Language selection


Regional Sport Fishing Advisory Committees (Regional SFAC) terms of reference

Archived Content:

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.


These terms of reference will apply to the North and South Coast Regional SFACs and to any other Regional SFACs that may be established. Regional SFACs will cover such geographic areas as agreed to by the Sport Fishing Advisory Board (SFAB) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

The Regional SFAC will provide formal advice, make recommendations, and forward local SFAC motions and recommendations to the SFAB on matters relating to tidal recreational fisheries and non tidal anadromous fisheries.

These terms of reference will be in effect until April 2012 at which time they will be reviewed in conjunction with a broader assessment of advisory processes.

Guiding Principles

The following principles will be used to guide decisions on the structure and operations of the Regional SFAC:


There should be transparency throughout the 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 process on an equal basis. DFO organizers, after considering the input of the Regional SFAC Chair and members, will 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 advisory bodies should relate to the mandate and function of the committee. Participation in advisory processes should be fairly balanced and reflect a broad range of interests in fisheries and oceans issues in the Pacific Region, to the extent possible, so that a diversity of perspectives is involved.


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 set and respect realistic timeframes recognizing the volunteer nature of the SFAC.

DFO, taking into consideration its financial capacity and current policies, will provide funding consistent with the effective and efficient discharge of the Regional SFAC its approved subcommittees in fulfilling their mandate, roles and responsibilities.


The size of the advisory committee will reflect a balance between the diversity of fisheries and oceans issues in the SFAC Region and participant numbers that will facilitate productive discussion. Should committee or subcommittee size become an issue, the Principle of “Inclusion” as detailed above, will be the overriding priority. Wherever possible, links to other departmental consultative processes will be made to realize efficiencies in consultation.

Roles and Responsibilities

To review and consider motions and recommendations brought forward by the Local SFAC or other members of the Regional SFAC.

To provide formal advice and recommendations in the form of recorded motions.

To forward recommendations and motions to the SFAB on matters pertaining to tidal recreational fishing and non-tidal anadromous recreational fisheries. On matters affecting tidal recreational fisheries, recommendations and advice will cover all species and all forms of recreational fishing.

To provide recommendations to DFO or the relevant provincial ministry respecting the development of annual sport fishing plans for all recreational tidal fisheries and anadromous non-tidal recreational fisheries within its geographic area. Any such advice, motions or recommendations having province wide implications must be approved by the SFAB prior to being submitted to the relevant government ministry.

To review and make recommendations to DFO or relevant provincial ministry regarding “in season” amendments to annual fishing plans pertaining to its geographic area.

To review and provide feedback to the SFAB regarding policy or management programs recommended by the respective ministers or their staff, respecting tidal recreational fisheries and non-tidal recreational fisheries pertaining to anadromous fish.

To assist in the dissemination of information to the angling community, and the general public, on matters pertaining to recreational fisheries in tidal waters and recreational fisheries for anadromous species in non-tidal waters.

To assign members by election to participate in multi-sectoral consultation processes at the direction of the SFAB as required.

To work with DFO and provincial ministries in developing working “partnerships” to assist in effective management of the fishery resource for the benefit of the resource and of anglers.

To review, consider and respond to policy proposals as brought forward from time to time by the SFAB.


All members except ex officio members shall be entitled to vote on motions or recommendations introduced at Regional SFAC meetings.

Representation on the Regional SFAC will be sensitive to achieving a balance between Primary and Secondary Level User Group Members. The majority of members should be Primary Level User Group Members.

Primary Level User Group Members are persons who do not receive a significant amount of their annual income directly or indirectly from the recreational fishery. A Primary User Group Member may include a person who is the representative from a non-industry recreational fishing advocacy organization.

Secondary Level User Group Members are persons who receive a significant amount of their annual income directly or indirectly from the recreational fishery. A Secondary Level User Group Member may include a person who represents a recreational industry organization.

The membership of the Regional SFAC will include either the Chair of each Local SFAC within the geographic area of the Regional SFAC or such other member of the Local SFAC as that committee shall designate as its representative.

Local SFAC voting representation shall be restricted to one member, except in those circumstances where the size of the area covered by the Local SFAC indicates that a larger representation is required. In these circumstances,

representation will be as mutually agreed between the membership of the Regional SFAC and DFO. Each provincial recreational organization sitting on the SFAB shall be allowed one voting membership on the Regional SFAC (Table 1).

In the case of the B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF), that organization shall be provided one voting membership from its regional organization within the boundaries of the respective Regional SFAC, except that in the case of the BCWF Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island Regional Associations, they shall be provided two voting memberships. This is in recognition of the historic allocation of seats for this organization on the SFAB. All voting member organizations should be listed and new applicants for membership will be approved by the regional SFAC Board.

A membership seat shall also be provided for the recreational fishing representatives representing the geographic area of the Regional SFAC on the Pacific Salmon Treaty process.

Any member of the SFAB Executive Committee residing within the boundaries of the Regional SFAC shall be deemed to be a member of that Regional SFAC.

Ex officio memberships on the Regional SFAC will also be provided for officials of federal and provincial fisheries management agencies.

Additional individual memberships on the Regional SFAC can be provided by a two-thirds majority vote of the sitting members and as agreed to by DFO.

Selection of Chair and SFAB Members

The voting members of the Regional SFAC shall elect, at a duly constituted meeting of that Regional SFAC, a Chair and Vice Chair to serve for two year terms. The elected Chair or in his/her absence, the Vice-Chair, shall represent the Regional SFAC on the SFAB throughout the term of his or her position as chair of the Regional SFAC and shall serve as a member of the SFAB Executive Committee.

The voting members of the Regional SFAC also shall elect, at a duly constituted meeting of that Regional SFAC, seven of their members to represent them for a two year term at all meetings of the SFAB.

In choosing these representatives the voting members should endeavor to ensure a balance between Primary and Secondary Level User Group Members that favors the Primary Level User Group Members.

The voting members of the Regional SFAC also shall choose, at a duly constituted meeting of the Regional SFAC, a pool of alternates to represent their seven voting members on the SFAB for those occasions when an elected member cannot attend. Those persons, who are nominated for election as Main Board representatives but are not amongst the seven with the most votes, shall be named as alternates in the order of their standing in the election unless they decline to accept the position. In the event that fewer than seven alternates are named by this method, a separate election may be held to fill the remaining alternate positions.

When one of the elected representatives no longer sits on the Regional SFAC they will be replaced until the next regular election by the senior alternate.

Responsibilities of the Chair

The Chair shall work in cooperation with the Vice Chair, Regional SFAC members, and appropriate government representatives to plan meetings of the Regional SFAC as required, to set the agenda and to ensure that background material is distributed.

The Chair shall provide a report on each Regional SFAC meeting to the next meeting of the SFAB.

The Chair shall introduce to the SFAB for review and ratification all motions carried by the Regional SFAC and shall support the carried motions during discussion and votes on the motions as required; and whenever and wherever possible, make arrangements as required to provide a report of the results and activities of the Regional SFAC to the recreational fishing community at large through the use of various media outlets available in each community or geographic area.

The Chair, in consultation with DFO shall appoint as necessary, working groups from the Regional SFAC membership to review or investigate specific issues or problems and report back to the Regional SFAC.
The Chair shall only vote on recommendations or motions in the event of a tie vote in the Regional SFAC.

Operational Procedures

A minimum of two meetings should be held annually. Meetings of the Regional SFAC should be held at least 30 days prior to any meeting of the SFAB. At least 30 days notice should be given of the date for a Regional SFAC meeting. Agenda time for issues raised by an agency not contributing financially to the operation of the SFAB shall be based on agreement between the Regional SFAC Chair and the designated representative from DFO.
Secretarial services for Regional SFACs shall be provided by DFO.

The Regional SFAC must have a quorum of at least 50% of the membership present to approve recommendations for submissions to the SFAB, and representation from both primary and secondary members must be present within the quorum. Voting is by simple majority.

The standard rules for conducting meetings known as “Roberts Rules of Order” shall be applied during the conduct of Regional SFAC meetings. All participants are expected to adhere to the Code of Conduct contained in Appendix A.

The meetings of the Regional SFAC will be open to the public and observers are welcome to attend. Observers will be required to notify the Chair prior to attending and the observer may only speak on issues upon the invitation of the Chair. There will be no expense reimbursement for observers. The members of the Regional SFAC may, by a majority vote, move into an “in camera” session for a short period to deal with specific issues. A record of any motions passed during an in-camera meeting will be included in the minutes of the open meeting.

Travel expenses incurred by Regional SFAC members while attending to committee business shall be reimbursed according to Federal Treasury Board guidelines.

In the case of travel, unless adequate notice is not provided of the meeting date, all air flights should be booked in advance to take advantage of excursion fares. In the case of mileage, payment will be made based on the Federal Treasury Board Guidelines or at the rate of the excursion airfares, whichever is the lowest.

Amendments to the Terms of Reference for Regional SFAC can be made by a notice of motion and a 2/3 majority vote of the SFAB. SFAB approved amendments will be forwarded to DFO for approval.

Table 1. List of organizers at the Local SFAC

PSC Pacific Salmon Commission
BCWF B.C. Wildlife Federation
SFI Sport Fishing Institute of B.C.
SSOBC Steelhead Society of B.C.
BCFFF B.C. Federation of Fly Fishers
BCFDF B.C. Federation of Drift Fishers
MTA Marine Trades Association
BCLCA B.C. Lodging and Campgrounds Association
BCMA B.C. Marina Operators Association

Appendix A: SFAB Code of Conduct

The right to participate in an advisory process is accompanied by responsibilities. Those who participate in consultation processes should do so in good faith and with the public interest in mind. Participants have a responsibility to engage in effective, balanced and civil communication. As representatives of diverse interests in the recreational fishery they have a responsibility to ensure that they are accountable to their constituents, that government gets the information it needs to make well-informed and balanced decisions, and that all three levels of the SFAB process operate as efficiently as possible.

All SFAB participants should:

  1. Maximize the exchange of information 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' interests or the process openly and directly;
    • clearly explaining what is important to them and why;
    • stating their perspective as concisely and briefly as possible; and
  2. Ensure that others have the opportunity to speak, that all perspectives are taken into account and that a respectful atmosphere is maintained by:
    • respecting each others' values and interests;
    • avoiding accusatory language, rude behavior and stereotyping;
    • listening to what others have to say without interrupting;
    • beginning meetings on time;
    • seeking a better understanding of other perspectives with an open mind; and
  3. Ensure accountability to local, regional or province-wide constituencies by:
    • making every effort to attend all important meetings, or sending an alternate;
    • establishing clear lines of accountability with those they represent;
    • communicating pertinent information to their constituencies regularly;
    • 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.
  4. When negotiating in the advisory process, facilitate agreements across the full spectrum of interests by:
    • negotiating in good faith, building as much agreement as possible;
    • avoiding participation in activities that may undermine the negotiation;
    • focusing on underlying interests or objectives rather than positions and seeking to understand the interests of others;
    • recognizing the legitimacy of other interests;
    • treating issues as problems to be solved not as personal or sectoral conflicts;
    • allowing others the freedom to test ideas without prejudice to future discussion; and
    • seeking creative solutions that accommodate all interests.
  5. Engaging in appropriate external communication by:
    • ensuring that descriptions of the process are as accurate as possible before communicating them to the general public or the media;
    • ensuring that contact with the media is respectful of others
Date modified: