Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

September 05, 2007 17:26 ET

DFO: Deadline Extended for Declaration Under "Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada's Atlantic Fishery"

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Sept. 5, 2007) - Fish harvesters in Atlantic Canada will have an additional six months to submit their declarations about whether or not they are party to a "controlling agreement" under Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) new licence policy. The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Loyola Hearn, announced today that the new deadline is March 31, 2008.

On April 12, 2007, the Minister announced licence policy changes under Preserving the Independence of the Inshore Fleet in Canada's Atlantic Fishery (PIIFCAF) to increase the economic viability of the fishery for inshore fish harvesters. These policy changes strengthened owner-operator and fleet separation policies which were established to maintain the independence of inshore fishers, keep the benefits of licences in the hands of the licence holder, and curtail corporate concentration of licence holdings.

"Fish harvesters have legitimate questions," said Minister Hearn. "We want to work collaboratively to achieve our goal of putting control of fishers' licences into their hands. Extending the deadline by six months is one step we can take to do that."

Since the spring announcement, DFO has received a number of questions from fish harvesters, processors, lawyers, accountants and others requesting clarification on what exactly defines control for the purposes of PIIFCAF. Not every agreement involving a fishing licence is a "controlling agreement". The key issue to determine is whether or not the licence holder is subject to "control" by another person or party when requesting the issuance of a replacement licence. Given the variety of examples that exist, both the fish harvesters and DFO need additional time to review the types of arrangements involved.

Fish harvesters were initially given until October 12, 2007 to submit a declaration about whether or not they were operating their licences under a "controlling agreement". A new category of fishing licence has been created called Independent Core. In future, only Independent Core fish harvesters will be eligible for new licences and for licence "transfers" in the inshore Atlantic fishery. Under the new policy, fish harvesters have seven years to end "controlling agreements" to which they are a party.

There are provisions within the new policy to maintain integrated arrangements that have developed over the years. A number of exemptions have been approved in Southwest Nova Scotia based on strict eligibility requirements.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Strategic Media Relations
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Steve Outhouse, Director of Communications
    Director of Communications, Office of the Minister