restricted to a specific NAFO Convention Area as set out in the licence conditions.

Season: April 15 – October 15. Hagfish are subject to the yearly close times for Groundfish established under Schedule XXIII of the AFR, 1985 and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

A maximum of 450 barrels may be used per licence.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA. Vessels with access to NAFO division 4X are restricted to less than 13.7m (45’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No species-specific restrictions apply.

30. Herring

There are three distinct types of Herring licence: coastal, inshore, and exempted fleet. 

30.1 Coastal Sector

This policy applies to harvesting of Herring by weir or trap net for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The coastal sector Herring fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls. Licences are issued for individual trap/weir sites; licence holders may hold more than one licence.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5). In Southwest New Brunswick, licences may be issued to companies.

Fishing area: Licences are issued for a single trap/weir site described on the licence. Upon approval, the trap/weir site may be changed.

Season: Yearly close times for the Herring fishery are established under Schedule VII of the AFR, 1985.

Licence fee: $100/year.

B. Gear details

Trap nets or weirs may be used.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licence holders may be eligible to retain Squid bycatch without a Squid licence.

30.2 Inshore Sector

This policy applies to harvesting of Herring by gill net or beach/drag seine for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The inshore sector Herring fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: All licence holders have access to Herring Fishing Areas 17-22.Only one area may be fished per trip.

Season: Yearly close times for the Herring fishery are established under Schedule VII of the AFR, 1985.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Licence holders will be limited to the type and quantity of gear set out in the licence.

Drift gill nets, set gill nets, or beach/drag seines may be used.

The number of set gill nets authorized is limited to the number of nets authorized to the previous licence holder or 10 nets (max 300 fathoms), whichever is greater.

A maximum of three drift gill nets may be used.

Splitting the amount or type of fishing gear is not permitted.

Drift gill net licence holders with a home port in LFA 34 are restricted to the use of a vessel less than 13.7m (45’) LOA.

Drag seine and set gill net licence holders are restricted to the use of a vessel less than 19.8m (65') LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Gill net licence holders may be eligible to retain Squid bycatch without a Squid licence. Supplementary conditions are required.

30.3 Exempted Fleet – Mobile Gear ITQ

This policy applies to harvesting of Herring by purse seine or mid-water trawl for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The Herring mobile gear fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through an ITQ system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of Exempted Fleets (see Section 7).

Fishing area: All licence holders have access to Herring Fishing Areas 17-22.Only one area may be fished per trip.

Season: Yearly close times for the Herring fishery are established under Schedule VII of the AFR, 1985.

Licence fee: $5/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Licence holders will be limited to the type of gear set out in the licence.

Purse seine or midwater trawl may be used.

Vessels may not exceed 38.1m (125’) LOA and 1500 brake horsepower (BHP). 

Vessels must be fitted with an acceptable fish chilling system.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Herring mobile gear licences are exempt from PIIFCAF, Fleet Separation, and Owner-Operator policies.

31. Lobster

This policy applies to the harvesting of Lobster in the Maritimes Region. Lobster is harvested by the inshore and offshore sectors. Licences are also available for educational purposes.

31.1 Inshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The inshore Lobster fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls. Access is provided through commercial licences identified as Category “A” (re-issuable) or Category “B” (non re-issuable; 30% the number of traps of a Category “A” licence).

Who is eligible: Category “A”replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6). In LFA 33, residency requirements apply (see Section 4); applicants must have resided in Lunenberg or Queens Counties, the portion of Shelburne County east of the Barrington River, or the portion of Halifax County west of the western edge of Cole Harbour. LFA 33 residency requirements may not apply to requests for the issuance of a replacement licence to the licence holder’s son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandson, granddaughter, father, or mother.

LFA 27 licences may be reissued to the head of a core enterprise or a fish harvester who meets the eligibility to be categorized as Independent Core from the Maritimes or Gulf Region.

LFA 38 licence holders are eligible to obtain an Area 38B (“Grey Zone”) Lobster licence.

Fishing area: Fishing occurs in Lobster Fishing Areas 27-38. LFA 36 & 38 licences holders also have access to LFA 37; there are no LFA 37-only licences.

Season: Yearly close times for Lobster are established under Schedule XIV of the AFR, 1985 and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: Fees vary according to LFA and licence category. See Schedule II of the AFR for details.

B. Gear and vessel details

Trap Limits:
LFA Category A Category B Partnership
27 275 83 413
28-33 250 75 375
34 375 (Nov-Mar);  400 (Apr 1 – May 31) N/A 563 (Nov-Mar);  600 (Apr 1 – May 31)
35-36 300 90 450
38 375 118 563

Except in LFA 33 and 34, all vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Vessels in LFA 33 and 34 are restricted to a maximum LOA of 13.7m (44’11”). Stern extensions are permitted. Extensions on vessels that are at maximum LOA, as defined in this fishery, cannot exceed 1.52 m (5’).  The total sum of the length of any extension and the LOA of the vessel shall remain less than 15.23m (50’).

Auxiliary vessels may be authorized in ENS and LFA 33. The auxiliary vessel must be registered with DFO in the name of the licence holder.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licence stacking and partnering may be authorized by DFO (see Sections 17 and 18).

Substitute Operators:

In LFA 33, Substitute Operators must be residents of Lunenburg or Queens Counties, the portion of Shelburne County east of the Barrington River, or the portion of Halifax County west of the western edge of Cole Harbour, or a resident of the same port cluster as the licence holder.

Category B Licence Changes:

Category B licences may not be issued as replacement licences to another fish harvester. The licence is cancelled upon the death of the licence holder.

31.2 Offshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The offshore Lobster fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through a TAC system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: Licences are restricted to Lobster Fishing Area 41.

Season: Yearly close times for Lobster are established under Schedule XIV of the AFR, 1985 and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: As listed in Schedule II, Part II, of the AFR 1985.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to traps.

Vessels are restricted to greater than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific restrictions apply.

31.3 Educational Lobster Licences

Educational Lobster licences are available for chartered boat excursions. Licence holders may use up to three non-fishing traps to demonstrate fishing techniques. There are no fees for this licence.

Licences are restricted to a single LFA as requested by the applicant. Residency requirements do not apply.

Traps must be tagged, using a tag issued by DFO and identified on the licence.

Access will be authorized for one year.

Eligibility:

In order to be considered for this licence, a person must:

32. Mackerel

Mackerel is harvested by the coastal and inshore sectors.

32.1 Coastal Sector

This policy applies to the harvesting of Mackerel for commercial purposes by trap net or weir in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The coastal Mackerel fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Licences are issued for a single trap/weir site described on the licence. Upon approval, the trap/weir site may be changed. New applicants must fish in the same trap net management zone as the original licence holder.

Season: April 1 – November 30.

Licence fee: $100/year.

B. Gear details

Trap nets or weirs may be used.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licence holders may hold up to five coastal (weir/trap) Mackerel licences.

Coastal Mackerel licence holders may also hold an inshore Mackerel licence.

Coastal Mackerel licence holders may be authorized to retain Squid bycatch without a Squid licence.

32.2 Inshore Sector

This policy applies to the harvesting of Mackerel for commercial purposes by gill net, purse seine, or hand line in the Maritimes Region.

A.  Fishery management

The inshore Mackerel fishery is a limited entry fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: All licence holders, except purse seine, have access to Mackerel Fishing Areas (MFA) 17-21. Purse seine may only be used in MFAs 17, 18, and 19.

Season: Yearly close times for Mackerel fishing are established under Schedule X of the AFR, 1985 and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to set/fixed gill nets, drift gill nets, purse seine, or hand line.

The number of set gill nets authorized is limited to the number of nets authorized to the previous licence holder or 10 nets (max 300 fathoms), whichever is greater.

Vessels attached to purse seine licences are restricted to less than 13.7m (45’) LOA.

Vessels attached to gill net licences are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Vessels attached to hand line-only licences held by licence holders with no other licences may be replaced by vessels less than 7.6m (25’) LOA, or by vessels the same LOA as the vessel being replaced, whichever is greater. If the licence holder holds other licences, replacement vessels must be less than 13.7m (45’), or the LOA authorized by the other licence(s), whichever is more restrictive.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Hand line-only licences cannot be issued as replacement licences and expire upon non-renewal or the death of the licences holder.

33. Marine Plants

This policy applies to the harvesting of Marine Plants for commercial use in the Maritimes Region. No licence is required for the manual harvesting of Dulse.

Licences are only required when harvesting plants attached to the bottom. Loose plants may be collected without a licence.

33.1 Nova Scotia

In Nova Scotia, licences are issued for the harvest of Irish Moss and Rockweed.

If harvesting Rockweed within a provincially leased area, a DFO licence is not required.

A. Fishery management

The Nova Scotia Marine Plant harvest is managed under the coastal sector. Access is open entry.

Who is eligible: Harvesters do not require a Personal Fisher Registration to obtain a Marine Plant licence. Applicants must be residents of the applicable Marine Plant Harvest Area (MPHA).

Fishing area: Harvesting occurs in MPHAs 10, 11, 12, & 13; licence holders are restricted to a single area.

Season: Rockweed harvesting is open year-round. Irish Moss close times are established under Schedule XXVI of the AFR, 1985.

Licence fee: $100/year.

B. Gear details

Hand-held rakes and tongs may be used.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licences cannot be issued as replacement licences.

Licence holders may request additional conditions to harvest Fucus Vesiculosus or Horsetail.

33.2 Southwest New Brunswick

In New Brunswick, licences are issued for the harvest of Rockweed only.

A. Fishery management

The New Brunswick Marine Plant harvest is managed under the coastal sector. Access is closed entry.

Who is eligible: Not applicable.

Fishing area: As described in licences conditions.

Season: Close times are established yearly and specified in licence conditions.  

Licence fee: $100/year.

B. Gear details
Only hand-held rakes may be used.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions
Licences cannot be issued as replacement licences.  

34. Marine Worms

This policy applies to the harvesting of Marine Worms for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The Marine Worm harvest is managed under the coastal sector. Access is limited entry.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Harvesters will be restricted to Marine Worm Harvest Area 1, 2/3, 4, 5, or 6.

Season: January 1 – December 31; subject to area closures.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Harvesting is permitted by hand and handheld tools only.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions
No species-specific policies apply.

35. Mussels

This policy applies to the harvesting of Mussels for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The Mussel fishery is a closed entry, coastal fishery.

Who is eligible: Entry into the fishery is closed. No new licences will be issued.

Fishing area:  The Bay of Fundy is closed to Mussel harvesting. For the rest of the Maritimes region, licence holders will be restricted to the area noted on the licence.

Season: Yearly close times for Mussel harvesting are established under the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations, Part VII, Section 55, and are subject to change by variation order.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Mussels may be harvested with rakes and tongs operated by hand without mechanical assistance.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Mussel licences cannot be issued as replacement licences and expire upon the death of the licence holder.

36. Oysters

This policy applies to the harvesting of Oysters for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The Oyster fishery is a closed entry, coastal fishery managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Entry into the fishery is closed. No new licences will be issued.

Fishing area: Oysters are harvested throughout the Maritimes Region. Harvesters will be restricted to the area noted on the licence.

Season: The season is September 14 – November 30, as identified in the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations, Part VIII, Section 57. It is also subject to area closures and variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Oysters may be harvested using tongs and rakes operated by hand without mechanical assistance (hand held tools).

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Oyster licences cannot be issued as replacement licences and expire upon the death of the licence holder.

37. Scallop

This policy applies to the harvesting of Scallops for commercial use in the Maritimes Region. The Scallop resource is harvested by five distinct fleets: Inshore, Full Bay, Mid-Bay, Upper Bay, and Offshore.

Since 1996, the Scallop resource has been managed by Scallop Production Area (SPA). SPAs are designed to incorporate one or more Scallop biological production area and may fall within the boundaries of multiple Scallop Fishing Areas (SFAs). SPA boundaries are described in licence conditions.

37.1 Inshore Sector

A. Fishery management
The inshore Scallop fishery is limited entry. SFA 29 East licence holders harvest Scallop competitively. SFA 29 West licence holders are allotted ITQs.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).  Applicants must reside in the same Maritimes Region Administrative Area as the person relinquishing the licence.

Licences held by residents with home ports within Kings, Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, and Shelburne Counties may only be issued as replacement licences to another resident with a home port within these counties.

Licences held by residents with home ports within Lunenburg and Queens Counties and the SWNS portion of Halifax County may be issued as replacement licences to another resident with a home port within these same counties.

Fishing area: Scallop Fishing Area 29 East & West.

Season: Dates are subject to area closures and variation orders.

Licence fees: SFA 29 East $30/year; SFA 29 West quota fees of $547.50/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Only Scallop drags or rakes may be used. Green sweep drags are not permitted.

The holder of a scallop licence for Scallop Fishing Area 29 (inshore Scotian Shelf) may not have his licence amended to use a vessel 13.7m (45') LOA or longer if his present vessel is less than 13.7m (45') LOA, or a vessel 19.8m (65') LOA or longer if his present vessel is between 13.7m (45') LOA and 19.8m (65') LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

In SFA 29 East, substitute operators are limited to medical substitute operator only.

37.2 Full Bay Fleet

A. Fishery management

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements for Exempted Fleets (see Section 7).

Fishing area: Scallop Fishing Areas 28 A, B, C and D and SFA 29 West.

Season: October 1 – September 30, subject to area closures and variation orders.

Licence fee: $547.50/tonne.

B. Gear details

Only Scallop drags or rakes may be used. Green sweep drags are not permitted.

The Full Bay fleet is restricted to vessels less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

A licence holder must have a minimum permanent quota share of 0.49% of the fleet quota attached to his or her licence prior to being eligible to participate in the fishery.

Scallop Full Bay fleet licences are exempt from PIIFCAF, Fleet Separation, and Owner-Operator policies.

37.3 Mid-Bay Fleet

A. Fishery management

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6). Licences will only be reissued to eligible participants who have historically fished from a port(s) within the boundaries of SFA 28B & 28C.

Fishing area: Scallop Fishing Area 28 B & C.

Season: Dates are subject to area closures and variation orders.

SPA 1B: Second Tuesday in January – April 30; first Monday in August – September 30
SPA 2: January 1 – December 31
SPA 6: January 1 – September 30

Licence fee: $100/year.

B. Gear details

Only Scallop drags or rakes may be used. Green sweep drags are not permitted.

The Mid-Bay fleet is restricted to vessels less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Mid-Bay fleet length is divided into the following intervals:

15’ to 19’11
20’ to 24’11
25’ to 29’11
…Up to 60’ to 64’11

Mid-Bay licences may be amended to replace the present vessel with one within the same 1.5m (5’) interval. For example, a 32’ vessel could be replaced by a vessel up to 34’11.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No fleet-specific policies apply.

37.4 Upper Bay Fleet

A. Fishery management

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Scallop Fishing Area 28 C & D.

Season: Dates are subject to area closures and variation orders.

SPA 1B: Second Tuesday in January – April 30th; first Monday in August – September 30th

Licence fee: $640/year.

B. Gear details

Only Scallop drags or rakes may be used. Green sweep drags are not permitted.

The Upper Bay fleet is restricted to vessels less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Upper Bay fleet length is divided into the following intervals:
15’ to 19’11
20’ to 24’11
25’ to 29’11
…Up to 60’ to 64’11

Upper Bay licences may be amended to replace the present vessel with one within the same 1.5m (5’) interval. For example, a 32’ vessel could be replaced by a vessel up to 34’11.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No fleet-specific policies apply.

37.5 Offshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The offshore Scallop fishery is limited entry. It is managed through a Total Allowable Catch system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: Offshore Scallop Fishing Areas 10, 11, 12, 25, 26, and 27.

Season: January 1 – December 31, subject to area closures and variation order.

Licence fee: $547.50/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to Scallop drag.

Vessels are restricted to greater than 19.8m (65’).

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific policies apply.

38. Sea Cucumbers

This policy applies to the harvesting of Sea Cucumbers for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

38.1 Inshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The inshore Sea Cucumber harvest is limited entry and managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Zones within Southwest New Brunswick and Southwest Nova Scotia, as described in licence conditions.

Season:

SWNB: 2nd Tuesday in January – March 31
SWNS: May 1 – March 31

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to modified Scallop drag.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific policies apply.

38.2 Midshore/Offshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The midshore/offshore Sea Cucumber fishery is a limited entry fishery managed under a Total Allowable Catch system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the midshore and offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: NAFO division 4W.

Season: May 1 – March 31, subject to licence conditions.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to modified Scallop drag.

Currently the vessels utilized in this fishery are less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific restrictions apply.

39. Sea Urchins

This policy applies to the harvesting of Sea Urchins for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.  Policy varies between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

39.1 Nova Scotia

A. Fishery management

The Nova Scotia Sea Urchin harvest is limited entry and managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing areas: Authorized fishing areas are described in licence conditions.

Season: September 1 – August 31, except in Annapolis, Digby, and Kings Counties, where the season ends May 31.

Licence fees: $100/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

The Sea Urchin fishery is a dive fishery authorizing up to four divers. For safety reasons, one additional diver may be suited on the surface. Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

An auxiliary vessel, registered with DFO, may be used for safety purposes. 

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Harvest Benefit Combining is authorized for the Nova Scotia fleet.

39.2 Southwest New Brunswick

A. Fishery management

The Southwest New Brunswick Sea Urchin harvest is limited entry. The LFA 36 fishery is managed through effort controls. The LFA 38 fishery is managed under an Independent Quota system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing areas: LFA 36 (Quoddy Region) and LFA 38 (Grand Manan).

Season:

LFA 36: October 1 – May 15.
LFA 38: November 1 – April 15.

Licence fees:
Competitive: $100/year.
Individual Quota: 61.00/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Harvesting may be done with dragging gear or by divers. Licences authorize up to four divers. For safety reasons, one additional diver may be suited on the surface. In LFA 38, licence holders may be authorized to switch between dive and drag operations. In LFA 36, drag licence holders only may be authorized to use dive gear for up to 30 days for the purpose of selecting the permanent gear type. This is a one-time opportunity.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

For diving operations, two open vessels maximum of 7.3m (24’) LOA may be authorized. Both vessels must be registered with DFO.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No area-specific restrictions apply.

40. Seals

Nuisance seal licences that authorize the hunting of seals that represent a danger to fishing equipment are available through an application process.

41. Shad

This policy applies to the harvesting of Shad in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

Shad is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through input controls and harvested competitively.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 4).

Fishing area: Licence holders will be limited to the fishing area set out in licence conditions.

Seasons: As set out in Schedule VIII of the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations, subject to any variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Gear is restricted to dip nets, gill nets, square nets, and trap nets. In the tidal waters of SWNB, square nets are not permitted. In the inland waters of SWNB, gill nets, square nets, and trap nets are not permitted.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No species-specific restrictions apply.

42. Shrimp

This policy applies to the harvesting of Shrimp for commercial use in the Maritimes Region. Shrimp is harvested in the inshore and offshore sectors.

42.1 Inshore Sector

The inshore Shrimp fishery is a limited entry, inshore fishery. It is fished by two distinct fleets: the Chedabucto Bay Trap Fleet and the Mobile Gear ITQ Fleet.

42.1.1 Chedabucto Bay Trap Fleet

A. Fishery management

The trap-based Shrimp fishery managed under a competitive quota system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Shrimp Fishing Area 15 (Chedabucto Bay).  

Season: January 1 – December 29, subject to variation orders.

Licence fee: $100/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

A maximum of 100 traps may be used.

Trap tags are required.

All vessels are restricted to less than 19.8 m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licence holders may be authorized to transfer trap tags to another licence holder. A single licence holder may be authorized to fish up to three sets of trap tags, for a total of 300 traps. Tag transfers cannot occur between northern and southern licence holders.

42.1.2 Mobile Gear Fishery

A. Fishery management

SFA 13-15 catches are regulated by ITQ. In SFA 16 stocks are harvested competitively.

Who is eligible: SFA 13-15 replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements for Exempted Fleets (see Section 7).

SFA 16 replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Shrimp Fishing Areas 13, 14, 15, and 16.

Season: January 1 – December 29, subject to variation orders.

Licence fees:

SFA 16: $30/year.
SFA 13-15: $66.50/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is limited to otter trawl with a Groundfish separator grate.

Vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

SFA 13-15 ITQ licences are exempt from PIIFCAF, Fleet Separation, and Owner-Operator policies.

42.2 Offshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The offshore Shrimp fishery is a limited entry managed through a TAC system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: Shrimp Fishing Areas 0 – 7.

Season: January 1 – December 31.

Licence fee: As listed in Schedule II, Part II, of the AFR 1985.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to Shrimp trawl with a Groundfish separator grate.

Vessels are restricted to between 19.8m (65’) and 91.4m (300’).

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No fleet-specific policies apply.

43. Smelt

This policy applies to the harvesting of smelt for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

Smelt is a limited entry, coastal fishery managed through input controls and harvested competitively.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 4).

Fishing area: Licence holders will be limited to the fishing area set out in licence conditions.

Seasons: As set out in Section 88 of the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations, subject to any variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Authorized fishing methods are gill nets, bag nets, and box nets.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Upon reissuance, commercial Smelt gill net licences that permit fishing in Lingan Bay, Nova Scotia, will have the permission for Lingan Bay removed.

44. Squid

This policy applies to the harvesting of Squid for commercial use in the Maritimes region.

A. Fishery management

The management of the Squid fishery varies by gear type. The jigger and handline, otter trawl, and purse seine fisheries are open entry. The trap net and gill net fisheries are closed entry. The Squid fishery is managed through effort controls.

Who is eligible: New licences for jigger and handline gear may be issued to licence holders who hold at least one other inshore or exempted fleet licence for a species other than Squid. New licences for otter trawl gear may be issued to licence holders who hold an otter trawl licence for another species. New licences for purse seine gear may be issued to licence holders who hold a purse seine licence for another species.

No new licences will be issued for trap net or gill net.

Fishing area: All licence holders have access to Squid Fishing Areas 17-20. SFA 21 is open to handline and jigger only.

Season: April 1– December 31, subject to variation orders.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

Jigger, handline, otter trawl, and purse seine may be used.

Replacement vessel size is governed by the most restrictive vessel replacement policy for the other licences held by the licence holder.

C. Polcy flexibility and restrictions

Licences may not be issued as replacement licences.

Squid licences will be subject to owner/operator and fleet separation policies except where the licence holder holds only Exempted fleet licence(s) (see Annex I).

Herring and Mackerel trap net and gill net licence holders may retain Squid bycatch without a Squid licence.

45. Sturgeon (Atlantic)

This policy applies to the harvesting of Atlantic Sturgeon for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.

A. Fishery management

The Sturgeon fishery is a closed entry, coastal fishery. It is fished competitively.

Who is eligible: Entry into the fishery is closed. No new or replacement licences will be issued.

Fishing area: Fishing occurs in the tidal waters of the Saint John River in Kings County.

Season: Closed for the month of June.

Licence fee: $30/year.

B. Gear details

Authorized gear is gill nets.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Licences may not be issued as replacement licences and expire on the death of the licence holder.

46. Swordfish

This policy applies to licences issued in the Maritimes Region for the commercial harvesting of Swordfish. Swordfish are managed under a TAC regime that is split between two distinct licence types: Harpoon-only and Longline ITQ.

46.1 Harpoon-Only Fleet

A. Fishery management

The harpoon-only Swordfish fishery is a limited entry, inshore fishery. It is divided into two groups: Group A, which makes dedicated trips for Swordfish, and Group B, which fishes for Swordfish opportunistically while harvesting other species. Group A fishers have the choice to fish through an industry-led Individual Transferable Quota (ITQ) or competitively but must make a selection prior to the fishing season on an annual basis. Group B fishes its quota competitively.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6).

Fishing area: Licences are issued for a single Maritimes Region Administrative Area.

Season: June – August.
Licence fees: $30/year.

B. Gear and vessel details

All vessels are restricted to less than 19.8 m (65’) LOA.

Gear is restricted to harpoon.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Harvest Benefit Combining is available for Group A harpoon licence holders. No licence may be acquire benefits that equate to more than 6% of the TAC.

46.2 Longline ITQ Fleet

A. Fishery management

The Longline Individual Transferrable Quota (ITQ) Swordfish fishery is a limited entry, inshore fishery.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements for Exempted Fleets (see Section 7).

Fishing area: Licences are issued for a single Maritimes Region Administrative Area.

Season: April – December.

Licence fees: $345/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to longline, tended line, and harpoon.

Except for licences that are grandfathered to allow greater than 19.8m (65’) LOA, vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA. If a vessel attached to a grandfathered licence is replaced with a vessel less than 19.8m (65’) LOA, the licence holder retains the option of using a vessel greater than 19.8m (65’) LOA, limited to the length of the longest vessel historically authorized on the licence.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Per Section 18, subsection 8(a) of the CFLP, 1996, Regional Headquarters may authorize requests to issue Swordfish longline replacement licences to any qualified person on the Atlantic Coast.

D.  Restricted tuna licences

Swordfish longline ITQ fleet licences are exempt from PIIFCAF, Fleet Separation, and Owner-Operator policies.

Longline licence holders are eligible to receive Restricted Tuna licences, permitting them to fish for Bigeye, Yellowfin, and Albacore.

Restricted Tuna stocks are harvested competitively. Licence holders are restricted to the area and vessel size listed on the associated Swordfish licence.

Gear is restricted to longline, tended line, and harpoon. Tags are required.

Except for licences that are grandfathered to allow greater than 19.8 m (65’) LOA, vessels involved in the Restricted Tuna fishery are restricted to less than 19.8 m (65’) LOA. The Restricted Tuna licence must be on the same vessel as the associated Swordfish longline licence. If a grandfathered licence is issued as a replacement licence to a fish harvester with a vessel less than 19.8m (65’) LOA, the licence holder retains the option of going back to the original size.

47. Tuna, Bluefin

This policy applies to the harvesting of Bluefin Tuna for commercial use in the Maritimes Region.  Each year Canada is allocated a TAC quota by the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT). The TAC is shared between three inshore fleets and one offshore enterprise. A limited number of licence holders from the Gulf Region will be given access to Maritimes Region waters each season.

47.1 Coastal Sector – St. Margaret’s Bay Trap Net Fleet

A. Fishery management

The St. Margaret’s Bay Tuna fleet is a limited entry, coastal fishery. Catches are allocated by ITQ.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the coastal sector (see Section 5).

Fishing area: Licences are issued for single trap net berth sites within St. Margaret’s Bay.

Season: January 1 – December 31. The directed fisheries for the individual fleets open on various dates as chosen by the fleets; traditionally with the migration of Bluefin into Canadian waters in early July.

Licence fees: $916/tonne.

B. Gear details

Only trap nets may be used.

Tags are required.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

Fish harvesters may hold up to six trap net licences.

Trap net licences share berth sites with an associated Mackerel trap net licence. These licences cannot be separated; they must reissued as a package.

47.2 Southwest Nova Scotia Fleet

A. Fishery management

The SWNS Bluefin Tuna fleet is a limited entry fishery. Catches are allocated by ITQ.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements for Exempted Fleets (see Section 7).

Fishing area: NAFO divisions 4VWX and 5.

Season: January 1 – December 31. The directed fisheries for the individual fleets open on various dates as chosen by the fleets; traditionally with the migration of Bluefin into Canadian waters in early July.

Licence fees: $916/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to angling, tended line, and electric harpoon.

Tags are required.

All vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

Vessel replacement is not authorized for participants from outside the Maritimes Region once the fishery beings.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

SWNS Bluefin Tuna licences are exempt from PIIFCAF, Fleet Separation, and Owner-Operator policies.

47.3 4Wd Tobin 10 Fleet

A. Fishery management

The 4Wd Tobin 10 Tuna fleet is a limited entry, inshore fishery. It is harvested competitively.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the inshore sector (see Section 6). Applicants must reside in the area adjacent to NAFO division 4Wd (Guysborough and Richmond Counties).

Fishing area: NAFO division 4Wd.

Season: August 1 – December 31. The directed fisheries for the individual fleets open on various dates as chosen by the fleets; traditionally with the migration of Bluefin into Canadian waters in early July.

Licence fees: $916/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Only angling gear (rod and reel) may be used. 

Tags are required. No refunds will be issued for unused or damaged tags.

All vessels are restricted to less than 19.8m (65’) LOA.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No fleet-specific policies apply.

47.4 Offshore Sector

A. Fishery management

The offshore Bluefin Tuna fishery is a limited entry fishery managed under a TAC system.

Who is eligible: Replacement licences are issued per the eligibility requirements of the offshore sector (see Section 7). Entry is determined on a case-by-case basis.

Fishing area: As described in licence conditions.

Season: January 1 – December 31. The directed fisheries vary annually based on the dates chosen by the fleet.

Licence fees: $916/tonne.

B. Gear and vessel details

Gear is restricted to longline.

C. Policy flexibility and restrictions

No sector-specific policies apply.

Annex I – List of Maritimes Fisheries by Sector

Inshore

Inshore Exempted Fleets

Midshore & Offshore

Coastal

*Green Crab is an aquatic invasive species, subject to the rules outlined in the Aquatic Invasive Species Regulations

Annex II – Recreational Fisheries

DFO Licence Required:

*Marine Worm, Scallop, Shark, and Tuna are open entry licences. All other species are closed entry; no new licences will be issued, licences cannot be issued as replacement licences, and licences expire upon the death of the licence holder.

New Brunswick Provincial Licence Required:
For more information, see the New Brunswick provincial website.

No Licence Required:
Subject to season, area, catch size, and catch limit restrictions.

*Before harvesting shellfish, visit the DFO website for information on contaminated growing areas.

Nova Scotia Provincial Licence Required:
For more information, see the Nova Scotia provincial website.

All species not listed above do not have recreational fisheries.

For more information on recreational fishing, including fishing areas, close times, and size regulations, see the Maritimes Region Recreational Fisheries website.

Annex III – Leave Types Authorized for Use of Substitute Operators

Leave Type Maximum Length Applicable Fisheries
Medical Five (5) years per fisher (total per career) Coastal and Inshore
Vacation Up to 30 days per year, pro-rated by the length of the applicable fishing season. Minimum of three (3) days per request. Inshore only
Compassionate Case-by-case Coastal and Inshore
Education Two (2) weeks per year Coastal and Inshore
Estate Five (5) years Coastal and Inshore
Incarceration Two (2) years Inshore only
Association Representative Case-by-case Coastal and Inshore

Annex IV – Fishing Areas

Maritimes Region Administrative Areas
ENS Cape Breton, Guysborough, Richmond, Victoria County to Cape North, and Halifax (east of Pennant Point) counties in Nova Scotia
SWNS Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, Shelburne, Queens, Lunenberg, and Halifax (west of Pennant Point) Counties in Nova Scotia
SWNB Carleton, York, Charlotte, Sunbury, Queens, Kings, Saint John, Albert, and the Maritimes Region portion of Westmoreland Counties in New Brunswick
Clam Harvesting Areas
CHA 1 Tidal and inland waters of the counties of Colchester, Cumberland and Hants within the boundaries of the Maritimes Region
CHA 2 Tidal and inland waters of the counties of Annapolis, Digby and Kings
CHA 3 Tidal and inland waters of Yarmouth County
CHA 4 Tidal and inland waters of the counties of Shelburne, Queens, Lunenburg and Halifax Counties west of Pennant Point
CHA 5 Tidal and inland waters of Halifax County east of Pennant Point and Guysborough County
CHA 6 Tidal and inland waters of the counties of Richmond, Cape Breton and Victoria
CHA 7 Tidal and inland waters of the counties of Charlotte, Saint John and Albert
Groundfish Gill net Zones
Zone 1 East of the Halifax/Guysborough County line
Zone 2 Halifax, Lunenburg, and Queen’s Counties
Zone 3 Shelburne County
Zone 4 Yarmouth, Digby, Annapolis, Kings, Hants, Colchester and Cumberland Counties in Nova Scotia; Westmorland, Albert, Saint John and Charlotte Counties in New Brunswick
LFA 33 Port Clusters
1 Eastern Passage
2 Halifax, Sambro, Herring Cove, Pennant, Portugese Cove, Purcells Cove
3 Lower Prospect, Prospect, Shad Bay, Bayside, Terence Bay, Boutiliers Point, East Dover, Glen Margaret, Hacketts Cove, Hubbards, Indian Harbour, Peggy’s Cove, Queensland, Tantallon, West Dover, McGrath’s Cove
4A Aspotogan, Big Tancook, Blandford, Deep Cove, East River, East River Point, Fox Point, Little Tancook, Mill Cove, New Harbour, Northwest Cove
4B Chester, Chester Basin, Indian Point
5 Blue Rocks, Mader’s Cove, Second Peninsula, Herman’s Island, Stonehurst
6 Lunenburg, Bayport, Feltzen South, First South, Riverport, Rose Bay
7 Bush Island, Dublin Shore, LaHave, LaHave Island, Petite Riviere, West Dublin, Pleasantville
8 Liverpool, Cherry Hill, Vogler’s Cove, Eagle Head, Moose Harbour, Port Medway, West Berlin, Brooklyn, Beach Meadows
9 Port Mouton, East Port L’Hebert, Hunt’s Point, Port Joli, Port L’Hebert, West Port L’Hebert
10 Little Harbour, Lockeport, East Jordan, Osborne Harbour, West Green Harbour, Jones Harbour
11A Shelburne, Jordan Bay, Lower Sandy Point, Sandy Point
11B Churchover, Gunning Cove, Roseway
12 Ingomar
13 Baccaro, Port LaTour, Smithville, Upper Port LaTour

Mackerel Trapnet Management Zones

Mackerel Trapnet Management Zones

Marine Worm Harvest Areas

Clam Harvesting Areas
MWHA 1 Inland and tidal waters of Kings County and that portion of Hants County within the West Hants District Municipality
MWHA 2 Inland and tidal waters of the counties of Annapolis, Digby, Yarmouth, and that portion of Shelburne County west of Baccaro Point
MWHA 3 Inland and tidal waters of the counties of Shelburne east of Baccaro Point, the counties of Queens and Lunenburg, and that portion of Halifax County west of Pennant Point
MWHA 4 Waters of Colchester and Cumberland counties that flow into, or are adjacent to the Bay of Fundy, and that portion of Hants County within the East Hants District Municipality
MWHA 5 Inland and tidal waters of the New Brunswick counties of Charlotte, Saint John and Albert that flow into, or are adjacent to the Bay of Fundy
MWHA 6 Inland and tidal waters of Halifax County east of Pennant Point, and the counties of Guysborough, Richmond, Cape Breton and Victoria

Annex V – List of frequently used abbreviations

AFR - Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985
CC - Aboriginal Commercial Communal  
CCG - Canadian Coast Guard
C & P - Conservation & Protection
CFLP - Commercial Fisheries Licensing Policy for Eastern Canada, 1996
DFO - Department of Fisheries & Oceans
DO - Designated Operator
EA - Enterprise Allocation
ENS - Eastern Nova Scotia
FG - Fixed Gear
FIN - Fisher Identification Number
HBC - Harvest Benefit Combining
IC - Independent Core
ILC - Issuing Licenses to Companies
ITQ - Individual Transferable Quota
LOA - Length Overall
MG - Mobile Gear
NAFO - Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization
NOLS - National Online Licensing System
PIIFCAF - Policy for Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada’s Atlantic Fisheries
PFR - Personal Fisher Registration
RFI - Registered Financial Institution
SARA - Species at Risk Act
SO - Substitute Operator
SWNB - Southwest New Brunswick
SWNS - Southwest Nova Scotia
TAC - Total Allowable Catch