FISHERIES AND OCEANS CANADA
NOTICE TO FISH HARVESTERS
Consultations on the expanded use of ticketing for fishery violations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is planning to expand the use of ticketing under the Contraventions Act for various minor regulations offences that fall under the Fisheries Act. We are seeking your feedback on the project.
Both the Contraventions Act and the Fisheries Act allow for tickets to be issued by fishery officers and in some cases Provincial Enforcement Officers, but ticketing is only in place in some regions for identified fisheries regulations. DFO wants to implement a more consistent approach from region to region. As such, we are proposing to introduce ticketing for minor fisheries violations to the following regulations:
. Pacific Fishery Regulations (PFR);
. Fishery (General) Regulations (FGR);
. Atlantic Fishery Regulations (AFR); and
. Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Regulations (NLFR).
To do so, we will be adding fine schedules to the Contraventions Regulations, outlining the fines payable for various minor fisheries offences, for both the commercial and recreational sectors. The fine schedules will be similar to those that are already in place for the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations and the Ontario Fishery Regulations, with fines ranging from $100-500.
As part of this project, and for the sake of consistency, we will also update the tickets currently issued under the Fisheries Act for violations to the British Columbia Sport Fishing Regulations and move them under the Contraventions Regulations.
Using tickets for minor fisheries offences will bring consistency to the enforcement approaches available to fishery officers from region to region. Fishery officers will still be able to issue warnings where appropriate, or lay charges for more serious offences (e.g. those related to a conservation threat), but it is anticipated that ticketing will reduce the need to lay charges, thereby saving commercial and recreational fishers the time and expense of appearing in court. The Department will benefit from reduced court time, as fishery officers will be able to redirect their efforts from administrative duties to higher priority files. Provincial Courts will likewise be able to focus on more serious offences.
DFO believes that ticketing for minor fisheries offences will increase overall compliance and contribute to more effective and sustainable fisheries management.
We want to know whether the proposed fines seem consistent and fair to you, what effect ticketing will have on you or your industry and how this ticketing plan will be accepted in your area.
We will be consulting with stakeholders via advisory group meetings whenever possible, but you can also provide your comments via our website: www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/tickets.
The consultation will be open to January 31, 2018.
If you have any questions, please contact us at: DFOTickets.ContraventionsMPO@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
Chief, Policy and Regulations
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