Vol. 145, No. 17 — August 17, 2011
SOR/2011-154 July 29, 2011
ARCHIVED — Regulations Amending the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007
P.C. 2011-828 July 29, 2011
His Excellency the Governor General in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, pursuant to section 43 (see footnote a) of the Fisheries Act (see footnote b), hereby makes the annexed Regulations Amending the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007.
REGULATIONS AMENDING THE ONTARIO FISHERY REGULATIONS, 2007
1. The heading before section 4 of the English version of the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 (see footnote 1) is replaced by the following:
TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF LICENCES
2. Paragraphs 35(2)(b) and (c) of the Regulations are replaced by the following:
- (b) use any gear other than the gear set out in column 2 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 for fishing for a species set out in column 1;
- (c) fish for, or catch and retain, a species of fish set out in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 from the waters set out in column 3 during the close time set out in column 4;
(d) fish for, or catch and retain, a species of fish set out in column 1 of Part 1 of Schedule 6 from any waters other than the waters set out in column 3; or
(e) fish for, or catch and retain, any species of fish other than the species set out in column 1 of Parts 1 and 2 of Schedule 6.
COMING INTO FORCE
3. These Regulations come into force on the day on which they are registered.
REGULATORY IMPACT ANALYSIS STATEMENT
(This statement is not part of the Regulations.)
Issue and objectives
Historically, sport fishers in Ontario have been allowed to harvest a limited variety of fish (e.g. carp, white sucker, Lake Whitefish) by methods other than angling during designated seasons. However, in a review of the Ontario Fishery Regulations, 2007 (OFR), following several unsuccessful prosecutions, it was determined that the OFR that govern non-angling methods were vulnerable and may create a gap in the intended regulation of non-angling methods that in turn could have an impact on the management of fish populations.
Non-angling fishing methods in Ontario are restricted to certain fish species, gear types, seasons and waters that are set forth in the OFR, Schedule 6. While the management intent is that any waters and species not listed by Schedule 6 are assumed to be closed, the provision does not establish a clear control on non-angling methods (i.e. dip nets, seines, spears) of sport fishing for fish species that are not listed in Schedule 6. Additionally, recent review of the OFR and Schedule 6 by conservation officers identified that there are no closed seasons and catch restrictions on any waters for any fish species not listed in Schedule 6.
Without the amendment to the OFR, sport fishers may harvest, by non-angling methods, a wide variety of unintended fish species, including walleye, trout, salmon and bass, without regard to closed seasons. Several species such as walleye and rainbow trout congregate in rivers to spawn and may be very vulnerable to sport fishing methods other than angling and could be over-harvested.
The intent of the OFR has always been to allow a limited number of fish species to be lawfully taken by sport fishers using non-angling methods, such as seining/spearing, and only by specified means and during limited periods of time. The objective for government intervention is to clarify subsection 35(2) of the OFR to make the provision enforceable.
Description and rationale
In order to correct the regulatory gap, an amendment is necessary to clearly identify that non-angling methods of fishing are restricted to the fish species, quotas and seasons specifically identified in Schedule 6. An amendment to the section on Sport Fishing Other Than Angling will modify the language to clarify what waters, species, and closed times a sport fisher must respect. A new provision will also be added, which states that sport fishers, using a means other than angling, can only fish for, or catch and retain only those species listed in Schedule 6 from water zones listed in Schedule 6. Without this amendment, the original intent of the OFR cannot legally be enforced.
Without government intervention to clarify the OFR and to make the provision enforceable, there is a risk that significant changes to fishing activities and subsequent negative impacts on fish populations will occur. The regulatory amendment aids in the conservation and protection of Ontario’s fish populations by clarifying that non-angling methods of fishing are restricted to the species, quotas and seasons specifically identified in Schedule 6 of the OFR. The maintenance of healthy, sustainable fisheries throughout the province will ensure that recreational fishing will continue under the policies outlined in Ontario’s Ecological Framework for Recreational Fisheries Management. The use of non-angling methods provides increased opportunity for fishing for the species currently listed under the OFR; however, some species are particularly vulnerable to non-angling methods and the management intent of the OFR is to provide protection to all other fish species currently not listed in Schedule 6 of the OFR. This amendment clarifies the intent and supports the current public belief that non-angling methods apply only to species presently listed in the OFR.
Consultation specifically on the use of non-angling methods was conducted from January 25, 2005, to February 24, 2005, through an Environmental Registry posting on the Proposal for Non-Angling Methods of Capturing Fish in Ontario, including the policy document Regulatory Guidelines for Non-Angling Methods for Capturing Fish in Ontario. There was general public support for the management intent of non-angling methods in Ontario which restricts the use to particular species, seasons and waters as set forth in the OFR.
Consultations on the use of non-angling methods were conducted as part of the broad spectrum of consultations that occurred for the Ecological Framework for Fisheries Management in Ontario and streamlining of fishing regulations. Consultations occurred across Ontario with stakeholder groups and the public by engagement through media releases, advertisements, public notices, and Environmental Bill of Rights postings between August 2005 and May 2006. There was general support for the management intent of the Ecological Framework for Fisheries Management to increase fishing opportunities while managing fisheries in a sustainable manner.
This administrative amendment will have no significant impact on First Nations, the sport fishing public, general public, government or businesses connected to fisheries or tourism. The amendment will support the Ontario Ministry of National Resources’ long standing management approach to non-angling sport fishing methods, which is further maintained in the Ecological Framework for Recreational Fisheries Management. This amendment supports the current public belief that non-angling methods apply only to species presently listed in the OFR.
Implementation, enforcement and service standards
The amendment will strengthen enforcement capacity and tools by ensuring enforcement staff are able to take action against acts of non-compliance. This amendment supports the public’s current understanding of the service standards regarding non-angling methods and their application to species presently listed in the Regulations.
No additional costs will be associated with the implementation of this amendment as it is not a change in current fishery management practices, but a clarification of the regulatory intent.
The management intent of the OFR is currently communicated in the 2011 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary that is available to every angler in Ontario. The proposed administrative amendment will not require any changes to the 2011 Ontario Recreational Fishing Regulations Summary since the management intent and use of non-angling methods is clearly communicated in the document and supports the public belief that non-angling methods are restricted to the fish species, waters and gear types listed in the document.
Fisheries Policy Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
300 Water Street
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
200 Kent Street
S.C. 1991, c. 1, s. 12
R.S., c. F-14