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Sardine Integrated Advisory Board Terms of Reference

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Sardine Integrated Advisory Board Terms of Reference [PDF]

A. Purpose B. Guiding Principles
C. Structure D. Mandate
E. Organization and Membership F. Procedures
G. Roles and Responsibilities H. Recommended Code of Conduct
Appendix 1: Recommended Qualifications of Representatives  

A. Purpose

The Sardine Integrated Advisory Board (SIAB) is the multi-interest forum for providing formal advice recommendations to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) on management and policy issues related to the sardine fishery in the Pacific Region. The SIAB addresses issues that affect multiple interests and is not intended to interfere with operational matters within any specific interest group.

SIAB is a result of the Department’s commitment to its Strategic Plan and other regional policies to improve decision-making in all fisheries by allowing greater stakeholder involvement in the management of fisheries and committing to an open, transparent and accountable process. The Board will focus on operational issues such as the development of the sardine Integrated Fisheries Management Plan (IFMP). It is the Department’s view that the SIAB forms a useful part of consultations between the Department and First Nations and can support bi-lateral consultations between the Department and First Nations by, amongst other things, helping to inform DFO and First Nations as to the issues that should be the focus of bi-lateral consultations and helping to develop fisheries and policies. SIAB discussions can provide invaluable opportunities for parties to share views and better understand each other’s interests. The Department believes that multi-party discussions can provide a forum for balance and compromise and that such discussion can promote reconciliation between interests.

As such, the SIAB includes balanced representation from the communal commercial sector, commercial sector, First Nations, and other interested parties (i.e., recreational and conservation). The following terms of reference detail the principles, mandate and operational aspects under which the SIAB will function. These Terms of Reference will be reviewed by SIAB annually and may be jointly amended as required.

B. Guiding Principles

The following principles will serve as guidance to how this Board is structured and operates.

  1. Conservation and Sustainability
    Conservation is the first priority in managing Canada’s fisheries resources. Stocks of fish must be managed in a sustainable manner to ensure continued viability and contribution to the economy and society. Conservation will be considered first and foremost in all deliberations of the SIAB.
  2. Respect for Process
    All participants will respect the process established for the role and conduct of advisory structure in general and this Advisory Board in particular. The SIAB is not intended to duplicate, supplant or interfere with other consultation processes within Fisheries and Oceans Canada on fisheries related processes associated with domestic or international treaty agreements. The Department should refer stakeholders and other outside parties who offer unsolicited recommendations and advice outside of the established process to the appropriate advisory body contact. The Department will also inform the SIAB of any solicited advice it receives and the appropriate SIAB member of any unsolicited advice it receives.
  3. Accountability
    Members of the SIAB are expected to bring to the discussions the views, knowledge and experience of those whom they represent, while promoting awareness and understanding within their constituents about deliberations of the Board and reasons for decisions taken. All participants share accountability for the success of the process. They will also be encouraged to seek support for consensus-based agreements formed in the Board and to seek support for achieving shared responsibility and accountability by resource managers and stakeholders (costs, decisions, accountability).The Department is accountable to participants for explaining how their advice/input was used and why and how decisions are taken in writing.
  4. Policy Objectives
    The Fisheries Act and established policies influencing and affecting sardine management will guide the SIAB in its deliberations. These include the UN Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks Agreement (otherwise know as UNFA), the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, the International Plan of Action (IPOA) for the Management of Fishing Capacity, the FAO IPOA to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, the IPOA on Reducing Incidental Catch of Seabirds, UN General Assembly resolutions, and the UN Compliance Agreement. These also include national and regional DFO policies such as Selective Fishing in Canada’s Pacific Fisheries, the Pacific Fishery Monitoring and Reporting Framework, and the Sustainable Fisheries Framework.

    Future policies that have relevance to harvest planning will be incorporated into the process when completed.
  5. Effective
    All participants should be satisfied that the 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 respect realistic timeframes.
  6. Transparent
    There should be transparency throughout the process based on open lines of communication and the provision of timely, accurate, accessible, clear and objective information by both the Department and participants. Information will be made accessible on an equal basis through postings to the public website to ensure accountability to all Canadians.

C. Structure

  1. Balance and Representation
    In addition to adhering to legal, fiduciary and policy parameters, it is important that the advice received by the Department reflects the experience and knowledge of a valid cross-section of First Nation, commercial, recreational and conservation fishing interests. A balance of interests must be achieved while striving for a number of representatives from each interest that will be sufficient to provide valuable and effective advice, yet not so many as to make discussion unnecessarily difficult. The dialogue will be advice-driven and knowledge-based.

    Representation on the Advisory Board should relate to the mandate and function of the committee. Participation in advisory processes should reflect a broad range of interests in fisheries and oceans issues in the Pacific region.

    From this perspective, the number of seats in the SIAB process is first based on scope and complexity of the assignment and the number of representatives that constitute a workable size. It is then the responsibility of the sectors to determine who their respective representatives will be through a nomination process managed by the Department. The Department will work with First Nations, conservation, and the recreational sector to assist in this determination.
  2. Economy and Efficiency
    Membership numbers, meeting schedules, the use of technology and the use of experts will all be considered with the intent of keeping costs and inconvenience to a minimum while achieving effectiveness and efficiency in developing advice for sardine harvest planning. The size of the Advisory Board must be kept to a number that facilitates consensus-based discussion.

D. Mandate

There will be one, coast-wide SIAB with a mandate to provide formal advice and recommendations to Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) on management and policy issues related to the sardine fishery in the Pacific Region that:

  • Promotes a sustainable commercial Pacific sardine fishery that both
    1. takes into account conservation and the importance of sardine to the ecosystem and to other fisheries; and
    2. that supports an economically prosperous fishery for all participants
  • Ensure science continues to underlie the management of the sardine fishery;
  • Support bi-lateral consultations between the Department and First Nations;

The SIAB members will also advise and provide recommendations to DFO on research programs associated with improved management of fisheries as part of a consultative process. Specific advice will be sought with regards to:

Pre-Season (Spring)

  • Decision rules for in-season management actions;
  • Fishery time frame, starting dates and duration;
  • Measures and mechanisms for timely and accurate data on catch and effort in-season;
  • Measures for improved monitoring and enforcement in season (compliance with licence conditions);
  • A fishing plan that is consistent with treaty obligations and that promotes an economically viable Pacific commercial sardine fishery.

Post Season (Fall-Winter)

The key focus in this phase is providing advice on a post-season evaluation of the fishery, as well as obtaining information on the expected stock status and fishing opportunities for the coming year. Advice on the following details is expected:

  • Review of post-season harvest information to determine if conservation goals were met;
  • Problems encountered regarding the management or enforcement of the fishery;
  • Review of management actions taken that did not follow the fishing plan;
  • Review of Industry/DFO science programs undertaken during the season (e.g. WCVI surveys);
  • Any changes to the management or enforcement of the fishery that will improve the fishery in the future; and
  • The expected stock status and fishing opportunities for the coming year.

E. Organization and Membership

The SIAB will be comprised of 17 advisors who represent a broad cross section of interests:

  • five communal commercial representatives;
  • five commercial representatives;
  • one First Nation organization (e.g., First Nations Fisheries Council);
  • one commercial organization (e.g., CPSA, FNSA);
  • three processor/buyer representatives;
  • one recreational representatives (SFAB), and
  • one conservation representatives (MCC).

Participant Observers

  • Government of Canada
  • Government of British Columbia (Ministry of Agriculture, Marine Fisheries)

The SIAB will sit with a maximum of 17 advisors. The makeup of SIAB may be reviewed as necessary to ensure that there is a balance of representation, while not exceeding an effective size.

The Board will be chaired by a representative of the Department or an agreed upon, independent third party.


SIAB advisors may choose to send an alternate representative in their place, but must formally notify the Chair five working days in advance. It will be the responsibility of the member that is unable to attend to ensure that the alternate member is briefed on the issues to be discussed at the meeting to be attended.

Selection of Members and Alternates:

The nomination of members and alternates for each of the designated interests will be as follows:

  • Commercial representation: to be determined by a nomination process managed by the Department in consultation with commercial licence holders.
  • Communal Commercial representation: to be determined by a nomination process managed by the Department in consultation with communal commercial licence holders
  • Environmental representation by the Marine Conservation Caucus;
  • First Nations organization: representation to be determined through a process initiated by the First Nations Fisheries Council; and
  • Commercial Organization: representation to be determined through a process initiated by the Canadian Pacific Sardine Association (CPSA) or the First Nation Sardine Association (FNSA).
  • Recreational representation by the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB).
  • Processor/Buyer representatives: to be determined based on advice from commercial and communal commercial SIAB representatives.

The identification of Participant Observers will be as follows:

  • Government of BC representation will be coordinated through the Oceans and Marine Fisheries Branch, BC Ministry of Environment; and
  • Government of Canada representation will be coordinated through the Pelagics Management Unit, Pacific Region, Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Observers will be permitted to attend meetings. Time may be set aside at each meeting for members of the public to make representation, provide presentations to the Board or have written submissions read into the record.

Ad-Hoc Sub-committees and technical working committees may be struck as needed with the full agreement of the Board, but will normally be short-term and specific task oriented. Sub-committees and technical working groups will report directly to the Resource Manager and Advisory board.

Term of Members

Each member and alternate member will serve at the pleasure of the nominating ‘host organization’.

Each interest will set the length of membership for its members and alternate members, provided that the Board as a whole will revisit the issue of length of membership as part of the review of the terms or reference at the completion of every two years.

F. Procedures

 The following procedures will assist the Advisory Board in the conduct of its activities and the provision of advice to Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region.

The SIAB will meet a minimum of twice per year – one post-season meeting to review the previous season and outline issues for discussion during the coming year and one pre-season meeting to finalize the IFMP. SIAB also may hold more meetings to address specific issues as necessary.

The SIAB will work toward developing recommendations through consensus. Consensus is a process for making decisions, in this case decisions on what recommendations to put forward, without the power of voting. Its main feature is that no action is taken unless all members of the group can support the action, or agree not to obstruct it. Consensus does not require that everyone be in complete agreement, but only that all will be willing to either accept a decision or withhold taking position against a decision. In reaching a decision, no one should feel that his/her position on the matter was misunderstood or not heard.

Consensus, though the most persuasive form of recommendation, is not essential for providing advice. In the event of the Board not achieving consensus on major issues, the Chair will summarize the discussion and record the views of the members. In this case, decisions will be made by the Department, taking all views into consideration.

Advice from the Board will be provided to DFO’s Fisheries Management staff for input into the development of sardine harvesting management plans. In circumstances where the Department does not or is unable to follow the advice of the Board, the Board will be provided with Departmental rationale as requested.

Meeting materials, including documents to be discussed and agendas for meetings will be distributed to participants in advance of scheduled meetings. These documents, a summary of the meeting including action items, the membership and terms of reference of the Board will be available on the DFO Consultation Secretariat website

Meeting and Agenda Setting

At the first meeting of every fiscal year the Advisory Board will establish an annual schedule of meetings and projected agenda items. The projection of agenda items will constitute the committees action plan for the given fiscal year providing that time will be allocated on each meeting agenda to review the response of the Department to recommendations and advice of the Advisory Board, and any new business that may be identified from time to time.

In the event that unforeseen issues arise after the draft agenda has been circulated these unforeseen issues may be added to the agenda at any given meeting if there is consensus to do so. It is recognized that the members may agree to include these unforeseen issues on the agenda of subsequent meetings or conference calls.

The Advisory Board will meet as determined by the annual meeting schedule meetings. The Advisory Board may meet by conference calls as required and agreed upon. Extraordinary meetings not anticipated in the annual meeting schedule may also be convened as agreed upon.

Funding and Costs

DFO will provide funding to cover administration and logistical costs (such as document distribution, conference calling, meetings rooms and minute taking.

Honoraria or wage loss compensation will not be provided.

Minutes of Meetings

DFO will provide minutes of meetings which will include a summary of issues discussed, the wording of consensus based decisions and advice, action items, and an update on action taken in response to advice provided by the Advisory Board.

An electronic/email process will be used to review and approve the minutes of meetings as follows:

  1. The minutes of meetings will be distributed to all members no later than 4 weeks following each meeting.
  2. All members will have 2 weeks from the date the minutes were distributed to provide initial comments and edits in tracked changes.
  3. Revised minutes of meetings will be redistributed to all members no later than 2 weeks following the initial comment period.
  4. Each interest will then have 2 weeks to provide its approval of the minutes of meetings via email.
  5. In the event that there are any outstanding issues with the content of the minutes at this point a final revision of the minutes will be circulated noting what the outstanding issues are, and each interest will have 1 week to provide its approval.
  6. Final minutes, acknowledging any outstanding issues, will be made available at the next meeting of the Advisory Board as an information item only.

G. Roles and Responsibilities

DFO will provide the following information to advisors post season as soon as it is available:

  • Report on available information on stocks;
  • Report on catches for the previous season by user groups;
  • Report on activities relevant to the fishery;
  • Summary of actions implemented for the previous season;
  • Expected fishing opportunities for the coming season; and
  • An evaluation on the previous season's IFMP and related issues.

The Department will be responsible to:

  • Determine agenda requirements for upcoming meeting(s);
  • Clarify exactly the issues that the Department is seeking advice on, during the meeting;
  • Suggest other avenues for providing advice on issues as required;
  • Provide information, expertise and represent the public interest and policies of the Department;
  • Ensure that meeting notes are taken and provide a written record of proceedings, including attendance, issues discussed and any action items or recommendations that result;
  • Distribute a written record of proceedings approved by the Board to each member within eight weeks of each meeting and post the proceedings on the Consultation Secretariat website as soon as they are finalized; and
  • Provide formal feedback of recommendations and outline the reasons for decisions.

The Chair will be responsible to:

  • Send out a reminder to each Board member to notify them of the upcoming meeting and outline a tentative agenda;
  • Organize meetings and provide meeting space; and
  • Distribute any material for discussion at scheduled meetings, including a draft agenda, with sufficient time in advance of the meeting to allow members to consult with constituents.

Sardine Integrated Advisory Board members will:

  • Provide any feedback on the agenda to the Department five days prior to the meeting date;
  • Review and approve the SIAB meeting minutes;
  • Provide advice that represents the views, knowledge and experience of those whom they represent;
  • Communicate information to constituents;
  • Develop advice taking into account Departmental policies and international agreements; and
  • Be responsible for all costs associated with attending meetings and communicating with constituents.

H. Recommended Code of Conduct

Individuals’ rights to participate in consultation processes are accompanied by responsibilities. Parties that participate in consultation processes should do so in good faith and with the public interest in mind. Participants also have a responsibility to engage in effective, balanced and civil communication. All representatives have a responsibility to ensure that they are accountable to their constituents, that the Department gets the information it needs to make a well-informed and balanced decisions and that consultation processes operate as efficiently as possible.


In order to establish a working environment that promotes and supports civil and productive discussions within the Advisory Board, the members agree to the following ground rules for how they will work together in order to achieve the mandate.

As members of this Advisory Board we will fulfill our responsibilities, improve working relationships, properly manage the process, and achieve the mandate if we:

  1. Ensure that the discussions maximize the exchange of information among parties and minimize misunderstandings;
  2. Acknowledge that the purpose of dialogue is to understand and to learn from one another;
  3. Maintain a respectful atmosphere;
  4. Treat everyone as an equal: leave status and stereotypes at the door;
  5. Provide all participants with an opportunity to speak and take all perspectives into account;
  6. Listen carefully and respectfully to the views of others, and acknowledge you have heard the other, especially when there is disagreement;
  7. Express disagreement with ideas, not with personalities or motives;
  8. Suspend judgment until understanding is achieved;
  9. Identify and test assumptions (including our own);
  10. Facilitate agreements across the full spectrum of interests;
  11. Look for common ground;
  12. Ensure accountability to our constituencies; and
  13. Engage in appropriate external communication with the general public and media by describing the process and the views of other representatives accurately, and in a manner acceptable to all representatives.

Appendix 1: Recommended Qualifications of Representatives

Representatives to the Sardine Integrated Advisory Board will be recommended by their constituents and as such constituents will ultimately decide on the qualifications of their representatives. However, the following suggests some qualifications that would be assets in representatives serving their constituents:

  • Knowledge of policies related to management of the sardine fishery;
  • Active participant in the sardine fishery;
  • Knowledge of the elements of sardine harvest management, including: timing, gear options and interactions, data management and potential allocation issues;
  • Ability to communicate with constituents, co-advisors, departmental officials and the public;
  • Ability to seek consensus solutions; and
  • Ability to effectively bring constituent’s interests to the process while explaining complex issues and decisions back to constituents.