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Commercial Industry Caucus (CIC)

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The Commercial Industry Caucus (CIC) provides formal advices and makes recommendations to the Commercial Groundfish Integrated Advisory Committee (CGIAC) on policy and operational matters that impact across commercial groundfish fisheries and/or between commercial groundfish fisheries and other sectors or resource users in the Pacific Region.

Core objectives

The objectives guiding the CIC in its work are identical to the core objectives identified for the CGIAC. All of these objectives are related to and support sustainable use of the resource and promote greater self-reliance of resource users, leading to a more resilient and economically viable fishing industry.

Guiding principles


Members of the CIC are accountable to both the process and their constituents. They are expected to bring to the discussions the views, knowledge and experience of those whom they represent, and promote awareness and understanding within their constituencies about deliberations of the CIC and reasons for decisions taken. CIC members will also be encouraged to seek support for consensus-based agreements formed by the CIC.

Policy Objective

Established policies and legal and fiduciary parameters influencing and affecting groundfish management will guide the CIC in its deliberations. Examples of existing policies include international agreements to which Canada is a signatory such as the UN-FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and its related international plans of action, and other national and regional policies such as Selective Fishing in Canada's Pacific Fisheries, the Pacific Fishery Monitoring and Reporting Framework and the New and Emerging Fisheries Framework.

Balance and Representation

It is important that advice received from the CIC reflect the experience and knowledge of a valid cross-section of interests in the groundfish fisheries. 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 rather than positional or sector-based.

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 regarding the management of groundfish resources and commercial groundfish fisheries.


There will be transparency throughout the process based on open lines of communication and the provision of timely, accurate, clear and objective information.


The CIC has a mandate to provide formal advice and recommendations to the CGIAC on the future management of the groundfish fisheries in British Columbia, long-term direction, and overarching policy issues affecting commercial groundfish fisheries in the Pacific Region.


The Commercial Industry Caucus will be composed of 2 processing (1 trawl and 1 hook and line) and 14 license holder representatives (2 from each of the groundfish trawl, sablefish, halibut, rockfish outside, rockfish inside, lingcod and dogfish fisheries). An alternate member will be identified for each processing member and one for each fishery. In addition, DFO and the provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Food will be ex-officio members and may participate in CIC meetings when guidance or technical support is requested.

The CIC will be chaired by a non-government representative as chosen by the members of the CIC.

Observers may be permitted to attend meetings at the invitation of the CIC.


The CIC will meet as required.

CIC advice and recommendations shall be consensus based. Consensus is a process for making decisions, in this case decisions on what recommendations to put forward, without the power of voting. Consensus does not require that everyone be in complete agreement, but only that all will be willing to accept - consent to - a decision. In reaching a decision no one should feel that her/his position on the matter was misunderstood or not heard.

Meeting materials, including documents to be discussed and agendas for meetings will be distributed to participants well in advance of scheduled meetings. Meeting notes will be taken, and a summary of the meeting will be provided to all members.

Code of conduct

Individuals' decision to participate in consultation processes is 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 they bring the information necessary for well-informed and balanced decisions, and that consultations processes operate as efficiently as possible.

Members of the CIC should:

  1. Maximize the exchange of information among parties and minimize misunderstandings by:
    • speaking clearly, listening carefully and asking for clarification if a point is not understood;
    • sharing information related to the issues at hand;
    • stating concerns about other participants or the process openly and directly; and clearly explaining what is important to them and why; and
    • stating their perspective as concisely and briefly as possible.
  2. Ensure that all participants have the opportunity to speak and all perspectives are taken into account by:
    • seeking the participation of all interests; and
    • providing opportunities for affected parties to be heard before making a decision.
  3. Maintain a respectful atmosphere by:
    • respecting each others' values and interests;
    • avoiding accusatory language, rude behaviour and stereotyping;
    • beginning meetings on time; and
    • seeking a better understanding of other perspectives with an open mind.
  4. Ensure accountability to constituencies by:
    • making every effort to attend all important consultation meetings, or sending an alternate as set out in the terms of reference;
    • establishing clear lines of accountability with those they represent, and with other representatives;
    • acting in accordance with the authority granted by consituents and ensuring that other representatives understand this authority;
    • communicating pertinent information to their constituencies regularly and seeking support for negotiated agreements;
    • acting quickly to raise and resolve any concerns regarding the accountability of the process or any of the representatives to protect the integrity and trust of the group.
  5. When negotiating in a consultation process, facilitate agreements across the full spectrum of interests by:
    • negotiating in good faith, buiilding as much agreement as possible;
    • avoiding participation in activities that may undermine the negotiation;
    • focusing on underlying interests or objectives rather than positions and seek to understand the interests of others;
    • recognizing the legitimacy of all interests;
    • treating issues as problems to be solved not as personal or sectoral conflicts;
    • allowing representatives the freedom to test ideas without prejudice to future discussion or negotiations - do not hold tentative suggestions or agreements against those who made them;
    • seeking creative solutions that accommodate all interests; and
    • positively supporting consensus agreements once they have been reached.
  6. Engaging in appropriate external communication by:
    • ensuring that the descriptions of the process and the views of other representatives are accurate and acceptable to all representatives before communicating them to the general public or the media; and
    • ensuring that contact with the media is respectful of others.
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