Fisheries and Aquaculture           

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Coastal and Ocean Program

The coastal and ocean environment is deeply linked to our province's culture, heritage, history, recreational enjoyment and economic prosperity. Activities along our coasts must be effectively managed to ensure healthy and productive coastal ecosystems and a strong economy.

In 2006, Government directed the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) to take an active role in coastal and ocean policy development and management. In response, DFA led development of the provincial Coastal and Ocean Management Strategy and Policy Framework released in June 2011. This strategy is intended to provide long-term strategic direction on the sustainable use of the province's marine resources.

Strategy Overview

Three over-arching strategic approaches to integrated coastal and ocean management are recommended in the strategy and will be guiding principles in moving forward: coordination across government; decisions based on information and research; and public education and awareness.

Addressing coastal issues is a shared responsibility and it is important that all coastal users are actively involved. In order to guide and facilitate provincial planning, the strategy provides direction for policy development and actions under six key coastal issues raised during public discussions:

Provincial Coastal and Ocean Network

To ensure consistency with other provincial government initiatives and to provide a forum for information exchange on coastal and ocean activities, the Provincial Coastal and Oceans Network (PCON) was established in 2006 comprised of nine government departments, three executive council agencies, and one crown corporation. The network is chaired by DFA, and is assisting in implementation of the strategy by providing direction and advice. Departments and agencies represented on the network include:

  • Department of Education
  • Department of Environment and Conservation
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
  • Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
  • Department of Municipal and Intergovernmental Affairs
  • Department of Natural Resources
  • Department of Tourism, Culture and Recreation
  • Department of Transportation and Works
  • Executive Council's Office of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency
  • Executive Council's Office of Public Engagement (Rural Secretariat)
  • Executive Council's Office of Labrador Aboriginal Affairs
  • Research and Development Corporation


As part of DFA's coastal and ocean program, the Sustainable Fisheries and Oceans Policy Division provides funding to projects which aim to increase the knowledge, best practices, and public awareness around local and regional coastal issues. For more information on some initiatives supported by DFA, visit:


In order to properly assess the issues facing Newfoundland and Labrador's coastal areas, two issues scans were conducted throughout the province by an external consultant in 2007 and 2008. The scope of the work was to engage, inform, and hear the concerns of interested groups and individuals on coastal and ocean issues facing their region.

The information and recommendations found within these issues scans provided the basis for the Discussion Paper released in 2010. This paper helped guide the consultation process and provided a baseline for discussion on moving forward with setting objectives and priorities for the province. Feedback received from stakeholders and the general public helped guide development of the final strategy.

Questions or comments regarding coastal and ocean policy initiatives within the province can be made by contacting:

Sustainable Fisheries and Oceans Policy Division
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
P.O. Box 8700
St. John's, NL
A1B 4J6
Tel: (709) 729-1140
Fax: (709) 729-6082
Last Updated:
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