Working with the Fishing Industry

Canada's oil and natural gas industry has worked to develop positive, collaborative relationships with the fishing industry through effective communication and engagement.

Our industry conducts its operations in Atlantic Canada with a goal of minimizing its operational impact on the environment and other ocean users.

The fishing industry is consulted as part of the environmental assessment process and communications strategies are built into project planning to ensure fishers are aware of ongoing offshore activity. The fishing industry is also advised of specific programs, like marine seismic surveys, through direct communication with unions and committees, public service announcements in local media and notices to mariners/shipping.

Nova Scotia fisheries advisory committee

In Nova Scotia, offshore operators work with the Canada-Nova Scotia Offshore Petroleum Board's (C-NSOPB) Fisheries Advisory Committee to engage the fishing industry. The Committee includes representatives from various fishing groups, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Natural Resources Canada, and the Nova Scotia Department of Energy. Committee members provide advice and suggestions to the C-NSOPB for consideration in work authorization applications, regulations and guidelines. Meetings are held quarterly and briefings are sent out to inform and engage members in discussion of upcoming projects and other petroleum-related activities. Committee members are provided with notice of all environmental assessments and are invited to submit comments to the C-NSOPB for consideration during the review processes.

Newfoundland and Labrador's One Ocean organization

In Newfoundland and Labrador, One Ocean is an ogranization established by and for the fishing and oil and natural gas industries of Newfoundland and Labrador. Formed in 2002, One Ocean's executive board has equal membership representation from both industry sectors, and was launched to provide a forum to enhance mutual knowledge and understanding between two industries operating in a common marine environment. A key objective of One Ocean is to assist the fishing and oil and natural gas industries in understanding each sector’s operational activities, including the timing and location of offshore operations where they may overlap. Effective communication and joint planning will ensure both sectors are aware of proposed activities and provide the opportunity to identify and address specific industry concerns, and develop mutually beneficial safe practices and protocols. One Ocean does not represent the fishing and oil and natural gas industries in Newfoundland and Labrador – it represents the mutual interests of both. To successfully accomplish this, One Ocean must maintain the confidence of both sectors in its ability to remain neutral and promote the interests of both industries.

Fisheries liaison officers

Canada's offshore oil and natural gas industry engages a Fisheries Liaison Officer during certain marine operations as a practice of mitigation for the fishing and oil and natural gas industries. Stationed on board the operation vessel, the Fisheries Liaison Officer communicates details of the marine operation with fish harvesters while also learning of their activities. This inter-industry information exchange reduces any potential at-sea conflicts, such as entanglement or gear damage.