Summary of SEHAB meeting at FOC Regional Headquarters, Vancouver BC,

Nov. 5, 2012



Attending          SEHAB - Jack Minard, Central Vancouver Island

                                           - Paul Cipywynk, North Side Fraser River, Burnaby to Mission

                                           - Lee Hesketh, Central Interior: Boston Bar to 100 Mile House

                                           - Brian Smith, Vancouver

DFO RHQ - Graham Van Der Slagh, Standing in for Alice Cheung,
                   Manager Stewardship and Community Involvement

                                           - Bonnie Antcliffe (Director), Ecosytem Management Branch

                                           - Kaarina McGivney, Manager, SEP

Items brought Forward from November 2, 3, and 4, 2012 Vancouver BC

  1. New Executive for 2012 – 2015:

Chair – Jack Minard

Vice-Chair – Jim Shinkewski           Treasurer – ZoAnn Morten

Secretary – Paul Cipywnyk             Membership Chair (in lieu of Past Chair) – Grieg Houlder

  1. Information from SEHAB
  • SEHAB supports the Cohen recommendations and would like to see them acted upon quickly
  • SEHAB communication from community to DFO: Enbridge pipeline is opposed across the board
  • Staffing cuts continue to be an enormous concern
  • Much discussion and angst about changes to the Fisheries Act and how that effects on-the-ground outcomes


  1. Questions to DFO from SEHAB
  • Is DFO aware of or involved with Provincal Water Act Modernization process? Can DFO share any status from DFO’s perspective?
  • Changes in Habitat Regulations under Fisheries Act:  What advice or information is DFO giving to industry/developers/provinces/other levels of government?
    • What is the process for analyzing and utilizing the Cohen Report? What is the current assessment?
    • Does DFO have a message SEHAB can return to our community regarding pipeline construction and increases in oil freighter traffic in BC Coastal waters?
    • PIP Contracts in a lot of cases are simply for a pair of waders or a digital scale etc. To have to apply for this type of support through MERX is unapproachable by many.

            Questions re MERX

  1. Will volunteer groups be required to either register with MERX or have a Business Procurement Number to be eligible to receive PIP-SEP contracts? (If YES, some discussion of the difficulty of that process should occur.)
  2. Will CA’s be allowed to assist volunteer groups in their region with the development and costing of proposals, as would normally occur in project planning meetings between groups and their CA?  (If NO, Who within DFO will be assigned to assist groups in the completion of this process which is normally handled by the CA?)
  3. How will groups be advised that their application has been received by DFO and whether they are on the list of groups eligible to participate in PIP contracting?
  4. Will applications be assessed on an ongoing basis (as received) and will applicants be notified if their application fails to meet the mandatory criteria (set out in the Evaluation Criteria list) so that they can amend applications and address any shortcomings before the February 1st deadline?
  5. Who will make the final determination regarding the awarding of contracts in a region, the services to be provided, and the amount of funding to be attached to each project?
  6. What provisions will be made for the addition of new volunteer groups that might be formed in the 3-year period during which the list of eligible groups is in effect?
  7. What avenues will be available for revision of the group’s proposal after its application/approval, should unforeseen contingencies or additional opportunities arise during the 3-year period?



  1. Requests
  • Regarding human, salmon and wildlife water use conflicts; we would request that DFO uses whatever power it can to end delays in setting fish conservation flows. For example the Water Use process recently completed by stakeholders on the Capalino and Seymour Rivers. Although there are infrastructure problems holding up delivering agreed upon Capalino flows there is no such hold up with Seymour flows. The hold up to deliver flows required is purely bureaucratic and there is no reason that flows could not be increased to agreed upon levels immediately. DFO ultimately has the authority and can direct flows for conservation and fish survival. Another example is the significant losses of chinook, coho and chum salmon and brown, rainbow and cutthroat trout in the Cowichan River due to a number of landowners wanting “beaches” on their properties and preventing ample storage to stop these losses.
  • We are requesting that DFO take as active a role as possible in engaging with the Province to increase and standardize the application of the Riparian Area Regulations. SEHAB sees the RAR as the last real tool to protect habitat. Municipalities and Regional Districts are having to deal with the RAR and many are ill-equipped in resources, knowledge and support.
  • We request that stewardship of the resource become a clear and simple objective. A public education campaign that describes that stewardship and protection of the resource and the natural systems that support the resource are far superior to mitigation or regulatory enforcement. This highlights agricultural lands where RAR does not apply and producers are often simply ignorant of BMP’s. A stewardship approach such as the Environmental Farm Planning program has done wonders for educating producers whereas “heavy-handed” enforcement only makes enemies and puts the restoration of the violation on the back burner when in fact, it is the repair that is the priority, not the enforcement action.
  • Huge concerns that ecosystem and stock assessment research into “beach wrack harvesting” prior to authorization of any harvest plans may not be required or completed. We request DFO becomes involved to ensure that this job-creation and profitable business is not a harmful disruption to an ecosystem that supports all salmon stocks and at various life stages with extensive areas of foreshore rearing habitat and forage fish habitats. Kelp planting and eelgrass restoration efforts by community have been underway for several years as it was determined that these natural communities (near shore kelp and algal communities) are essential to the health of the resource and are in serious decline.


  1. PAR Workshop

            This Workshop has been developed to address unanswered questions and have a single source of information for moving forward with Aquaculture Licencing. The concept is to bring legal counsel, DFO veterinarian and science personnel, Community Advisors, First Nations, Senior DFO Management in decision-making capacities, the National Aquaculture Working Group and SEHAB. Participants will be those whose facilities will require licencing and will have opportunity to be present in person along with a webinar for those who may not be able to attend.

The Aquaculture Licence Committee has applied to two aquaculture oriented         funding opportunities. Both have suggested that SEP is not a commercial    operation and is therefore not eligible. The committee is trying elsewhere but warns time to do this in conjunction with the next SEHAB meeting in order to save money is drawing short. Do you have any suggestions as to where we could apply for some money to put this together?


  1. Next Meeting

            February 1, 2 and 3 with a Friday information session on Cohen, Bill C-38 implications and relationship with the WSP


a.   Review of Issues carried forward from November 2, 3 and 4, 2012, Vancouver, BC





1.SEHAB would like to know how they can voice their opinions on the Enbridge Pipeline. Bonnie suggested that they participate in the Enbridge Open Houses.

DFO to provide the web link describing the process for advertising the Enbridge Open Houses. Link is:

Graham van der Slagt


2.Concern that Seymour Licence will expire on June 15th 2013 instead of June 30th like all of the other PAR enhancement licences

DFO to check on expiry date on Seymour Licence and report back to Brian Smith

Graham van der Slagt


3.SEHAB would like to access the Aquaculture Innovation Fund to help them fund the costs associated with hosting a workshop in February focused on aquaculture licences

DFO to check into whether SEHAB can access the Aquaculture Innovation Fund

Graham van der Slagt


4.SEHAB is concerned that Metro Vancouver is not implementing a new water use plan that would help with fish health/passage.

SEHAB would like to know if DFO can put pressure on Metro Vancouver to approve and implement their water use plan

Graham van der Slagt


5.Lack of clarity on new Public Involvement Program contracting policy (MERX)

DFO to develop and share a Q&A document for Community Advisors and SEHAB members to clarify questions that have arisen.

Graham van der Slagt

Completed (sent by Tina Chestnut Nov 8th)

6.SEHAB would still like to participate in the next IHPC meeting as an observer

DFO to verify when the next meeting is taking place

Graham van der Slagt


7.Next DFO-SEHAB meeting date

DFO to book meeting room and people's calendars for February 4th, 2013

Graham van der Slagt


8.PAR Workshop

Short-term prep for workshop

Graham / ZoAnn


9.Is DFO involved with Provincial Water Act modernization process?

Share DFO’s perspective



10.Major concerns related to lack of assessment into “beach wrack” harvesting

DFO will check into this



11.Beach wrack harvesting – additional

Forward information regarding commercial proponents