Evidence of meeting #61 for Fisheries and Oceans in the 42nd Parliament, 1st Session. (The original version is on Parliament’s site, as are the minutes.) The winning word was mpa.

A recording is available from Parliament.

On the agenda

MPs speaking

Also speaking

Natalie Ban  Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, As an Individual
Christina Burridge  Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance
Jim McIsaac  Managing Director, BC Commercial Fishing Caucus
Bruce Turris  Executive Manager, Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society, BC Seafood Alliance

9:45 a.m.

NDP

Wayne Stetski NDP Kootenay—Columbia, BC

In terms of Bryce Canyon Park and the point made there, isn't what they've been learning by looking at conservation in general is that the problem around trying to protect species is that the areas or the parks are not large enough? When you talk about biodiversities—and biodiversity is protected by ensuring that areas are large enough and that there's connectivity between areas—does that not argue for larger marine conservation areas rather than smaller if we really want to protect species?

9:50 a.m.

Managing Director, BC Commercial Fishing Caucus

Jim McIsaac

I would argue that on the west coast, the ecozone that was identified, the scale was PNCIMA, the Pacific north coast integrated management area of the northern shelf. Doing ecosystem-based management on the shelf is what we really want to be doing, not siloing the sectors, continuing to silo sectors.

I would say that MPAs by themselves, just doing an MPA network, is siloing again instead of managing integrated areas. We should be managing across all sectors in our marine space, and that's where we're going to reap the best benefit. We don't have enough resources to be doing the kind of management that's been called for in MPAs and then doing kind of the management that needs to be done at the integrated level. We have very limited resources and a large country.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

The Chair Liberal Scott Simms

Thank you, Mr. Stetski, I appreciate it. You'll have another round. You'll be in the second round as well.

Ms. Jordan, seven minutes, please.

May 11th, 2017 / 9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Thank you, Mr. Chair.

I want to thank all our witnesses for appearing today. I have so many questions, I'm not really sure where to start.

I'll start with you, Ms. Burridge. You made the comment earlier about driving the process with someone pushing a button. Is that your opinion or is that something you have evidence on? If you have that evidence, I would love to have it submitted to this committee, if that's possible.

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

Christina Burridge

We can certainly do that for you.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Wonderful. Perfect.

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

Christina Burridge

It's been reported by the Government of Canada in its progress report towards Canada Gazette, II.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

And it actually shows on it that it's all coming from the same site....

Perfect. Could you make sure that we get a copy of that?

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

I appreciate that.

The other question I have for you is this. You made a statement that the B.C. coast is already at 3.2%.

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Is that under the FAO definition of a marine protected area? I'm trying to figure out where that 3.2% comes from.

9:50 a.m.

Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

Christina Burridge

That's using the Government of Canada's long-term reporting, so it's IUCN and UN accounting.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Okay. Perfect. Thank you.

Dr. Ban, can I come to you, please? You talked about education, compliance, and enforcement. I believe when you were talking about those things, you were talking specifically about recreational fisheries. Is that correct?

9:50 a.m.

Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, As an Individual

Dr. Natalie Ban

I was providing the example of recreational fisheries in the RCAs, but I think it's applicable more broadly as well.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Okay.

We've done a number of studies at this committee. Time and time again, one of the things that keeps coming up is the lack of enforcement. Do you find it is prevalent only in recreational fisheries, or is it something you feel is also in the commercial end of things?

9:50 a.m.

Assistant Professor, School of Environmental Studies, University of Victoria, As an Individual

Dr. Natalie Ban

I believe it's more applicable for the recreational fisheries, because they're harder to monitor. As my colleagues were saying, many of the commercial fisheries have observers on board, 100% observer coverage, and they have vessel monitoring systems. Compliance in the commercial sector is excellent.

There can be illegal fishing as well, even by commercial boats, when they turn those systems off. So it is necessary to have enforcement officers on the water, not just for the recreational fishing but also for potential other illegal activity that might happen, which damages everyone.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Ms. Burridge or Mr. Turris, would you like to comment on the enforcement aspect of the fisheries?

9:50 a.m.

Executive Manager, Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society, BC Seafood Alliance

Bruce Turris

You can't turn an observer off. An observer is on board, and they're monitoring all the activities. The vessel's electronic monitoring system includes GPS, hydraulic sensors, and cameras. If that system turns off, it is recorded that it's turned off. Enforcement officers follow up on any instances when it's turned off, because the requirement is that the vessel has to stop fishing. The sensors will show if it's stopped fishing or not.

Those are always followed up.

9:50 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Do you feel that enforcement on the west coast in the commercial fishery is adequate?

9:50 a.m.

Executive Manager, Canadian Groundfish Research and Conservation Society, BC Seafood Alliance

Bruce Turris

In the commercial fishery it's excellent.

9:50 a.m.

Managing Director, BC Commercial Fishing Caucus

Jim McIsaac

Specifically on RCAs, the same does not apply to commercial as to recreational. With the electronic monitoring for groundfish, as Bruce said, if you turn that off there's enforcement.

The only incidence that I know of that is of a commercial guide going into an RCA, purposely turning on his electronic monitoring so the camera can actually see recreational vessels fishing there, and hoping there will be enforcement action—not only on him, but on them.

9:55 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Thank you.

Mr. McIsaac, my last questions are to you. You have a list of recommendations here that I find very interesting. One of the things we've talked about during this study has been governance on the high seas, past the limits. Some people feel it's not an issue to our inshore fisheries; others feel that it is. Can you comment on that recommendation?

9:55 a.m.

Managing Director, BC Commercial Fishing Caucus

Jim McIsaac

The recommendation on governance of the high seas?

9:55 a.m.

Liberal

Bernadette Jordan Liberal South Shore—St. Margarets, NS

Yes, on governance of the high seas.