ENGO Consultation on the Fisheries Act

NLEN: Many Voices for The Environment
As key stakeholders and environmental representatives, Environmental Non-Governmental Organizations across Newfoundland and Labrador are invited to participate as consultants in the review of the 2012 Fisheries Act. We have been advised that comments submitted as a collective will be more powerful and therefore we are encouraging representatives of ENGOs to participate in one or more of the following ways:

  1. Register and attend the workshop hosted by NLEN in St. John’s on November 21st
    • Financial assistance is available travel and accommodations for representatives across the province.
    • Participants are being asked to submit a draft “comment template worksheet” or non-structured letter of comment to nlen.ed@gmail.com by November 17th to ensure we are able to cover all topics of interest to ENGOs. Post workshop you may choose to resubmit a comment template with changes to your perspective.
      1. The “comment template worksheet” is available here.
    • NLEN will additionally be holding the Annual General Meeting and launching a provincial Oceans Caucus on November 21st, following the workshop. More information is available here.
  2. Register and attend the workshop hosted by Humber Arm ACAP in Corner Brook.
  3. Should you be unable to send a representative to either workshop, please submit a “comment template worksheet” or non-structured letter of comment to nlen.ed@gmail.com so we may still include your ENGOs perspective on the review of the 2012 changes to the fisheries act (Deadline to submit to NLEN is November 17th).
    1. The “comment template worksheet” is available here.
  4. Explore the forum and the online series of workbooks to provide personal comment or your ENGO’s perspective at http://letstalkfishhabitat.ca (Website is only live until November 25th)
  5. Give direct input via requesting to be a witness for the Standing Committee. Details will be available at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/FOPO (Deadline imminent).

NLEN welcomes all commentary on the fisheries act as a whole. However, the government has narrowed the focus of this review to the 2012 changes to the fisheries act and as such commentary outside of the sections of the act which were changes may not have legs, so to speak. The sections under review are listed below. We strongly encourage you explore the following websites and the presentation by DFO on the review process in order to focus our commentary.

Information resources:

If you have specific questions about the review process or details of the act – Not questions about how to be involved in the workshop which should be directed to NLEN –  then please contact:

Dana Yetman
Senior Biologist – Indigenous Engagement
Client Liaison, Partnerships, Standards & Guidelines Fisheries Protection Program
dana.yetman@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
(709) 772-3469

Or

Jason Kelly
Team Lead
Client Liaison, Partnerships, Standards & Guidelines Fisheries Protection Program jason.kelly@dfo-mpo.gc.ca
(709) 772-4126

The following are the sections that are under review:

  • Section 2 (Definitions)
    • For the purposes of this Act, serious harm to fish is
      • the death of fish or
      • any permanent alteration to fish habitat,
      • or destruction of fish habitat.
    • CRA Fisheries definitions – used only in reference to Section 35 of the Fisheries Act and related provisions and set out the scope of its application.
      • Aboriginal, in relation to a fishery, means that fish is harvested by an Aboriginal organization or any of its members for the purpose of using the fish as food, for social or ceremonial purposes or for purposes set out in a land claims agreement entered into with the Aboriginal organization.
      • Commercial, in relation to a fishery, means that fish is harvested under the authority of a licence for the purpose of sale, trade or barter.
      • Recreational, in relation to a fishery, means that fish is harvested under the authority of a licence for personal use of the fish or for sport.
    • Section 35
      • Subsection 35(1) – No person shall carry on any work, undertaking or activity that results in serious harm to fish that are part of a commercial, recreational or Aboriginal fishery, or to fish that support such a fishery.
      • Subsection 35(2) – A person may carry on a work, undertaking or activity that results in serious harm to fish without contravening the prohibition if the person is authorized under the Act.
    • Section 6 – guides decision-making related to the Fisheries Protection Provisions
      • Four factors must be considered before making decisions (i.e. decision to issue an Authorization, making of Regulations)
        • a) the contribution of the relevant fish to the ongoing productivity of Aboriginal, commercial, or recreational fisheries;
        • b) fisheries management objectives;
        • c) measures and standards to avoid, mitigate or offset serious harm to fish that are part of or support an Aboriginal, commercial, or recreational fishery; and,
        • d) the public interest.
      • Section 20 and 21 – Fish passage and maintenance of flow
      • Section 37 – Enforceable conditions
        • Requirement for proponents to provide plans/ specifications requested under Section 37(2).
        • Compliance with conditions of authorizations.
      • Section 38 – Duty to notify and take corrective measures
        • Requirement to report an occurrence that results in serious harm to fish.
      • Section 39 – Powers of Fishery Officers
        • Expanded powers for inspectors under some sections of the Act.
      • Section 40 – Penalties
        • Changes were made to the penalties sections to increase penalties and fines.
      • Section 43 – Regulatory Authorities
        • Authority to make regulation

consult-poster

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