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Strategic overview

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO)

Canadian Coast Guard (CCG)

July 2018


  1. Overview of the department and its responsibilities
  2. Key priorities and opportunities for 2018 to 2019
  3. Fall agenda and early decisions

Departmental responsibilities

DFO/CCG's core business is…


Ensure Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture industries are protected, managed sustainably, and support Indigenous participation.

Aquatic Ecosystems

Protect our oceans, freshwater, and other aquatic ecosystems and species from the negative impacts of humans and invasive species.

Marine Navigation

Maintain navigable waterways year-round and provide information and services to facilitate navigation enabling marine commerce in Canadian waters.

Marine Ops and Response

Operate Canada’s civilian maritime fleet and respond to maritime incidents, such as search and rescue and marine pollution.

Legislative framework

Key ministerial authorities derive from core legislation:

Oceans Act
Management of estuary, coastal, and marine waters; marine science services (e.g., nautical charts); and Coast Guard Services (e.g., icebreaking, support of OGDs).
Fisheries Act
Management of commercial, Aboriginal, and recreational fisheries as well as aquaculture operations.
Canada Shipping Act
Coast Guard services including aids to navigation, search and rescue, pollution response, and vessel traffic services.
Species at Risk Act
Protection and recovery of aquatic species at risk, in ocean and freshwater environments

There is other legislation that is also important to the Department’s mandate: Coastal Fisheries Protection Act, Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act, Fisheries Development Act, Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (Impact Assessment), Freshwater Fish Marketing Act.

Departmental overview

DFO/CCG is composed of almost 12,000 public servants across the country in support of your priorities and government agenda.

Projected FTEs for 2018 to 2019
DFO Regions CCG NHQ DFO NGQ CCG College CCG Western CCG C&A CCG Atlantic
Projection 4536 (39%) 618 (5%) 2063 (17%) 332 (3%) 1108 (9%) 1358 (12%) 1771 (15%)

Link to government agenda

DFO/CCG is central to the delivery of the Government agenda.

By June 2019, the Government aims to address 10 priority issues including:

  1. Clean environment: Marine Protected Areas make up a significant portion of the 10% goal for marine conservation targets; and fisheries authorization / project reviews support natural resources sector contributing $220 billion to GDP
  2. Jobs and growth: The fisheries sector supports more than $3.3 billion in landed value and aquaculture production represents $1.3 billion, with more than 76,000 jobs across both sectors and processing
  3. Advancing reconciliation: DFO active at more than 60 negotiating tables; and departmental programs support 2,800 jobs in Indigenous Fisheries valued at $202 million
  4. International / trade / Canada – US: The total annual value of marine trade is $200 billion, supported by CCG; the US is Canada’s main market for fish and seafood exports accounting for $4.3 billion of $6.9 billion of exports; and Oceans is a key theme of Canada’s G7 Presidency

Major investments

$5.5 billion in investments since Budget 2016, despite a tight fiscal framework, including:

Key priorities and opportunities for 2018 to 2019

Progress on mandate commitments

Ongoing and emerging priorities

Fall agenda and early decisions

Fall agenda

There are several areas with potential to advance the Government Agenda and provide significant and lasting results.

Fall agenda considerations

Collaboration with your Ministerial Colleagues will be critical on key files including whales protections, Oceans, Arctic, and Reconciliation.

Key upcoming events/dates

Key events/meetings will require Ministerial engagement:

Annex: achieved and outstanding

Substantial progress has been made to implement the Government’s agenda and your Department has completed or is on track for 12 of the 14 current mandate commitments.

Annex: Strategic environment

Global trends and initiatives affect DFO/CCG’s mandate and Canada’s broader policy agenda in many ways…

International economic pressures combine with domestic challenges of ageing workforce and limited profitability.
Climate change is driving ecosystem shifts that impact industry and infrastructure and 121 aquatic species are listed as “at-risk.”

Industry and Government must adapt operations and management (e.g., gear, TAC levels), and transition the sector to a model of higher economic productivity and greater environmental sustainability.

Seaborne traffic is increasing, including in key areas (e.g. fast-opening Arctic, and along the BC Coast given the Trans-Mountain Pipeline)

Increasing demand for CCG services will result across the board.

Oceans issues are transboundary in nature and spillovers to Canadian waters from other jurisdictions can have significant impacts.

International coordination is vital to address transboundary issues from IUU fishing to ocean governance writ large.

Canada’s Fish, Seafood and Oceans Sector

Canada has one of the world's most valuable commercial fishing industries:

The aquaculture sector generates close to $1.3 billion in production value and 15,000 jobs.

Coast Guard keeps Canada’s waterways open to an estimated $200 billion in annual, year-round marine trade.

Canada’s broader ‘Oceans Sector’ adds over $35 billion in value to GDP, employs 350,000, with activities occurring on all three coasts.

Annex: Partners and stakeholders

There is a broad set of engaged stakeholders.

Ensuring access to the resource; oversight of licensing; and the impacts of sustainability measures on economic viability and incomes.
Example: Total Allowable Catch (TAC) decisions impact incomes and communities’ economic viability.
Indigenous Groups
Increasing their access to the resource; autonomy in their own fisheries activities; and increase partnerships in the management and protection of marine environments.
Example: Increasing access to fisheries resources for Indigenous groups reduces access for others.
Ecosystem sustainability and conservation, from strengthening protections for species at risk to enhancing sustainability requirements for fisheries.
Example: Measures impacting harvesters (e.g. temporary fishery closures) are vital to protecting at-risk species.
Marine Industry
Supporting economic activity through maritime trade and transport; ensuring marine safety by enabling navigation; as well as a stable trade regime for fish and seafood.
Example: CCG ensures the safe, economical and efficient movement of ships in Canadian waters.
Jointly manage fisheries resources as P/Ts have key role over property and civil rights, public lands, licensing of businesses, and other matters of a local or private nature.
Example: Aquaculture is jointly managed among F-PTs, e.g. pesticide approvals are a shared responsibility.
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