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Speaking Points for Paul Sprout Presentation to BC Sea Food Alliance Summit IV “Best Managed Fisheries in the World” November 1, 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Speaking Points for Paul Sprout Presentation to BC Sea Food Alliance Summit IV “Best Managed Fisheries in the World” November 1, 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Speaking Points for Paul Sprout Presentation to BC Sea Food Alliance Summit IV “Best Managed Fisheries in the World” November 1, 2005

2 Purpose and Approach Select key attributes that inform “Best Managed Fisheries” Evaluate how current fisheries stack up against these attributes Highlight how Pacific Fisheries Reform addresses the shortcomings. Discuss actions for moving forward

3 A perspective on “Best Managed Fisheries” What is best will vary with eye of beholder and is difficult to measure. I propose to identify key attributes important to managing a fishery and then evaluate the characteristics of BC fisheries against those same attributes. The five broad attributes are: 1) Appropriate Information – decisions on the fishery are supported by biological and socioeconomic information. It is important that this information is accurate, comprehensive and up-to-date. Transparent, peer-reviewed science is extremely valuable in making decisions. Examples of information used include population characteristics, stock assessment, quantity and value of catch, harvesting effort, environmental indicators etc 2) Explicit Objectives and Policy – Goals for the fishery are clear and support sustainable use and economic viability; policies clearly set out how allowable harvest is allocated in a stable and predictable way and there is broad acceptance of outcomes 3) Effective planning processes - There is an endorsed process for involving a broad range of interests in fisheries management processes including developing fishing plans, identifying and reconciling differences and sharing in decisions 4) Capacity to Implement - There are mechanisms to enforce plans, protect the resource, monitor fisheries and fish stocks and share accountability 5) Legislation – Should facilitate effective implementation and enforcement

4 How do our fisheries compare with these attributes? Information –All fisheries have scientific base – but quality, comprehensiveness and timeliness of data vary with species and populations. –Best information is often available for most important economic fisheries and or those with highest profile. The least information is available for small fisheries, those considered economically unimportant and others with low public profile. –Industry support for stock assessment in many fisheries augments information Objectives and Policy –Conservation goals defined for many fisheries and being developed for others –Acceptance of goals varies. Some goals are broadly endorsed by groups in certain fisheries (halibut, many shellfish fisheries) but are highly disputed in others (most salmon and some groundfish fisheries). –Uncertainty over shares and Inter-sectoral conflict exist in a number of fisheries, particularly salmon and undermines acceptance of outcomes –A number of commercial fisheries, particularly some salmon fisheries are not economically viable – this further challenges participant acceptance of outcomes.

5 How do our fisheries compare with these attributes? Planning process –Traditionally consultation was sector based and focussed on the big four fisheries (salmon, halibut, herring and groundfish) –Currently Integrated fishing plans are prepared for all fisheries –Sector and multi-sector processes in place for major fisheries and public input sought on key topical issues – conservation, fisheries reform etc –Some sectors uncertain on role of others and fear undermining of traditional processes –Fishing plan development works well in many fisheries (parties reconcile differences and can find common ground) but some processes, particularly for salmon are acrimonious and disputatious –Shared or participatory decision-making present in a number of fisheries, but disputes over key objectives (weak stocks and allocation uncertainty) undermine collaboration

6 How do our fisheries compare with these attributes? Implementation –Mechanisms to enforce, monitor and share accountability vary. Some fisheries are well monitored while others are responded to on more reactive basis –Highest proportion of DFO resources directed at salmon –Management costs for some fisheries are high and participants contributions vary –Catch standards vary and consistency is a challenge

7 How do our fisheries compare with these attributes? Legislation –Fisheries Act, Oceans Act, Species at Risk Act, etc provide strong legal foundation –Amendments to Fisheries Act being sought to make improvements in several important areas – clarifying accountabilities, giving legal effect to the role of stakeholders, providing tools to promote more effective compliance through administrative sanctions

8 The assessment leads to four important conclusions 1) “Best managed fisheries” have attributes that include good information, explicit objectives, appropriate planning processes, a capacity to implement and a legislative base 2) Although these attributes are present in all fisheries, fishery performance varies subject to resources, profitability and profile of the fishery and public, sector and FN support for outcomes 3) Areas of improvement are required, particularly in reconciling diverse views and sharing responsibility for decision making 4) The commercial salmon fisheries, in particular, are characterized by poor economic performance, conflict and dispute, especially related to allocation uncertainty and divergent views on conservation goals

9 Addressing shortcomings and achieving “Best Managed Fisheries” We need to be clear about the need for change and outline a plan or direction to this end National Fisheries Reform provides the broad direction for change A new Fisheries Act will reinforce that direction Pacific Fisheries Reform is informed by the National fisheries reform and Minister’s blue print announcement (April 2005) Components – Vision, principles and strategies: focus on commercial fisheries and includes all species

10 Moving forward on “Best Managed Fisheries” – Pacific Fisheries Reform Vision –Full economic and social potential is achieved –First Nations’ interests are defined and reconciled with the fishing interests of all Canadians –There is public, market and participant confidence that the fishery is sustainable –Participants are self reliant and able to adjust –Participants are treated fairly and equitably, and are involved in decision making and share accountability for the conduct of the fishery –Costs of management are shared –Participants enjoy certainty and stability necessary for business decisions –Equitable treaty-based fisheries are achieved

11 Moving Forward on “Best Managed Fisheries” – Pacific Fisheries Reform Four strategic thrusts - Actions to date 1) conservation –Adopted the Wild Salmon Policy, other species fishing plans informed by conservation 2) augment DFO programs –Increased efforts in enforcement, stock assessment and monitoring ($5 M) 3) increase First Nations access –Update on work with INAC 4) improve economic performance –Implemented demonstration projects

12 Moving forward on “Best Managed Fisheries” – Pacific Fisheries Reform Demonstration Projects –Area F troll ITQ for chinook salmon Generally positive reports from licence holders, even those previously opposing ITQs –Area B seine IQ fishery for chum salmon Limited to 40 vessels, just completed but initial reports positive Work with CSAB on inter-sectoral salmon allocation and salmon allocation mechanisms is in progress Quota management data system under development for groundfish fisheries

13 What happened in 2005 salmon fishery and what does this mean? More resources ($5M) and effort put into enforcement, stock assessment and catch monitoring, especially on the Fraser River sockeye No consensus on addressing some conservation issues and lack of agreement on objectives Unprecedented conditions observed – prolonged and late timing, less than expected returns affecting all sockeye populations from Washington to Northern BC Commercial salmon fisheries reduced severely to adjust to circumstances in order to achieve conservation objectives The conduct of the salmon fishery in 2005 (particularly the approach to small populations) has raised the question in some quarters whether there is a future for the commercial fishery The answer is yes – but this needs to be amplified

14 Moving forward – where to from here? A vision of the future includes a vibrant commercial fisheries but any future must embrace change. The status quo isn’t acceptable. Here’s why: –Environmental uncertainty – what was historically ignored or considered benign, such as ocean conditions and status is not –Emphasis on biodiversity - SARA and other instruments and agreements are placing new emphasis on conservation and sustainable use –Public activism - The public wants meaningful civic engagement and will not accept experts and primary interests making decisions behind closed doors –First Nations interests – Increasingly First Nations considerations and views will be incorporated into decision-making and their access to fisheries increased

15 So what does this mean for achieving the goal of “Best Managed Fisheries”? Need to move forward on fisheries reform Tackle the underlying problems that undermine achieving “Best Managed Fisheries” –This means a focus on addressing the deficiencies such as uncertainty in allocation and access –We need to find more flexible ways of harvesting that can address need for conservation, while maximizing value of product –We must continue to move toward more participatory decision making and shared responsibility –Any progress must recognize the importance of reconciling First Nations’ interests and their increased involvement in the fisheries while acknowledging the special requirements and importance of the recreational fishery –We need to grapple with the conservation challenges and find consensus or failing this, ensure that there are effective mechanisms for affected interests, FNs and the public to be heard and have input into decisions

16 Achieving the goal of “Best Managed Fisheries” Other elements will inform the goal of “Best managed fisheries” –Moving forward on a Ocean’s agenda Placing emphasis on integration Highlighting need for inclusiveness Managing based on ecosystem approach –Maintaining Biodiversity important Implement Wild Salmon Policy, respond pro-actively to SARA –Ensuring collaboration as basic approach Need to construct relationships built on trust and respect which place emphasis on mutual benefits and common problem solving

17 The challenges of making change Although the need for change in some fisheries is compelling, there is no consensus on what is required nor how to make change Some feel left out of the decision processes and are concerned that licence policies can undermine resource dependent communities There is strong opposition in some quarters against any movement to quotas (i.e. current Senate Committee BC tour). Some believe that IQs make access more difficult or more expensive and concentrate holdings in a few hands Others are banking on the current operating environment being an aberration and believe that conditions will return to normal Fish are a Canadian resource belonging to all Canadians and as a public institution DFO has a responsibility to consider diverse views in determining public policy This affects the pace of change and demands that we consult broadly with affected interests, FNs and others

18 Actions we can follow-up on to achieve “Best Managed Fisheries” Lack of consensus cannot be used as reason for no action. We are implementing Minister’s direction and further actions for moving forward are under review: –Evaluate approach to Fraser River sockeye – are there other ways of achieving conservation goals while providing for more predictable and stable fishing opportunities (i.e. escapement versus exploitation approach) –Continue progress on transfer mechanisms and allocation clarity –Evaluate demonstration projects from 2005 and consider other examples for future that address need for flexibility –Explore options to build better understanding between sectors, First Nations and others and seek common ground on key conservation issues –Continue working with Province, the sector and others as appropriate and consider other suggestions for making the industry more economically viable and addressing short comings –Recognize role of communications for building understanding of issues and the need for change.

19 Conclusion Defining what is meant by “Best managed fisheries” is challenging but certain basic attributes will characterize “BMF” Improvements are required in key areas. These include: –access and stability, reconciling FN interests, addressing conservation imperatives, consensus on fishery objectives, modernizing legislative base The Department’s Fisheries Reform, Oceans Agenda and other initiatives provide direction and inform our actions Tackling the challenges in our fisheries is important but achieving the goal of best managed fisheries should be based on collaboration, recognizing the need for diverse input and following transparent processes that are inclusive We look forward to working with this sector and others to realize the vision and goals outlined in the Minister’s fisheries reform


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