Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative elements

Capacity building

Capacity building

  • The Capacity Building element of PICFI recognizes that simply having access to economic opportunities, like access to commercial fisheries, does not guarantee long-term economic success; that there are specific skills and governance practices and structures that provide a foundation for long-term success
  • Obtaining commercial fisheries access through PICFI will depend on a First Nation having or developing the capacity to fish; and to operate modern business systems, including a clear way for community members to participate in, and benefit from, commercial fishing activities

Objectives

  • The capacity building element of PICFI is designed to provide eligible First Nations with the tools necessary to support successful and sustainable community owned and operated commercial fisheries enterprises established or supported through PICFI
    • Commercial Fisheries Enterprise Management is intended to provide First Nations with support to establish business management structures and practices to make effective business decisions
    • Fisheries Training is intended to assist eligible First Nations members to obtain the skills necessary to fish safely and effectively in various fisheries, including supporting the skills needed for vessel maintenance

Proposed principles

  • The proposed principles for this element are built around best practices like those in the implementation of the Marshall Response Initiative and the findings of the Harvard Study on American Indian Economic Development
  • Proposed principles for guiding this element of PICFI include:
    • Flexibility - capacity support would be responsive to the interests and circumstances of First Nations, recognizing that different First Nations will have different levels of capacity and needs
    • Accountability & Transparency - emphasis on accountable and transparent business governance practices, where fisheries enterprises operate with clear separation from political influence and where there is clarity as to how individuals and communities will participate in, and benefit from, fisheries operations
    • Collaboration - capacity support would facilitate collaboration and partnerships with the private sector, other First Nation owned and operated enterprises, other government departments and DFO

Commercial fisheries enterprise management

  • The management capacity of First Nations to make effective business decisions is a key contributor to long-term, sustainable success. While this is an internal issue for First Nations, the right business management structures will allow First Nations to manage their commercial fishery assets to maximize the benefits for communities and their members
  • Commercial fisheries enterprise management is intended to strengthen communal commercial fisheries management and could support the following:
    • developing long-term strategic business plans supported by communities
    • developing a legal structure for commercial fishing enterprises (e.g. use of corporation) describing ownership and governance structures
    • developing the process to designate who fishes under communal fishing licences
    • developing plans for distributing benefits (jobs, revenues, profits) to community members
    • developing long-term training plans that identify strategies to support First Nation fishers in specific fisheries, maintenance, and replacement of vessels, gear, and other assets

Fisheries training

  • The Fisheries Training component would provide financial assistance to eligible First Nations to obtain, through technical training programs, the skills to safely and effectively harvest a diverse fish portfolio, to qualify captains and skilled deckhands to participate in the fishery, crew their own vessels and maintain vessels
  • The Fisheries Training element of the initiative would be a key element of a long-term business plan. First Nations would be eligible to obtain independent advice at the planning stage to develop their training plans
  • This element of the initiative may be cost-shared with the First Nations. Their share of the cost could come from a variety of sources, including their own (e.g., re-investing from fisheries revenues) or other public sources, such as other federal government departments or provincial governments

Preliminary implementation considerations

  • The process for delivery will be developed collaboratively with First Nations. Programs like the Aboriginal Aquatic Resources and Oceans Management (AAROM) program could also be used to implement the capacity building elements of PICFI. Similar to AAROM, an iterative approach could be considered for delivery of the capacity-building component, for example:
    • 1st Stage - Funding for First Nations engagement and business planning development in support of developing a long-term strategic plan that addresses the needs and priorities of First Nations. It could also include assessment of capacity building needs and priorities
    • 2nd Stage - If First Nations advance(s) from stage one, support provided to implement business and training plans
    • 3rd Stage - Evaluation of success of stage 2
  • Existing First Nation communal commercial fisheries enterprises, eligible for obtaining additional access under PICFI, would be eligible for capacity building to the extent that additional or different capacity is needed to support the enterprise
  • In moving forward in developing this element of PICFI, other federal departments with capacity building related programming, including Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), Human Resource and Skills Development Canada (HRSDC), Service Canada (SC), and Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), will be invited to support implementation of the initiative
  • Limited commercial fisheries access could be provided to First Nations in the capacity development stages to enable the development of their business enterprise
  • The commercial fisheries enterprise management initiative could involve co-delivery with other federal government departments and agencies; universities and colleges; and, First Nations organizations

Potential outcomes

Commercial fisheries enterprise management

Support First Nation communities in the development of fisheries management structures and practices that facilitate successful and sustainable First Nation-owned and operated commercial fisheries enterprises.

  • Establishment of commercial fisheries entities (e.g., a corporation or society) that operate transparently guided by a business plan
  • First Nations are successful in the fishery
  • Benefits are distributed among First Nations and their members consistent with their business plan

Fisheries training

Work with First Nations to develop long-term training plans that identify strategies to increase participation of First Nation fishers in specific fisheries.

  • First Nations organizations have long-term strategic training plans
  • First Nations have the skills enabling them to fish safely and successfully
  • First Nations are successful in the commercial fishery
Co-management

Co-management

  • Strengthening co-management approaches with First Nations and other fisheries participants will be key to successfully advancing with Pacific integrated commercial fisheries and addressing conservation and sustainability challenges
  • The co-management element recognizes that fisheries participants need a greater opportunity to provide their valuable contributions to policy development and resource management decisions. It also addresses the need to further support First Nations in contributing to policy development, and to facilitate joint problem solving between First Nations and other fishery participants

Objectives

  • Ultimately, PICFI is about all fishery participants working together to achieve sustainable benefits and healthy fisheries resources for present and future generations
  • A collaborative approach to management will lead to mutually beneficial outcomes, greater harmony among fishery participants and more effective stewardship of the resource
  • Collaborative management approaches may involve higher level policy matters or the planning and implementation of specific fisheries, to achieve integrated fisheries management outcomes
  • PICFI will support co-management at two levels:
    • Co-management among First Nations - supporting First Nations coming together to address common issues and to coordinate and inform participation in multi-sector processes, and in bi-lateral processes with government
    • Co-management among all fishery participants - aimed at broad multi-lateral processes, including First Nations, the recreational and commercial fishing sectors, the environmental community, other orders of government and the public in fisheries management decision-making

Proposed principles

  • Proposed principles for co-management include:
    • Shared Responsibility: All fishery groups (First Nations, commercial, recreational, environmental) and government bring their knowledge and expertise to the table to seek mutually beneficial outcomes
    • Accountability: Representatives in multi-lateral processes must be accountable to their constituents and lend their support to agreed outcomes
    • Inclusiveness: Groups with a direct interest in the fisheries resource should have an opportunity to contribute to decision making processes
    • Transparency: Co-management participants must clearly identify their fishery interests and work to develop a foundation of mutual trust and respect.

Preliminary design considerations

  • Co-management approaches supported through PICFI should be consistent with, and supportive of, approaches negotiated at treaty tables

Inter-tribal co-management

  • First Nations are currently consulted on draft fisheries policies through bilateral and multilateral consultations, aboriginal organizations and public forums
  • DFO's Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) and Aboriginal Aquatic Resource and Oceans Management (AAROM) programs provide the capacity for many BC First Nations to participate in co-management processes with DFO and others
  • A BC-wide First Nations fisheries organization or process to facilitate inter-tribal dialogue on policy development would be an important compliment to existing processes. DFO is supportive of a BC wide process or mechanism to address broad First Nations fisheries issues with the objective of developing a positive and productive working relationship at the provincial level

Multi-lateral Co-management

  • There are a growing number of multi-lateral fisheries management advisory processes aimed at developing management plans for particular species or groups of species. For example, there are Integrated Harvest Planning Committees for salmon and herring and sector-based committees for prawn and crab. Further, there are commercial industry committees for all commercially harvested species to provide advice on the management of those fisheries. There is also a province-wide process for providing advice on recreational fisheries for marine and anadromous species (Sport Fishing Advisory Board)
  • PICFI would provide funds to support and facilitate multi-lateral planning and in-season processes and to strengthen First Nations participation in these processes

Preliminary implementation considerations

  • Improved co-management processes will be developed collaboratively with First Nations and other fishery interests. PICFI will look to strengthen and link existing co-management processes (e.g. advisory boards and AAROM groups), in addition to supporting new mechanisms where gaps are identified
  • On a province-wide level, there is a need for First Nations fisheries coordination and technical capacity to support more local processes, and enable effective participation in province-wide policy initiatives and interactions with other fishery interests. PICFI may provide support for a province-wide First Nations fisheries coordinating body
  • At a watershed or coastal area level, a variety of multi-lateral processes are either operating or under development. PICFI would look to support effective, inclusive, and ultimately self-supporting, multilateral processes in key locations throughout BC. The Fraser and Skeena Rivers, the West Coast of Vancouver Island and the Central Coast are some of the locations where new processes are needed or existing processes can be strengthened
  • In some locations, and on some topics, the involvement of other government departments, other levels of government and other interests will be sought

Potential Outcomes

Co-management among First Nations

Support collaboration among First Nations to address fisheries management needs and resource sustainability objectives common to First Nations.

  • Strengthened policy capacity at a regional level in support of First Nations interactions with other fishery interests and governments
  • Coordinated approaches to addressing high level fisheries policy and management issues
  • First Nations are working closely with each other within watersheds or coastal zones
  • First Nations are working effectively with other fishery interest

Multilateral Co-management

Strengthen existing processes or create new processes to improve collaboration among fishery participants and with government and increase the accountability of participants for mutually beneficial outcomes

  • Multilateral processes that facilitate First Nations involvement and are inclusive of all relevant interests
  • Multilateral processes contributing to effective pre-season and in-season fishery decisions that are well supported by all fishery participants
  • Multilateral processes to develop strategic directions and policies that are effective and well supported by all fishery participants
Enhanced accountability measures

Enhanced accountability measures

  • This PICFI element addresses the need for enhanced fisheries monitoring, catch reporting, and enforcement, and steps towards a new traceability program to track the movements of fish from the time of harvest to the time of final sale
  • The need for enhanced accountability measures is driven by resource conservation and fisheries sustainability objectives, and a changing market place with emerging traceability requirements to address food safety issues and respond to consumer demands for certified sustainably harvested seafood products
  • Developing a traceability program requires more rigorous catch monitoring and reporting procedures than are currently in place for a number of Pacific fisheries
  • With respect to commercial salmon fisheries, DFO will be proceeding with a share-based approach, where each commercial fleet or group will be allocated a defined share of the allowable catch. For this approach to succeed there must be full confidence among fishery participants that catch shares are being respected and can withstand independent verification

Objectives

  • In support of conservation and defined-shares, PICFI will support enhanced fisheries monitoring, catch reporting and enforcement, to be phased in over the next several years with an initial focus on lower Fraser River salmon fisheries
  • PICFI will also support a collaborative approach with industry, First Nations, BC, other federal departments and the recreational sector, to develop new seafood traceability programs

Proposed principles

  • The proposed principles for guiding this element of PICFI include:
    • Conservation and sustainability - conservation of the fisheries resource achieving sustainable fisheries is the ultimate objective in enhancing accountability measures
    • Accountability - All commercial fishing fleets and groups are accountable for complying with fishery regulations and, where applicable, the quotas or defined catch shares that have been allocated to them
    • Common and transparent standards - All commercial fisheries (First Nations and "general commercial") will have consistent and transparent fishery monitoring and catch reporting standards. (Note - Recreational and First Nations FSC fisheries) may also need to implement enhanced monitoring and reporting requirements to address conservation and fisheries sustainability objectives)
    • Collaboration - new fisheries monitoring, catch reporting, and traceability requirements will be developed collaboratively with First Nations, the commercial fishing industry, the Province of BC, other federal agencies, and others

Preliminary design considerations

  • Enhanced accountability requirements will involve new measures for many fisheries, including mandatory landing sites, independent catch verification, and forensic audits of processing and cold storage facilities
  • Programs will be designed to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible and must consider that monitoring costs will ultimately be borne by fishery participants
  • The monitoring, reporting and traceability requirements will be developed concurrently due to the important linkages among the various components
  • Increased enforcement efforts will promote compliance with enhanced monitoring and reporting requirements
  • Initiatives will build on lessons learned and experience gained elsewhere

Preliminary implementation considerations

  • A staged implementation approach is planned so that DFO, First Nations and industry capacity to implement new approaches (e.g. establishing mandatory landing sites, training and certification of independent monitors, etc.) is in step with new requirements
  • The initial focus will be on Fraser River salmon fisheries beginning in 2007, expanding to salmon coast-wide, and ultimately across other fisheries as required
  • A Traceability Steering Committee with representation from DFO, First Nations, Industry, BC, and Canadian Food Inspection Agency has recently been established
  • The ability to work collaboratively with the Province, First Nations, industry and the recreational sector will be a key to the success of the enhanced accountability and traceability initiatives

Potential Outcomes

Enhanced accountability measures

  • Well documented, high level of compliance with fishery regulations and catch shares leading to improved trust among fisheries participants
  • High compliance level verified through post-harvest auditing of fish in-transit, in plants and in processing facilities
  • A Traceability Steering Committee is formed and develops a clear plan for establishing seafood traceability programs
  • Successful implementation of seafood traceability programs over time in BC, addressing marketplace demands with respect to food safety issues and certified sustainably harvested seafood products
  • Costs of catch monitoring and traceability are ultimately borne by fishery participants
Delivering commercial fisheries access to First Nations

Delivering commercial fisheries access to First Nations

Objectives

  • The commercial fisheries access element of PICFI is intended to provide eligible First Nations with greater access to a diversity of commercial fishing opportunities that will support the development of First Nation commercial fisheries enterprises, for the benefit of communities. Specific objectives include:
    • Increasing BC First Nations' participation in commercial fisheries coast-wide, including in-river commercial access to salmon for inland First Nations
    • Access to a diversity of species to support viable and sustainable First Nation fisheries enterprises
    • Greater certainty and stability around access for all commercial fisheries participants to support a more predictable business environment and encourage investment in the industry

Principles

  • This element of PICFI is guided by the following proposed principles:
    • Voluntary participation - First Nations' participation in PICFI is voluntary and based on sound business plan proposals
    • Best practices - Program design and implementation strategies are built on lessons learned and proven best practices (e.g. lessons learned from the Marshall Response Initiative in eastern Canada, the Harvard Project, and BC success stories)
    • Collaboration - The criteria and processes for delivering commercial access is being developed in collaboration with First Nations.
    • Flexible approach - The priorities and objectives of First Nations with respect to their participation in commercial fisheries will guide the delivery of access.
    • Coordinated delivery - Strong linkages between the processes for acquiring and distributing access provides effective program delivery. Coordinated administration of PICFI, AFS, AAROM, the Allocation Transfer Program (ATP) and the treaty process is providing effective and efficient processes for First Nations and government

Design considerations

  • The process for delivering access is being developed in collaboration with First Nations to develop the best possible approach
  • The process incorporates the strongest ideas brought forward, resulting in the best use of public funds and maximizing benefits for First Nations in a fair and transparent manner
  • Clear and transparent criteria for delivering access, built on best practices, was developed to guide the delivery of this element of PICFI. For example, receiving access through PICFI requires having: a business plan which clearly demonstrates how the enterprise will operate and how benefits will be distributed; day-to-day enterprise management operating at arms length from political influence; and, the capacity to successfully operate a fisheries enterprise or the commitment to build capacity
  • The process for delivering access is coordinated with the acquisition process to minimize the lag time between obtaining and delivering access, and so that access acquired is of interest to First Nations

Implementation considerations

  • With input from First Nations, a regional strategy was developed to identify overarching, long-term goals, taking into consideration such factors as distribution of fisheries resources on a geographic basis, First Nations' interests and treaty-related issues
  • A coordinated approach for delivering benefits from PICFI, ATP and AAROM is ensuring optimum distribution, common reporting requirements, and administrative efficiency for First Nations and DFO
  • Allocation of access is being determined through negotiation with First Nations, and will reflect the availability of different licence types and associated First Nations interests. An aggregate approach to providing access to First Nations (e.g., through AAROMs) accelerates delivery of access

Outcomes

Delivering commercial fisheries access

  • A collaborative DFO-First Nations process was developed for scoping clear principles and criteria to guide allocation decisions
  • Increased participation of BC First Nations in Pacific commercial fisheries
  • BC First Nation owned and operated enterprises established and supported by sound business plans and management approaches
  • BC First Nations are operating successful enterprises with a diversified portfolio of species

Outcomes

Enhanced accountability measures

  • Well documented, high level of compliance with fishery regulations and catch shares are leading to improved trust among fisheries participants
  • High compliance level verified through post-harvest auditing of fish in-transit, in plants and in processing facilities
  • A Traceability Steering Committee was formed to develop a clear plan for establishing seafood traceability programs
  • Successful implementation of seafood traceability programs over time in BC, addressing marketplace demands with respect to food safety issues and certified sustainably harvested seafood products
  • Costs of catch monitoring and traceability are ultimately borne by fishery participants