Report on Plans and Priorities 2013-14

Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome #2 - Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems


Fisheries and Oceans Canada's programs and policies contribute to the conservation, protection, and sustainability of Canada's aquatic ecosystems through the management of risks that affect species, oceans, and fish habitats.

What are the Department's goals?

One of the main goals at Fisheries and Oceans Canada is to safeguard Canada's healthy and productive aquatic ecosystems, which provide sustainable resources to Canadians.

Why do these goals matter to Canadians?

Canada has an abundant supply of natural aquatic resources contributing to the social, environmental, and economic well-being of Canadians. By sustaining productive ecosystems, Fisheries and Oceans Canada continues to support commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fishing, thereby helping to maintain economic prosperity for current and future generations.

How does the Department achieve these goals?

Fisheries and Oceans Canada achieves these goals by setting frameworks, regulations, and policies for shared stewardship of freshwater systems, and for the management of Canada's three oceans and the largest coastline in the world. The Department designates specific areas of the ocean as Marine Protected Areas to protect ecologically and biologically important resources. Together with support from governments, stakeholders, the international community, and Aboriginal groups, Canada has adopted an integrated approach to managing ocean space and activities.

The Department works with partners to monitor the status of aquatic species at risk to prevent further declines in their numbers and set conservation and recovery objectives based on the best available science.

In collaboration with provinces, territories, and other partners, Fisheries and Oceans Canada works to prevent aquatic invasive species from entering Canada's waterways where they can cause harm to natural ecosystems in lakes, rivers, and oceans and pose significant threats to Canadian fisheries.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada undertakes research, participates in environmental assessments, and conducts regulatory reviews for large resource projects such as mines and hydroelectric dams. The Department provides advice to help proponents comply with applicable laws and regulations that aim to prevent serious harm to commercial, recreational, and Aboriginal fisheries and respect food, social, and ceremonial fisheries requirements. A science-based, streamlined, and collaborative approach provides prompt and predictable feedback from the federal government.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada conducts research to learn how to prevent, mitigate, or adapt to a broad range of impacts on Canada's aquatic ecosystems, such as those resulting from climate change. This research informs planning for activities such as shipping, energy development, and mining projects in Canada's North.

The Department's fishery officers monitor and enforce compliance with federal legislation and regulations designed to protect Canada's aquatic ecosystems and the fisheries they sustain, and the Coast Guard responds to all reports of marine pollution incidents in Canadian waters. Fisheries and Oceans Canada makes every effort possible to minimize the negative effects of marine pollution incidents on Canada's ecosystems and ensure that effective actions are taken.

The Department's actions and decisions are based not only on sound science, research, and analysis, but on a variety of Canadian interests, expressed by citizens and stakeholders from a broad range of backgrounds, to ensure long-term benefits for all Canadians.

Financial Resources ($ millions)

Total Budgetary
(Main Estimates)
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
238.7 242.9 222.3 208.7

Human Resources (FTE)

2013-14 2014-15 2015-16
1,818 1,600 1,557

The Sustainable Aquatic Ecosystems Strategic Outcome is delivered through six programs and seven sub-programs as indicated in the Program Alignment Architecture: