Memorandum of Understanding between Fisheries And Oceans Canada and Transport Canada Regarding Safety at Sea of Food, Social and Ceremonial & Recreational Fish Harvesters

Transport Publication - TP 13585 E

PDF Version

l. Purpose

The purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is to provide a framework for cooperation between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and Transport Canada (TC) with regard to promoting safety at sea of Food, Social and ceremonial (FSC) as well as recreational fish harvesters. The scope of this MOU is limited to FSC and recreational fish harvesters.

2. Objective

2.1 Transport Canada, Marine Safety and Security (TC-MSS), Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Ecosystems and Fisheries Management (DFO-EFM) and Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Canadian Coast Guard (DFO-CCG) will endeavour to more closely cooperate, at a national and regional level Footnote 1, to:

  1. 2.1.1 establish principles that take into account the promotion of a safety culture among FSC and recreational fish harvesters;
  2. 2.1.2 establish a process whereby these principles can be considered when developing rules, regulations, policies and plans;
  3. 2.1.3 exchange information and consult with the objective of improving the safety at sea of FSC and recreational fish harvesters; and
  4. 2.1.4 develop safety goals and report on progress at the Canadian Marine Advisory Council (CMAC) Footnote 2


Relevant to this agreement:

3.1 TC-MSS is responsible for the regulations and enforcement for all vessels and marine personnel, pursuant to the Canada Shipping Act, 2001 Footnote 3 and regulations.

3.2 DFO-EFM is responsible for fisheries management regulations, policies, and plans, pursuant to the Fisheries Act Footnote 4 and associated regulations.

3.3 DFO-CCG is responsible for search and rescue of fishing and other vessels and Marine Communications and Traffic Services, pursuant to the Oceans Act Footnote 5.

4. Cooperation  with Regard to Fishing Vessel Safety

4.1 TC-MSS, DFO-EFM and DFO-CCG in NHQ or regions will meet as required, to discuss:

  1. 4.1.1 promotion and awareness of a safety culture in the fishing industry;
  2. 4.1.2 TC-MSS's and DFO-EFM's respective fishing vessel safety action plans;
  3. 4.1.3 fishing vessel modifications (e.g. stem platforms, cutting off bows), rules and conditions of licence that affect vessel configuration;
  4. 4.1.4 fishing gear loading and deployment;
  5. 4.1.5 data sharing between TC-MSS, DFO-EFM and DFO-CCG, subject to the Access to Information Act and Privacy Act requirements;
  6. 4.1.6 the possibility of allowing access to respective electronic communication systems to assist in transmitting safety messages to fish harvesters; and,
  7. 4.1.7 other issues contributing to improving the safety of fish harvesters at sea.

4.2 DFO-HQ and TC-HQ will meet at least twice per year, in advance of the National CMAC, to share updates with regard to safety issues or projects.

5. Cooperation with Regard to Safety at Sea

5.1 TC-MSS and DFO-CCG will endeavor to identify safety issues related to FSC and recreational fish harvesters and will communicate them to DFO-EFM.

5.2 TC-MSS, DFO-CCG and DFO-EFM in NHQ and regions will discuss FSC and recreational fish harvester safety issues and share information, as required, with fish harvesters through existing discussion forums. The results of the discussions will be reflected, if required, in relevant documents and shared with FSC and recreational fish harvesters.

6. National and Regional Fishing Safety Committees

6.1 TC-MSS, DFO-EFM and DFO-CCG will recognize industry-established National and Regional Fishing Safety Committees. Committees could be comprised of representatives from:

  • TC-MSS;
  • DFO-EFM;
  • DFO-CCG;
  • FSC fish harvesters;
  • Recreational fishing industry;
  • The Transportation Safety Board;
  • Provincial workers safety and other agencies; and,
  • Other parties as appropriate.

These Committees will meet to discuss or make further recommendations for implementation in support of measures that are in the interests of promoting the safety at sea of fish harvesters.

7. General Provisions

7.1 This MOU comes in effect when signed by all parties and remains in effect until terminated by any of the parties by giving the other parties at least 60 days prior written notice.

7.2 This MOU may be amended at any time by the agreement in writing of the parties.

7.3 The parties agree to review this MOU within five years of its coming in effect, and at five year intervals after the first review.

7.4 The Office of Primary Interest (OPI) for TC-MSS is the Director, Domestic Vessel Regulatory Oversight.

7.5 The OPI for DFO-EFM is the Director General, Oceans and National Fisheries Policy.

7.6 The OPI for DFO-CCG is the Director General National Strategies, in consultation with the Director General, Operations.

8. References

Footnote 1

February 15, 2001- DFO Fisheries Management Assistant Deputy Minister Directive to Regional Directors General on safety at sea of fish harvesters.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

CMAC Standing Committee on Fishing Vessel Safety- Terms of Reference.

Return to footnote 2 referrer

Footnote 3

The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 and Regulations.

Return to footnote 3 referrer

Footnote 4

The Fisheries Act and Regulations.

Return to footnote 4 referrer

Footnote 5

The Oceans Act.

Return to footnote 5 referrer

9. Execution

In consideration of the foregoing, the undersigned hereby execute this Arrangement.

Jody Thomas
Commissioner, Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
August 11, 2015
Matthew King
Deputy Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
September 3, 2015
Jean-Francois Tremblay
Deputy Minister 
Transport Canada
September 21, 2015