Population of fishing vessels that may be exempt from a stability assessment

The new 3.63 through 3.67 of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations came into force on July 13, 2017. They set out new stability requirements.

The regulations may allow a population of similar small fishing vessels (for example, vessels that were built in a series or that are otherwise similar within an acceptable range) an exemption from the vessel stability assessment requirements.

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Determining if a population of vessels may be exempt

To determine if a population of fishing vessels may not be required to undergo a stability assessment, a group of authorized representatives submits a request to Transport Canada. They must satisfactorily demonstrate that:

  • The population of vessels is similar to a vessel representative of the population; and that
  • Granting the exemption for each vessel would not decrease the vessel population’s level of safety

Transport Canada assesses the request and informs each vessel’s authorized representative of the decision.
If the request is granted, only the representative vessel must undergo a full stability assessment. However, all vessels in the population would be required to be operate within certain parameters.

How to prepare a request for exemption

Use our risk-based evaluation tool

We have developed a risk-based evaluation tool to complete as part of the request. The tool:

  • analyzes what is common among the population of fishing vessels
  • provides a risk score for decision-making
  • is embedded in an MS Excel worksheet

The tool should be completed by a person or organization with a background in naval architecture, who is familiar with MS Excel. To get a copy, contact us.

Review the legal requirements

The person or organization conducting the analysis should first review sections 3.63 through 3.67 of the new Fishing Vessel Safety Regulations in order to understand the basic requirements, including whether the population of fishing vessels are considered similar to the representative vessel.

At minimum, the population of vessels and the representative vessel must:

  • be operated in the same fishery, under the same environmental conditions and with the same fishing gear
  • have similar physical characteristics
  • have equivalent stability characteristics

Contact us

To get a copy of the risk-based evaluation tool, contact Transport Canada Marine Safety through any regional Transport Canada Centre: