DFO announces changes to fishermen licencing services

Will no longer share costs of at-sea observer program

Published on October 2, 2012

Starting in 2013, fishermen will be able to go online to purchase and renew their commercial fishing licences as part of service delivery changes announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) today.

Also among the changes, as of April 1, 2013, DFO will no longer share the costs of the at-sea observer program. That means the fishing industry will be required to pay the full costs of the At-Sea Observer Program, as well as the costs to obtain, supply, distribute, and pay for logbooks and any gear tags/tabs used in the fishery.

A news release notes a web-based information system will replace in-person payments of licensing fees at DFO area offices early in 2013. For the first time, fishermen will be able to go online to purchase and renew their commercial fishing licences and to receive in-season licensing services, including the ability to request their licences, obtain their licence conditions, as well as print and pay for their licences.

Starting in November, renewal notifications and information on payment options and the process to access the new licensing system, will be sent directly to fishermen through the department’s annual mail-out process.

Starting on Jan. 1, 2013, however, DFO will begin a phased adoption of the new system by industry to obtain their fishing licences, with full industry adoption by April 1. This will include a phased roll-out of new client services to fishermen, including online assistance and a toll-free number for information and questions.

During the three-month phase-in period, service at the counter will continue to be available for fishermen who wish to take advantage of the department’s traditional method of service to obtain their 2013 fishing licences.

More information on the new system can be found on the department’s website at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/fm-gp/sdc-cps/index-eng.htm.