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Shellfish Aquaculture Industry Advisory Panel (SAIAP)
Terms of Reference

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Shellfish Aquaculture Industry Advisory Panel (SAIAP) Terms of Reference [PDF]

Background | Purpose | Guiding Principles | Structure | Membership
Roles and Responsibilities | Procedures | Funding | Review/Evaluation


Shellfish aquaculture is an industry that Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is committed to working with to ensure its sustainable development in the Pacific Region. One of the challenges to this is a lack of regular communication between the industry and DFO. The Department and industry require a formal consultation process to ensure regular communications on major policy, research and regulatory issues. An aquaculture industry advisory process would be similar to those already in place for commercial and recreational harvesters, such as the Commercial Salmon Advisory Board and Sport Fishing Advisory Board. Establishing a similar advisory process is compatible with the Department’s view of aquaculture as a legitimate user of the marine resource. Therefore it is proposed that a Shellfish Aquaculture Industry Advisory Panel (SAIAP) is established by DFO, Pacific Region.


The SAIAP is being established by DFO to improve communication between the Shellfish aquaculture industry and DFO and provide a mechanism for the industry to provide formal advice to the Department on operational and policy related decisions related to Shellfish aquaculture in the Pacific Region. It is expected that this panel will operate in parallel with the Finfish Aquaculture Industry Advisory Panel (FAIAP), and both panels will form the basis for an integrated advisory structure that includes other non-industry perspectives in the near future.

Guiding Principles

There should be transparency throughout the advisory process based on open lines of communication and the provision of timely, accurate, accessible, clear and objective information. This information should be available to all participants in the advisory process on an equal basis. Organizers should provide access to agendas and information needed as a starting point for informed discussion well in advance of meetings. In addition, this information will be posted to a public website to ensure accountability to all Canadians.
Participants who are representatives of a constituency are expected to bring to the discussions the general views, knowledge and experience of those they represent, and bring back an awareness and understanding to their constituencies about deliberations of the consultation activity and reasons for decisions taken. All participants share accountability for the success of the process. The Department is accountable to participants for explaining how their advice/input was used and why and how decisions are taken.
Inclusive Representation:
Representation on the advisory panel should relate to the mandate and function of the panel, be fairly balanced and reflect a broad range of interests in the Shellfish aquaculture industry.
All participants should be satisfied that the advisory process can achieve the goals of the mandate. This does not mean that participants will always agree with the final advice, outcome or recommendation. Processes must be cost-effective, and set and respect realistic timeframes.
The size of the advisory panel must be kept to a number that facilitates consensus-based discussion. Wherever possible, links to other departmental consultative processes will be made to realize efficiencies in consultation.


One regional SAIAP

  • To work in parallel with the newly struck regional Finfish Aquaculture Industry Advisory Panel (FAIAP).
  • The SAIAP and FAIAP will form the basis for an integrated multi-sectoral Pacific Aquaculture Advisory Committee (PAAC) that will include non-industry partners including First Nations. It is expected that the PAAC would be developed over the next two years.


  • BC Shellfish Growers Association (Executive Director and R&D Coordinator) and;
  • Five individuals selected to fairly represent the diverse members of the BC Shellfish Growers Association.

Industry membership may be amended to include representation from the shellfish aquaculture industry should there be significant changes to the industry operators or specific expertise required.

Two ex-officio representatives from:

  • Province of BC

DFO participation:

  • Director, Aquaculture Management as Chair and Facilitator.
  • Regional Director, Fisheries and Aquaculture Management (as needed)
  • Representation from Oceans Habitat and Enhancement Branch
  • Representation from Marine Ecosystem and Aquaculture Division, Science Branch
  • Communications Branch Representative
  • FAM – AMD Shellfish Aquaculture Policy Officer

Additional DFO representation will be on an as required basis depending on the issues to be discussed.

Observers are permitted to attend meetings with the expressed consent of the Chair or participate through panel members. Time may be set aside at meetings for members of the public to make representation, provide presentations to the Panel or have written submissions read into the record.

Sub-committees and technical working committees may be struck as needed with the agreement of the Panel, but will normally be short-term and specific task oriented.

Roles and Responsibilities

DFO-appointed Chair / Facilitator:

  • Calls meetings
  • Develops the agenda in consultation with the Panel and distributes it well in advance of meetings
  • Coordinates attendance of participants and meeting venues
  • Enforces the panel charter
  • Encourages active participation of all members
  • Mitigates conflict
  • Helps to summarize and focus discussion
  • Provide services of a recorder

DFO Participants:

  • Bring forward government and departmental policies and positions related to Shellfish aquaculture
  • Highlight DFO research initiatives and findings
  • Discuss regulatory issues, objectives and practices

ALL Participants:

  • Represent information accurately and appropriately, consult with their sectors/organizations, and keep their sectors/organizations informed of the information and issues discussed at SAIAP meetings, securing the support of their sectors/organizations for issues discussed.
  • Bring forward issues of concern or interest, as it pertains to the mandate of the group.
  • Respect the Panel Charter by developing guidelines for enforcing the charter.



The SAIAP will meet three times per year in February, June and October. Each meeting will be developed to address the most pertinent issues for that time period and provide an opportunity to discuss potential issues in the upcoming time period.


DFO will provide funding to cover administration and logistical costs (such as document distribution, conference calls, meeting rooms). Participants will be responsible for paying for travel to attend to the meeting in person or may choose to participate by conference call.


After two meetings have been held, a review of the effectiveness of this Panel should take place to ensure the best use of resources. The review will consist of a questionnaire sent to all participants for their completion.

PANEL CHARTER: (see Appendix A)