Minister Jordan strengthens protections for inshore commercial fish harvesters on East Coast, keeping economic benefits in coastal communities

News release

December 9, 2020

Ottawa, Ontario - The inshore fisheries on Canada’s East Coast are often family run businesses that drive the local, regional, and national economies. They are the pride of their communities and it is imperative that we support their continued growth and stability, now and into the future.

Today, Fisheries and Oceans Canada published amended regulations, taking further action to preserve and protect the independence of licence holders in commercial inshore fisheries in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and ensuring that the economic benefits from fishing stay with harvesters and within their communities.

Under the authorities granted by the modernized Fisheries Act, which received royal assent on June 21, 2019, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has amended the Atlantic Fishery Regulations, 1985 and the Maritime Provinces Fishery Regulations to clarify the rules governing inshore licences and create new enforceable requirements.

The regulatory amendments announced today address a longstanding request from independent fish harvesters to formalize a variety of policies that had been developed over the years to govern inshore licences. This includes:

  • ensuring the licence holder retains the benefits generated by fishing, and is the one fishing under that licence;
  • supporting the Fleet Separation Policy by prohibiting certain types of corporations from holding licences in the inshore sector; and
  • an eligibility criteria that will prevent the Minister from issuing inshore licences to Independent Core licence holders that have transferred the use or control of the rights and privileges conferred by the licence to fish to a third party.

Today’s publication of these regulations in the Canada Gazette, Part II, is a clear commitment of support from the Government of Canada to independent fish harvesters in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, and the communities they represent.


“Our Government has been working diligently with partners to enshrine the Owner-Operator and Fleet Separation policy into law. After years of advocacy from independent harvesters, today we’re delivering on our commitment to build a stronger, better, and more resilient inshore fishery on the East Coast. These regulations will benefit harvesters, their families, and their communities for generations, by ensuring the economic benefits made by harvesters, stay with harvesters.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • On June 20, 2019, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, announced that Bill C-68, an Act to amend the Fisheries Act passed Parliament.  

Associated links


Jane Deeks
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans

and the Canadian Coast Guard


Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada


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