New Federal Fisheries Regulations – Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are the new regulation changes?
These regulations make changes to the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985, and the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is taking further action to preserve the independence of inshore license holders in Atlantic Canada and Quebec by putting into regulations safeguards that ensure the economic benefits from fishing stay with fish harvesters and within their communities.
2. When will these new regulations come into force?
The new federal regulations will be in effect April 1, 2021.
3. How does it work with DFO licensing?
There is a new Declaration of Inshore Regulations Compliance is integrated into license fee renewal processes, via the National Online Licensing System (NOLS).
• License holders must confirm compliance with the regulations in order to receive their license
• Can only proceed to ‘Pay Now’ once indicated agreement that you understand the regulations and have confirmed that you are compliant with them
4. What is the “registry”?
The new regulations now require the captain to keep records of all the crew aboard their vessel on every fishing trip in a crew. It is a list that includes the following information about the crew:
•Fisher Identification Number or Provincial Fisher’s Certificate
•Fishing Trip Start Date
•Fishing Trip End Date
•The license holder must keep these records a minimum of 5 years
You do not need to set out crew share on your crew list. You only need to record the crew and their registration with the PFHCB.
5. Why do we have to keep a crew list?
When DFO drafted these regulations, they did not understand crew because they do not deal with crew. They thought that a crew share meant that the crew owned a share of the license. When this misconception was corrected, DFO realized that paying a crew share would have to be made an exemption because it transfers to the crew an interest in the catch.
This is what has influenced the requirement that crew lists be drafted for each trip. These lists are no different than the current lists provided to processors setting out crew shares to be paid. The only difference is now the list is a condition of license and must be maintained for 5 years.
6. Will the crew list be shared with other government departments?
• The lists are not being collected by DFO
• They are not being entered into a registry system and are not being shared with Service Canada or Transport Canada.
• The explanatory note in the regulation makes it very clear that these lists are not going to be policed by DFO on a daily basis
• Lists will exist in the registry and be referenced for circumstances when a harvester is accused of transferring the beneficial interest of their license
7. Do young people need to be registered to participate in the fishery?
Minister Bernadette Jordan clarifies this in a statement from March 19th, 2021:
“We recognize that for many families in Newfoundland and Labrador, and across Atlantic Canada, fishing is family event. The new Owner-Operator and Fleet Separation regulations will in no way impact these traditions, as they do not change who can legally be on a fishing vessel.
Under DFO regulations, an individual less than 16 years of age may be on a fishing vessel without registering, whether they are engaged in fishing activity or not. Individuals over the age of 16 may also be on the fishing vessel, but if they are engaged in fishing activity, they must register.
To be clear, an individual of any age, who is not engaged in fishing activity, does not need to register to be on the vessel. As always, we encourage crews to take strong health and safety precautions at all times, especially when minors or inexperienced individuals are on board.
What the new inshore regulations require is that the Captains record who is on aboard, engaged in fishing activity. By ensuring that the people who own the license are the ones actually fishing the license, we will ensure the revenue from inshore fishing, stays with inshore fishers. That is how we can keep revenue from the fishery in our local and regional coastal economies.
Inshore harvesters have been advocating for regulations related to the Owner-Operator and Fleet Separation policies for years, and their coming into effect marks the beginning of a better, stronger, more resilient inshore commercial fishery.”
8. What consultation has been done on this?
DFO began work on these regulations in early 2018. DFO consulted with stakeholders in Atlantic Canada and Quebec starting in July 2018. The proposed regulations were published in the Canada Gazette, Part I on July 6, 2019. In the Gazette Part I draft there was no mention of a registry or list.