Report on Plans and Priorities 2014-15

Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome #1 - Economically Prosperous Maritime Sectors and Fisheries


Through its policies, programs, and services, and while supporting the sustainable and effective use of Canada's water resources, Fisheries and Oceans Canada contributes to the capacity of Canada's maritime sectors and fisheries to derive economic benefits and further enhance their competitiveness.

What are the Department's goals?

The Department's goals are to increase the economic benefits associated with Canada's maritime sectors, fisheries, and aquaculture and to enhance the competitiveness of these sectors in existing areas, as well as in emerging areas such as Canada's North.

Why do these goals matter to Canadians?

Marine-related industries including fisheries and aquaculture contribute significantly to the Canadian economy. In 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, these industries contributed $39 billion to Canada's gross domestic product and employed over 329,000 people.

Fisheries and seafood sectors - commercial harvesting, seafood processing, and aquaculture industries - remain economic mainstays in various regional economies. Total commercial sea fisheries and freshwater landings reached $2.1 billion in 2011 while aquaculture production was valued at $847 million. Gross revenues of the seafood product processing sector were $3.7 billion. In 2010, Canada ranked 7th among seafood exporting countries in terms of total export value, with exports to more than 130 countries worldwide.

Effective and safe maritime transportation is central to the efficient movement of goods in Canada. One in five jobs in Canada depends on trade, much of which moves within Canada, leaves the country, or arrives via shipping through waterways. These contributions are particularly significant in the Pacific and Atlantic regions, where they account for an important share of provincial gross domestic product and employment. Fisheries and Oceans Canada's work will assist in delineating the extended continental shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Current commercial fisheries in Canada's North are dominated by shrimp and turbot. Over 300 fish stocks and 50 marine mammal stocks are harvested for various purposes including cultural reasons for Canada's Northern Aboriginal communities. However, the potential of emerging fisheries in the Arctic is not yet determined.

How does the Department achieve these goals?

In collaboration with governments, industry, and stakeholders, Fisheries and Oceans Canada promotes economic opportunity by facilitating trade, establishing stable regulatory frameworks, maintaining harbour infrastructure, putting in place navigational tools, and communicating with Canadians and the marketplace. The Department also works to make sure that these economic opportunities are open to Canada's Aboriginal peoples.

Through the Canadian Coast Guard, Fisheries and Oceans Canada facilitates maritime transport (and, as a result, trade) by providing essential services (e.g., icebreaking, aids to navigation, and waterways management) and information to mariners using Canadian waters.

The Department also works bilaterally and multilaterally to manage fisheries and aquaculture sustainably and to secure access to international markets for Canada's fisheries and aquaculture industry. This involves, for example, reducing trade and non-tariff barriers and establishing fair and transparent rules in the international marketplace, including influencing international and market-driven standards and certification programs.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports the development of Canada's commercial and recreational fisheries and aquaculture. It also develops regulatory frameworks for the management of Canada's fisheries and aquaculture industry based on strong evidence derived from both scientific and economic research. The Department develops and delivers policies, programs, and plans (e.g., Integrated Fisheries Management Plans, Conservation and Harvesting Plans, Fisheries Rebuilding Plans, Recovery Strategies and Action Plans, and the Salmonid Enhancement Program) to support economic opportunity and predictability and ensure that resources are managed sustainably for long-term economic growth.

When developing policies, regulations, and programs, the Department strives to ensure that the aquaculture sector is regulated in a cost-effective, predictable, and coordinated fashion with other federal and provincial regulating agencies, and, in areas where the Department leads, it develops and implements management plans. Fisheries and Oceans Canada provides leadership, shared with the provinces and industry, for the development and implementation of aquaculture plans in Canada to support a growing sustainable aquaculture industry. The Department conducts scientific research and assessments, and provides advice to management to support the sustainable development of these resources and ensure that decisions are based on the best available knowledge, and that the impact of future events such as climate change, is integrated into our planning. The Department also communicates proactively with Canadians and the marketplace to ensure that relevant, factual, and timely information is available.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada operates and maintains a network of small craft harbours in support of the principal and evolving needs of the commercial fishing industry and the broader interests of coastal communities. Investment in harbour infrastructure supports the prosperity of the fisheries and maritime sectors and contributes to their safe use.

Through the Canadian Hydrographic Service, the Department supports Canada's efforts to delineate our extended jurisdiction over the continental shelf under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Securing international recognition of Canada's offshore boundaries is fundamental to our long-term economic prosperity, and to exercising our sovereignty. The Canadian Hydrographic Service provides marine geodeticFootnote1 expertise to support the delineation of Canada's offshore boundaries as well as its defence and surveillance requirements.

Finally, within the context of existing and potential Aboriginal rights, the Department facilitates the participation of Aboriginals in economic opportunities associated with the fisheries and aquaculture industries, through enhanced access, negotiations, and capacity building beyond food, social, and ceremonial fisheries requirements.

The Economically Prosperous Maritime Sectors and Fisheries Strategic Outcome is delivered through eleven programs and eleven sub-programs as indicated in the Program Alignment Architecture: