The Government of Canada is committed to a more comprehensive approach to the conservation and management of our fisheries resource. This approach demands a better understanding of complex fisheries ecosystems - the interaction of fish with other species, predator-prey relationships, and also changes in the marine environment like ocean currents, water temperatures and salinity.
The Government of Canada is also committed to a more effective role in decision-making for those with practical experience and knowledge in the fishery.
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans has established the
Fisheries Resource Conservation Council (FRCC) as a partnership between government, the
scientific community and the direct stakeholders in the fishery. Its mission is to
contribute to the management of the Atlantic fisheries on a sustainable basis
by ensuring that stock assessments are conducted in a multi-disciplined and integrated
fashion and that appropriate methodologies and approaches are employed; by reviewing these
assessments together with other relevant information and recommending to the Minister
total allowable catches (TACs) and other conservation measures, including some idea of the
level of risk and uncertainty associated with these recommendations; and by advising on
the appropriate priorities for science.
Fisheries conservation is that aspect of the management of
the fisheries resource which ensures that its use is sustainable and which safeguards its
ecological processes and genetic diversity for the maintenance of the resource. Fisheries
conservation ensures that the fullest sustainable advantage is derived from the resource
and that the resource base is maintained.
3.1 To help the government achieve its conservation, economic and social objectives for the fishery. The conservation objectives include, but are not restricted to:
3.1.1 rebuilding stocks to their optimum' levels and thereafter maintaining them at or near these levels, subject to natural fluctuations, and with sufficient' spawning biomass to allow a continuing strong production of young fish; and,
3.1.2 managing the pattern of fishing over the sizes and ages present in fish stocks and catching fish of optimal size.
3.2 To develop a more profound understanding of fish-producing ecosystems including the inter-relationships between species and the effects of changes in the marine environment on stocks.
3.3 To review scientific research, resource assessments and conservation proposals, including, where appropriate, through a process of public hearings.
3.4 To ensure that the operational and economic realities of the fishery, in addition to scientific stock assessments, are taken into account in recommending measures to achieve the conservation objectives.
3.5 To better integrate scientific expertise with the knowledge and experience of all sectors of the industry and thus develop a strong working partnership.
3.6 To provide a mechanism for public and industry advice and review of stock assessment information.
3.7 To make public recommendations to the Minister.
4. Mandate and Scope
4.1 The Fisheries Resource Conservation Council will address these objectives by bringing together industry, DFO science and fisheries management, and external scientific and economic expertise in one body.
4.2 The Council will:
4.2.1 advise the Minister on research and assessment priorities;
4.2.2 review DFO data and advise on methodologies;
4.2.3 consider conservation measures that may be required to protect fish stocks;
4.2.4 review stock assessment information and conservation proposals, including through public hearings, where appropriate; and,
4.2.5 make written public recommendations to the Minister on TACs and other conservation measures.
4.3 The Council may recommend any measures considered necessary and appropriate for conservation purposes such as TACs, closure of areas to fishing during specific periods, approaches to avoid catching sub-optimal sized fish or unwanted species, and restrictions on the characteristics or use of fishing gears.
4.4 The Council's scope includes Canadian fish stocks of the Atlantic and Eastern Arctic Oceans. In the first instance, the Council will address groundfish, and then subsequently take on responsibility for pelagic and shellfish species.
4.5 The Council may also advise the Minister on the position to be taken by Canada with respect to straddling and transboundary stocks under the jurisdiction of international bodies such as the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization (NAFO).
5. Size, Structure and Make-Up
5.1 The Council will consist of not more than 14 members with an appropriate balance between science' and industry'.
5.2 Members are chosen on merit and standing in the community, and not as representatives of organizations, areas or interests.
5.3 Science' members, are drawn from government departments, universities or international posts, and are of an appropriate mix of disciplines, including fisheries management and economics.
5.4 Industry' members are knowledgeable of fishing and the fishing industry and understand the operational and economic impacts of conservation decisions.
5.5 All members of the Council are appointed by the Minister.
5.6 All members, including the Chairperson, are appointed for a three year term; terms can be renewed.
5.7 Members appointed from DFO serve ex officio'.
5.8 Members have to disclose any interest in the Atlantic or Eastern Arctic fishery and take appropriate measures so as to avoid potential or real conflict of interest situations during the term of appointment.
5.9 The four Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Nunavut may each nominate one delegate to the Council. These delegates have access to the Council's information, and may participate fully in meetings, but will not be asked to officially endorse the formal recommendations to the Minister.
5.10 The Council is supported by a small Secretariat, to be located in Ottawa. The Secretariat will:
5.10.1 provide administrative support for the functioning of the Council;
5.10.2 provide a technical science and fisheries management support;
5.10.3 organize Council meetings;
5.10.4 record decisions of the Council;
5.10.5 undertake a professional communications function for the Council, providing a central point for communications to and from the Council; and
5.10.6 undertake such other matters as from time to time might be appropriate.
5.11 The Chairman may appoint an Executive Committee, consisting of the Chairman, Vice-Chairman, and three other Members.
5.12 In addition, the Chairman may, from time to time,
strike an ad hoc' committee to deal with a specific issue.
6.1 Reviews appropriate DFO science research programs and recommends priorities, objectives and resource requirements.
6.2 Considers scientific information - including biology, and physical and chemical oceanography, taking into account fisheries management, fishing practices, economics and enforcement information.
6.3 Conducts public hearings wherein scientific information is presented and/or proposed conservation measures/options are reviewed and discussed.
6.4 Recommends TACs and other conservation measures.
6.5 Prepares a comprehensive, long-term plan and a work plan for the Council which are reviewed annually at a workshop with international scientists and appropriate industry representatives.
6.6 Ensures an open and effective exchange of information with the fishing industry and contributes to a better public understanding of the conservation and management of Canada's fisheries resource.