Closing the Loop



Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) Regional Headquarters (RHQ), Vancouver, BC

Feb. 22, 2016, 9:30 – 11:30 am

Participation     SEHAB        Jack Minard, Central Vancouver Island

                                                Cindy Verbeek, Upper Skeena

                                                Brian Smith, North Vancouver to Port Moody

                                                Jan Lemon, North Coast

                                                ZoAnn Morten, Pacific Streamkeepers Federation

                                                Paul Cipywnyk, North Side Fraser River, Burnaby to Mission


DFO RHQ                   Cheryl Webb

                                Adam Silverstien

0900     Opening Remarks: Jack Minard

0905    Opening Remarks: Cheryl Webb

Priority Community Concern 

1. Salmonid Enhancement Program (SEP) budget

Current SEP budgets are insufficient to conduct mandated work:

  • Operational costs are rising (e.g., wages, fuel, etc.)
  • Impacts to Community Advisors’ resources to support community groups (e.g., fish food, mileage, etc).
  • CAs must be backfilled and other additional staffing options considered (see #4)

SEHAB ADVISES that the SEP budget be increased, recognizing that the current budget is not able to adequately support the SEP role in the community.

SEHAB REQUESTS that we be informed of what actions are being taken to make this happen and within what timeline.

2. LNG at Skeena

SEHAB ADVISES DFO that Skeena watershed and First Nations Communities, including the volunteers that we represent, are strongly opposed to the proposed LNG plant at Lelu island, Skeena River estuary.

  • Independent scientific reports state this is not a good location 

SEHAB requests that this opposition be communicated to the highest levels including the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Prime Minister. 

SEHAB further requests a response from the Minister that can be shared with our volunteer community as soon as possible.

3. Protect what we have

Volunteers are feeling a lack of support for the work they do. 

In light of Fisheries Act changes and changes in regional staffing, regarding habitat issues SEHAB ADVISES that the Ecosystem Branch become proactive in protecting the biological integrity of fish and fish habitat in the following ways;

  •  Financial Support: Sufficient financial resources to meet the mandate of SEP
  • Policy Support: That the Wild Salmon Policy and Cohen Commission recommendations be implemented.
  • Regulatory Support: action from Conservation and Protection, RAR, action on habitat infractions, protecting habitat.
  • Infrastructure support for volunteers: CAs, Stewardship Coordinators, attracting and mentoring new volunteers. Many stewardship groups have aging leaders and participants, and face difficulties in organizational continuity

4. Fisheries Enforcement

SEHAB representatives continue to observe a lack of response to reported infractions. This harms salmonid populations and undermines the relationship between the volunteer community and DFO.

SEHAB is seeing fisheries infractions are showing up on the C & P website, but we are not seeing any habitat infractions. Have there been no habitat infractions?


  • Update the fishing regulations portion of the website to reflect current regulations for the public
  • Ensure sufficient Fisheries Officer resources are available and active in each area
  • Prioritize Fisheries Officer response to infractions reported to the Observe, Record, Report (ORR) hotline
  • Reinstate a notification system as per our attached letter to Rebecca Reid
  • Create the ability for DFO staff to issue stop-work orders and/or fines on the spot

Example: When infractions on the lower Sunshine Coast are noted by the public, enforcement is at least a ferry ride away and only on work days. Damage cannot be quickly stopped because there are no fisheries officers in this area.

5. Meeting with Minister Tootoo

SEHAB requests assistance in scheduling a meeting with Minister Tootoo.

6. Meeting with National PAR Committee

Because decisions are being made at a national level we request a meeting with the National PAR Committee. This was in a previous Closing the Loop document but has not moved forward.

SEHAB requests that a meeting be organized, and that a timeline be determined and communicated to us before the next SEHAB meeting in June. 

7. Information sharing with SEHAB

SEHAB requests that DFO provide us with all pertinent information on

  • Meetings involving salmon enhancement and habitat with senior officials such as agendas and minutes
  • Changes in permitting (PAR)
  • Copies of presentations about SEP to groups other than SEHAB

We have a seat on the Integrated Fish Management Planning process and would like to be notified of meetings.

Action Items RHQ/SEHAB 09 November 2015





Org chart and responsibilities

Create current chart

Jason H


FO Habitat role

Flesh out


Before next RHQ Mtg

Seymour slide

Need DFO support – take to Ottawa

Cheryl W


Advice on habitat

Unpack for DFO



Include planning in funding






Feedback loop for ORR




Inform RHQ ahead of Monday meetings of key issues so can include relevant staff

Canvass prior to SEHAB meetings