Fisheries and Land Resources

Fisheries and Aquaculture

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About the Department


The mandate of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is:

Extracting the optimum sustainable economic benefit from the fishing and aquaculture industries through the promotion, development, encouragement, conservation, and regulation of fisheries and aquaculture and the provision of long-term strategic direction on the sustainable use of coastal and ocean resources in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Provincial and Federal Responsibilities

There is often confusion surrounding the responsibilities of the provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The following table outlines the primary responsibilities of each department and the common responsibilities between the two levels of government as it relates to fisheries and aquaculture.

Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture (DFA) Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Common Responsibilities between governments
Fisheries Diversification Oceans science and management including fisheries management and science Research and development
Licensing, administration of fish plants Licensing and administration of fish harvesters Professionalization of fish harvesters
Establishing and enforcing standards for fish quality Harvesting statistics Seafood marketing (Agriculture Canada)
Processing and aquaculture statistics Habitat protection Environmental protection
Aquaculture licensing and registry Aquaculture statistics for Canada Statistics and information services
Aquaculture inspections and enforcement International relations Infrastructure support
Aquaculture development and extension services Certification of plants exporting fish Aquaculture science, site inspections and fish health
Note: The department also conducts its activities with other federal departments and agencies, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), Agriculture Canada, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Service Canada on matters such as: fish inspection, seafood marketing and workforce issues.

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Four Lines of Business:

Lines of Business are the consolidated programs, services and products an organization provides to its primary clients. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has identified four lines of business.

  1. Policy Development and Planning Services

    The department develops, implements, and provides advice on fisheries and aquaculture policies for the support of resource/industry management, growth, and development. Other activities include strategic planning, financial and economic analysis, preparation and administration of development agreements, analysis and distribution of statistics, analysis of scientific information, and analysis and development of policy positions on fisheries and aquaculture resource issues. The department also leads the province's participation on coastal and oceans governance and planning issues.

  2. Seafood Diversification and Development

    The department provides technical and financial support to develop harvesting, growing, processing and marketing in the fisheries and aquaculture industries. This includes activities relating to sustainable harvesting, processing sector diversification, aquaculture investment prospecting, technology transfer, increased global market intelligence development, quality assurance and infrastructure support.

  3. Licensing and Quality Assurance

    Subject to specified criteria, the department licenses all fish processing operations, Fish buyers, and aquaculture facilities and sites operating within the province. DFA contributes to the development of high standards and quality assurance through research support, training development and regulatory enforcement.

  4. Inspection, Compliance and Regulatory Enforcement

    The department conducts comprehensive inspection, compliance and regulatory programs for the fishing industry and aquaculture sector within its legislative authorities. Activities include inspecting fish-buying stations and processing plants; auditing statistics for plant employment and production, ensuring compliance with relevant or related acts, regulations and policies, and inspecting aquaculture sites and facilities. The department also inspects raw materials at the wharf and onboard fishing vessels.

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The People We Serve

The primary clients of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture are individuals or groups whose needs have an influence on the department's business.

In delivering its mandate, the department identifies the following as primary clients:

  • Fish processors and buyers
  • Aquaculturists
  • Plant workers
  • Fish harvesters
  • Provincial and Federal government departments
  • Community groups (e.g. municipalities)
  • Fishing and Aquaculture industry Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)
  • Environmental Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs)
  • Consumers
  • People of Newfoundland and Labrador

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