The overall objective of the paper is to
outline an operational framework through which industry/Fisheries
and Oceans Canada (DFO) discussions on co-management arrangements
can be advanced. The purpose is not to detail a preferred DFO position
on co-management, but rather to initiate a process to develop mutually
beneficial enhancements to current co-management arrangements.
The focus of this paper is co-management in
commercial fisheries. However, given that multi-stakeholder participation
is an important aspect to DFO’s co-management approach,
the paper touches on the involvement of other stakeholders when
The Department has indicated a need and willingness
to enhance co-management arrangements. For example, DFO’s
discussion paper, A Framework for Improved Decision-Making
in the Pacific Salmon Fishery, notes with respect to the
Over the last twenty years, a wide range
of formal and informal structures for receiving advice has been
established, including ongoing committees and advisory boards,
task groups and other mechanisms for liaison with all interested
parties. These structures have evolved in an ad-hoc way and may
not meet the current needs of those involved in the fishery.
Some advisory processes are clearly outdated;
for example, commercial salmon advisory committees do not reflect
the current gear and area-based commercial licensing structure
in the fishery. Many committees lack clarity of terms of reference
and roles and responsibilities. And, there are ongoing concerns
about the representation on present advisory committees and the
mandate and accountability of these advisors.
In addition, the Atlantic Fisheries Policy
Review’s discussion paper, The Management of Fisheries
on Canada’s Atlantic Coast, notes that, subject to
specific fundamental responsibilities, "…many important
areas of decision making, including allocation, licensing and
quota management, could gradually be taken over by stakeholders
working together." The discussion document goes on to outline
four functions that should form DFO’s mandate, two of which
establishing an orderly management system
in which participants share responsibilities and decision making
with the Department and accept responsibility and accountability,
where feasible and appropriate, for many aspects of day-to-day
strengthening the structures and processes
that will enable resource users and other stakeholders to play
a more active role in fisheries management planning and decision
making, and facilitating their participation.
The paper is organized as follows. The
first section briefly discusses the meaning of co-management.
The second section reviews co-management arrangements currently
in place in various fisheries. The final section sets up a framework
for furthering the discussion of exactly "where and how"
current co-management arrangements can be strengthened. To move
forward, something more than generalizations and broad statements
are required, and the final section attempts to focus the discussion
on operational specifics.
b. What is Co-Management?
Before beginning a discussion on co-management,
it is first necessary to define the term. It should be noted from
the start that there is no generally accepted definition of co-management.
One possible aspect to co-management relates
to the development of specific Joint Project agreements, co-management
agreements and/or other forms of collaborative arrangements between
DFO and industry. This perspective is noted in the paper by M. James,
entitled, Co-management and Beyond: The British Columbia Experience:
Implementation of an industry funded catch
monitoring program could be considered a simple form of co-management.
A co-management agreement that includes cost recovery, joint and
separate roles and responsibilities for enforcement, science, and
management, and security of access could be considered a more comprehensive
and complex form of co-management. Co-management can include elements
of delegated management outlined in an agreement with industry.
DFO’s draft document, Framework
and Guidelines for Implementing the Co-Management Approach (Volume
I: Context, Concept and Principles) suggests that DFO’s
fisheries-specific multi-stakeholder advisory committees may fall
under the co-management umbrella, stating that:
The focus of these documents is to define
a standard framework for fisheries co-management involving two
steps. Step one is based on the Integrated Fisheries Management
Plan (IFMP). An IFMP is required for most fisheries, and is created
in consultation with resource users, usually through an advisory
committee. Participation in the IFMP process is considered the
basic form of fisheries co-management. The second step in the
co-management framework is a legally binding Joint Project Agreement.
The independent panel report by Donald Savoie,
Partnering the Fishery: Report of the Panel Studying Partnering,
also links DFO’s advisory committees to co-management, and
makes a number of explicit recommendations (to be discussed later)
on improving the advisory committee system.
As is noted in a paper on the Australian
model of co-management, multi-stakeholder advisory committees are
considered the focal point in that country’s approach to co-management.
Finally, the (proposed) breakout sessions
for this Conference deal with a variety of proposed co-management
issues, including: security of access, funding co-management, implementing
co-management and co-management organizations.
The objective of this paper is to not
rule in or out any of the above perspectives of what falls under
the heading of co-management. What constitutes co-management is,
in fact, an important question that needs to be discussed. Consequently,
in this paper the commercial sector’s involvement in fisheries
management is examined with respect to the following three major
||the advisory/decision making
||the provision of fisheries management services
(such as stock assessment, dockside monitoring, enforcement,
and licensing); and,
||the funding of specific fisheries management
The next section provides a brief outline of
how commercial fishers in the Pacific Region are involved in each
of the above three potential components of co-management. The
issue of security of access is discussed in the final section
of the paper.
C. DFO’s Current Approach to Co-Management
1. Advisory/Decision-Making Framework
This section examines a number of characteristics
of DFO’s advisory/decision-making framework, including the
mandate, selection of members, selection of chairpersons and operating
procedures in DFO’s fisheries-specific co-management advisory
The first thing to note is that DFO/Minister maintains
sole decision-making power and that the fisheries-specific co-management
bodies discussed below are strictly advisory bodies providing advice
Table 1 outlines the DFO co-management body
for a number of fisheries. While the wording is at times different,
the mandate for each of these advisory bodies is largely the same.
Table 1: DFO Co-management Advisory
||DFO Advisory Body
||DFO Advisory Body
||Halibut Advisory Board
||New advisory arrangements are being developed.
||Sablefish Advisory Committee
||Crab Sectoral Committee
|Rockfish – Hook & Line
||Groundfish Hook & Line Advisory Committee
||Shrimp Trawl Sectoral Committee
|Groundfish Trawl & Hook & Line
||Groundfish Trawl Advisory Committee
||Shrimp & Prawn Trap
||Prawn Sectoral Committee
|Geoduck & Horse Clam
||Geoduck Sectoral Committee
||Herring Industry Advisory Board
|Red Sea Urchin
||Red Sea Urchin Sectoral Committee
||Euphausiid Sectoral Committee
||Sea Cucumber Sectoral Committee
||Pacific Regional Clam Management Committee
The mandate for the Geoduck & Horse Clam fishery, which is similar
to the mandate for the rest, is to:
||allow exchange of information
between stakeholders and DFO;
||advise on development of annual management
plans and long-term management strategies;
||provide information and advice regarding
stock assessment and biological research;
||advise DFO on use of discretionary penalties
against harvesters caught violating rules and regulations; and
||recommend representatives to other advisory
bodies as required.
While there are some exceptions, advisory bodies
are also similar with respect to: selection of advisors/chairpersons,
openness to multi-stakeholder participation, and procedures by which
advisory body meetings are held. As a general rule:
||although there are some differences,
the terms of reference of advisory bodies allow for participation
of various stakeholders, including licence holders, First Nations,
recreational fishers, unions, processors/buyers, B.C. Government,
DFO and non-consumptive users
||licence holders elect their advisors, while
DFO selects non-licence holder advisors;
||DFO often reserves the right to select additional
advisors to ensure adequate representation of industry and other
||advisors are expected to represent the interests
of their constituents (not necessarily the long-term interests
of the fishery);
||DFO chairs meetings;
||observers are allowed to attend meetings,
although this often requires permission of the chair; and
||written minutes of meetings are taken and
made available to the public, and written recommendations require
consensus - however a written summary of consenting & dissenting
opinions should be recorded in the minutes.
There are differences amongst advisory bodies
in terms of the relative number of advisors from various stakeholder
groups, and selection of the chairperson (e.g., for the Halibut
Advisory Board, the chairperson can be either the Halibut Coordinator
or an individual selected by the Board, in all other cases DFO must
In addition, only the Prawn Sectoral Committee’s
terms of reference state that "…the department will endeavour
to refer fishers and other outside parties who offer unsolicited
recommendations and advice, to the appropriate committee representatives."
Of course, there may be differences amongst advisory
committees with respect to the actual attendance of various stakeholder
groups at meetings, extent of coverage of discussions in the minutes
of meetings, and the types of issues discussed.
2. Provision of Fisheries Management Services
In addition to the organizational structure and
mandate of the various DFO fisheries-specific advisory bodies discussed
above, a second possible component of co-management relates to the
provision of fisheries management services.
Fisheries management requires a number of services,
including: gathering catch, fishing effort, biological and other
data, development of annual management plans and long-term management
strategies, evaluation of enforcement options, delivering enforcement
arrangements (e.g., dockside monitoring and hail in/out provisions),
stock assessment and other biological research, etc.
Table 2 provides examples of the different types
of arrangements used to deliver fisheries management services.
For some fisheries, DFO solely manages the delivery of
all management service.
Table 2: Service Delivery and
|Service Delivery Management
||Primary Funding Mechanism
DFO management only
DFO/industry management through Joint Project Agreements (i.e.
funds from industry flow to DFO to cost share program delivery)
- Use of resource arrangements
- Voluntary payments by fishers to associations
e.g. Halibut, Herring
e.g. Sablefish, Geoduck, Praw
Pacific Halibut Management
Association, Herring Conservation and Research Society
Canadian Sablefish Association; Underwater Harvesters Association;
Pacific Prawn Fishers Association
selects a DFO approved service provider and pays directly. There
is a JPA, though no industry funds flow through DFO
- Payment by fishers to their association
who contracts provider of services or
- Direct payment by individual licence
holders to service provider
|e.g. Red Sea Urchin
||Pacific Urchin Harvester Association
holders pay for monitoring/observer services directly (i.e.
no funds flow through DFO and there is no JPA/CA)
||Fishers pay provider of services
||Ground Fish Trawl
The first model of "co-management" (i.e.
"B" in table 2) with respect to service delivery involves
Joint Project Agreements or Collaborative Agreements (JPAs/CAs).
In the Halibut fishery, DFO and the Pacific Halibut Management Association
enter into a formal JPA that allows for joint management and funding
of certain management and scientific services. Specifically, an
agreed work plan is established that sets out various activities
that both parties agree to undertake. For example, the Association
drafts management plans and licence conditions for the commercial
halibut fishery for review and approval by DFO. In addition to supplying
advice, the Association also undertakes to deliver specific management
services, such as funding and ensuring the operation of an independent
dockside monitoring program. The JPA’s work plan also outlines
various fisheries management (e.g., making decisions regarding conservation
of the resource, opening and closing of the fishery and approval
of management plans), enforcement and biological services to be
supplied by DFO.
In the second type of co-managed service delivery
mechanism (i.e. "C" in table 2 above), licence holders
are required by condition of licence to make arrangements for services
from a third party (e.g. for monitoring of catch). In the Red Sea
Urchin fishery licence holders through their association negotiate
a JPA with the department outlining very specific requirements for
data collection and handling to be performed by the third part service
provider. There may also be other co-management responsibilities
outlined for DFO and the PUHA in the JPA. There is no provision
of funds by industry to the department as part of the Urchin JPA.
In this type of example costs for third party monitoring contracts
are either paid for by the industry association with funds collected
from fishers, or by fishers directly.
In the third type of co-management (i.e. "D"
in table 2 above) licence holders are required by condition of licence
to make arrangements for services from a third party for monitoring
of catch. The difference from C is that there is no JPA/CA with
DFO outlining data requirements, or any other responsibilities for
either DFO or industry.
The following points briefly summarize current
co-management arrangements concerning DFO/industry joint delivery
of management and other cost shared services:
||Although they are given different
names, JPAs and collaborative agreements are both binding legal
agreements between DFO and Industry Associations/Societies related
to the provisions of management services (the term Co-management
Agreement is currently being proposed for a new agreement in
the Geoduck and Horse Clam fishery).
||There are differences in the level and types
of services covered under joint agreements in different fisheries,
and the tenure of agreements also differ.
||The focus of project agreements relates to
the provision of specific management, enforcement and biological
services, as opposed to enabling associations to unilaterally
make key resource management decisions. While some agreements
allow for an industry association to supply advice on management
plans and licence conditions, this should not be confused with
devolution of decision making. Delivering a management service,
such as dockside monitoring, is completely different from "making
decisions regarding conservation of the resource, opening and
closing of the fishery and approval of management plans." Project
agreements do not and legally cannot fetter the Ministerís absolute
discretion with respect to key resource management issues.
||In fisheries where project agreements call
for the provision of advice on key management issues (such as
management plans), DFO does not necessarily just rely on the
advice coming from the industry association that is party to
the agreement. For example, with respect to the management plans,
DFO also frequently canvasses advice from other individuals,
other associations and other stakeholders ≠ including the Departmentís
official fisheries-specific advisory committees.
||Project agreements are not a vehicle to gather
and focus multi-stakeholder advice on key resource management
issues, at most they are one source for a commercial sector
3. Funding Fisheries Management Services
The third component of co-management relates to
the funding of fisheries management services. Table 2 provides a
few examples of alternative funding mechanisms. In a number of fisheries,
all or most fisheries management services are provided through public
funds. In this situation, there is no co-management aspect to funding.
In other fisheries, alternative funding mechanisms
are used to facilitate co-management with respect to the delivery
of management services. In some fisheries, industry associations
are involved in the funding of specific management services via
funds received by catching and selling the resource through special
licensing arrangements. For example, in the halibut fishery, although
not part of the JPA, the Pacific Halibut Management Association
receives an allocation of the resource which the association uses
to generate funds to cover operating expenses and staff, services
the association delivers under the JPA, as well as other activities
of the association (marketing, advocacy). In other cases, associations’
fund management services through voluntary fees collected from members
– in the Geoduck fishery the voluntary fees are generated
from the sale of logbooks. The establishment of a condition of licence
by DFO may create impetus within industry to organize to collect
fees from licence holders and to negotiate third party service contracts,
e.g. for dockside monitoring (DMP).
Finally, in some fisheries, where licence conditions
establish a requirement for third party services such as DMP licence
holders may pay third parties directly for services provided. Whether
this should be considered an example of funding co-management is
an open question. Clearly, relative to a situation where DFO both
supplies and funds a specific management service (such as dockside
monitoring), this option reduces the role of DFO and increases the
involvement of industry.
In summary, in an attempt not to preclude or fetter
discussion on what constitutes "co-management", the first
section of this paper took an open approach to the issue, and looked
at all aspects of industry involvement in fisheries management,
including industry: participation in formal DFO advisory groups,
involvement in supplying management services, and funding of management
services. The second section then briefly examined various operational
examples of co-management arrangements in each of these three categories.
The last section of this paper raises various
issues that may be worthy of consideration in examining how co-management
arrangements could be improved to the mutual benefit of DFO and
the commercial sector. What follows is not a DFO perspective on
how the Department would like to see co-management evolve, but rather
it is an attempt to engage the commercial sector in a discussion
on the future evolution of co-management arrangements. The objective
is to help determine the important questions and issues for future
joint discussions and mutual evaluation.
D. The Future: Addressing
Stakeholder and DFO Concerns with the Status Quo
Both the Department and various stakeholders have
expressed concern with the status quo. The Department has argued
the need for a less "command and control" approach (or
to use another term, less "paternalistic" approach) to
fisheries management. And a number of stakeholders have echoed similar
Donald Savoie, in his report, Partnering the
Fishery: Report of the Panel Studying Partnering, characterizes
the current situation as follows:
The current approach to managing the fishery places
in the hands of the minister the power to decide who can fish and
even how one can fish. Put differently, the minister has in his
hands the power to decide who can make money in the fishery and
who cannot. In brief, the power of the minister is great by any
standard. It is such that it encourages virtually everyone in the
sector to lobby and to promote narrow interests before the minister
and departmental officials. The minister can never win because for
every case he agrees to promote, he will disappoint the several
that he has to turn down. In addition, if there is chaos in the
industry or a collapse in the resource, then people will naturally
point the finger at those who hold in their hands all the power
– the minister and the department.
Using the co-management framework developed above,
this section outlines a number of issues that DFO and stakeholders
may want to discuss in order to "enhance" the current
co-management arrangements outlined in the previous section.
The following discussion is predicated on enhancements
to status quota advisory, service delivery and funding arrangements
that do not require changes to the Fisheries Act. This
is not to say that more fundamental changes to co-management arrangements
could not take place over time.
1. Enhancing the advisory/decision making framework
Assuming for discussion purposes that DFO’s
fisheries-specific advisory committees are considered a component
of co-management, this sub-section examines various changes to advisory
committees that may (or may not) enhance co-management. Once again,
it is important to note that the purpose is simply to begin a dialogue,
the objective is not to establish a preferred DFO position.
report provides the following perspective on improving advisory
…the panel recommends that DFO take stock
of the various committees, assess those that appear to be performing
well and then, identify ways to apply "lessons learned"
to the others that are not. The DFO should also identify ways to
coordinate the work of the various advisory committees and incorporate
better the advice that the committees generate. If the advice of
the committees is not retained then, DFO should, as a matter of
policy, explain why.
The current structure and terms of reference of
DFO’s fisheries-specific advisory bodies were outlined earlier.
This raises the question of exactly what types of changes to these
bodies would be required to produce enhanced co-management?
In attempting to answer this question, the following
issues may be worthwhile discussing:
- As is the case in for the Prawn Sectoral
Committee, should the Department endeavour to refer fishers
and other outside parties, who offer unsolicited recommendations
and advice, to the appropriate advisory committee representatives?
Would applying this policy to all fisheries-specific DFO advisory
committees help to enhance the role of these bodies? While directed
at industry associations, the following quote from the M. James
paper, Co-management and Beyond, may also be applicable
to DFO’s advisory committees:
…if individual fishermen have success
(either in political attention or actual change in policy) by
separately engaging fisheries administrators or politicians,
this undermines the collective decision making processes of
the associations. While not wishing to take away from anyone’s
right to express their opinion or to try to influence politicians,
government administrators can support representative associations
by words and actions supportive of further co-operative actions.
- Should the mandate of DFO fisheries-specific
advisory bodies be enhanced? For example:
Subject to information availability, should DFO’s
fisheries-specific advisory bodies be given an even greater role
to provide advice on all (not just industry-funded) management,
science and enforcement expenditures, regardless of funding source?
Would this help to improve DFO’s ability to establish expenditure
priorities? Similarly, could/should advisory committees play a greater
role in providing advice on research priorities? What changes to
the advisory committee system would be required if they were to
undertake this "enhanced" role?
- Could the current method of selecting and changing
licence-holder advisors and other stakeholders be improved?
- Should advisors offer advice solely on the
basis of the interests of their constituents, or should all advice
be first explicitly conditioned on the conservation interests
of the fishery?
- Should DFO act as the chairperson for advisory
bodies, or would the use of independent chairs and possible independent
executive officers enhance the co-management aspect of these committees?
- Could the current process whereby advisory
body minutes are taken and recommendations are made be improved?
- Could the process whereby DFO responds to advisory
body advice (when there is not necessarily consensus) and recommendations
(when there is consensus) be improved? For example, in keeping
with Savoie’s suggestion, if advice from the advisory body
is not retained then, should DFO, as a matter of policy, explain
- In providing advice on management plans, is
the relative role of advisory committees and Industry Associations
with relevant project agreements clear?
- Should consideration be given to amalgamating
advisory committees in fisheries that harvest the same species?
2. Further devolution in the delivery of fisheries
The second component of co-management relates
to the delivery of fisheries management services through joint DFO/industry
project agreements. In Co-management and Beyond, M. James
makes the following three separate observations:
It is unlikely that fishery management in Canada
would ever be completely delegated to industry, however certain
aspects of decision making could be assumed by stakeholders.
Underlying all of the issues stalling commitment
to moving to greater security of access and co-management is the
public confidence that the public interest in marine resources will
be better protected using these tools than it would with the alternative
of strict government control and regulation of fisheries.
Without public support, political support for
delegated management initiatives will be difficult to achieve.
These observations raise the following questions:
- What categories of management activities can
be delegated to industry associations?
- What types of management activities must remain
under DFO’s control, and could DFO’s fisheries-specific
advisory committees be given an enhanced role in providing advice
(as discussed above) with respect to these types of activities
– thus enhancing stakeholder input in these restricted group
- If successful, would these two types of enhancements
to stakeholder input act to increase public support for greater
- Could the policy concerning the use of JPAs
and collaborative agreements be improved? For example, what are
the pre-requisites to devolving the delivery of certain management
services (such as dockside monitoring) to Industry Associations?
What factors are considered in establishing the tenure of project
agreements? What criteria are used to determine an Association’s
eligibility to enter into joint project agreements?
- What role should DFO play in determining minimum
requirements concerning the constitutions of Associations with
which it enters into joint project agreements?
3. Refinements in the funding of fisheries management
Fisheries management is an expensive business
and DFO is experiencing ever increasing demands to provide additional
services. While not formally part of DFO/industry joint project
agreements, use of resource arrangements and cost recovery mechanisms
have important implications for the funding of such agreements.
DFO’s stance with respect to voluntary payments made to industry
associations also impacts on the funding of joint project agreements.
This raises the question of whether there are
refinements to DFO funding-related policies that could improve the
evolution of services delivered under joint project agreements.
It is worth noting that some current joint project agreements also
provide for partial funding of DFO’s fisheries-specific advisory
committees. Possible issues for discussion include:
- Is the combination of voluntary payments to
associations, cost recovery mechanisms, use of resource arrangements
and fisher direct payments to third party service providers sufficiently
integrated and robust enough to meet future needs?
- In allocating fish under use of resource arrangements
or in facilitating an association’s ability to collect voluntary
fees, what responsibility does DFO have to ensure that the association’s
constitution meets minimum acceptable standards?
4. Strengthening security of access/allocation
Security of access and allocation are certainly
important issues to commercial fishers. However, it may be prudent
to advance enhancements to co-management arrangements regardless
of progress in strengthening access security.
In fact, the establishment of an enhanced DFO
advisory system, along with improvements to joint DFO/industry service
provision and funding arrangements, may well provide the Minister,
the Department and the public at large with the comfort that they
need to issue more secure access arrangements to the commercial
In addition, Edwin Blewett & Associates’
status report on Co-Managed Fisheries supports DFO’s position.
The report concludes that "…Security of access is the
thorniest issue. I leave it to the long run primarily so that it
does not interfere with discussion and resolution of short-and-medium-term
issues. It is a very important to industry, especially those fisheries
furthest along the co-management continuum but it is the most troublesome
issue to the department which has been urged not to amend the Fisheries
Act in ways that would facilitate resource users having a say in
access, licencing and allocation. Even on the practical front of
what can be done regarding this issue within the current Fisheries
Act, the parties appear to have strongly opposed views. Without
denigrating the importance of this issue, it should not in my view
be allowed to interfere with progress in other areas where there
seems to be greater chance of progress in the short-to-medium-term."
E. Next Steps
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to working
with industry in a cooperative approach. The ideas outlined in this
paper are meant to inspire some discussion about how these co-management
arrangements and interactions can be developed or improved. A mutually
beneficial working relationship is ideal for all parties involved
to move forward and achieve the desired goals. Although some of
the DFO policies have not yet formally been officially adopted (i.e.:
improved decision making, use of resource, fishery monitoring, etc),
these initiatives support the concepts of co-management. Incorporating
these concepts into an operational framework is achievable when
industry and DFO work together. The co-management arrangements that
are developed between DFO and industry for commercial fisheries
may serve as the basis of an example for other stakeholder relations.
"A Framework for Improved Decision Making
in the Pacific Salmon Fishery"
"The Management of Fisheries on Canada's
Atlantic Coast", Atlantic Fisheries Policy Review's discussion
Savoie, Donald. "Partnering the Fishery:
Report of the Panel Studying Partnering".
All of Fisheries and Oceans Canada's New Directions
discussion and final policy documents can be found here:
Fisheries Dialogue Forum Working Group. "Co-operative
Management with First Nations in a Fisheries Context - Principles,
Practice and Ideas" May 2001.
Available through Resource Management, DFO,
Pacific Region. (604) 666-4775
James, Michelle"Co-Management and Beyond: The British
Edwin Blewett & Associates Inc "Status Report on