Consultation on marine recreational fishing licences for eastern Canada


“On May 19, 2017, it was announced that we would consider a new marine recreational licensing system in eastern Canada.


There’s general agreement that a licence would help improve stock assessments and promote sustainable management practices. Feedback is required to help with the proposal for a marine recreational fishing licence to identify gaps and provide input and local expertise.

Past actions

Between 2001 and 2005, we explored the possibility of a marine recreational fishing licence for groundfish in parts of Newfoundland and Labrador, and Quebec. In 2016, consultations were held on a proposal to introduce a licence and tags. Discussions have also been held with various groups on the benefits of a licence.

The results of these past actions demonstrate:

  • the importance of recreational fishing to the culture and life of local communities
  • that a licence is seen as a way to ensure that sustainable fishing opportunities continue for future generations of Canadians


This consultation is looking for comments from stakeholders, including:

  • anglers
  • Indigenous groups
  • charter boat operators
  • provincial representatives


Some stocks are recovering (cod in Newfoundland and Labrador, striped bass in New Brunswick) and others require special attention (mackerel). Because of this, our proposal indicates that:

  • there would be no requirement to purchase tags
  • the annual licence would cover April 1 to March 31
  • there would be only one licence for the selected marine species
  • initially, the licence could be offered at no cost to anglers
  • it would be available online, with mandatory catch reporting
  • it would have a category for charter boats and for individual anglers
  • clients on charter boats would be covered by the boat licence
  • priority currently given to Indigenous groups for food, social and ceremonial fisheries will remain unchanged

Feedback questions

We want to get your feedback on the following questions.

  1. A decision may be made to eventually apply a fee to the proposed licence. What should the fee entail in terms of levels of fees, categories of licences, timing of implementation or other items of interest?
  2. The licence would initially apply to groundfish, mackerel and striped bass (except in Quebec). Are there other marine species that should be included? Are there any concerns about mandatory catch reporting?
  3. On the Pacific coast, the licence is issued online. What type of support would be needed for such a system in eastern Canada? What management conditions should be included on the licence?
  4. Are there any other issues that should be considered?

When and where

Face-to-face consultations will take place at various locations in eastern Canada until July 31, 2017. Dates and locations will be made available below as they’re confirmed.

  • Quebec
  • Nova Scotia on June 29, 2017, from 1 pm to 4pm
    • charter boat operators are invited to the Lewis King Boardroom at
      the Bedford Institute of Oceanography in Dartmouth (1 Challenger Drive)
  • New Brunswick
  • Prince Edward Island
  • Newfoundland and Labrador

How to participate

If you want to participate in the consultation, you may:

Your feedback will be used to develop options going forward.”


Source: Media Release / Fisheries and Oceans



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