Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is the voice of Canada’s fish and seafood industry, promoting a healthy resource and working to develop an economically sound, market-driven, competitively-structured industry that offers harvesters, employees, and processors secure and stable opportunities and a sustainable future.
A Non-Profit Trade Association
The Council is a non-profit trade association representing companies engaged in the growing, harvesting, processing, importing and marketing of fish and seafood. It is an organization of like-minded fisheries and seafood associations and enterprises that support shared, fundamental principles.
Over 100 Years of Experience
First formed in 1915 as the Canadian Fisheries Association, it was reorganized and became the Fisheries Council of Canada in 1945. The Council represents about 100 member companies in Atlantic Canada, British Columbia, Quebec, the Prairies, Nunavut, and Ontario. These member companies process the majority of Canada’s fish and seafood production. Member companies also harvest a significant portion of the fisheries resources of Canada.
In addition, more than 35 Canadian and international companies and institutions providing products and services to the industry are associate members of the Fisheries Council of Canada.
We Represent Our Members in Ottawa
FCC maintains ongoing liaison with ministers and officials of numerous government departments, agencies, and parliamentary committees. The Council provides leadership, representing the industry on matters of national and international concern before parliamentary committees, advisory boards, commissions, and ministers, as well as foreign governments.
FCC maintains ongoing relations with fish and seafood industry associations in other countries as well as relations with ministries of foreign governments and international organizations such as the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations.
Areas of Work
The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is Canada’s commercial fishing industry’s voice in Ottawa. In order to create a favourable policy and regulatory environment for our members, FCC works with several departments including, Fisheries & Oceans, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Global Affairs Canada (International Trade) , Environment and Climate Change Canada, Employment & Social Development Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. FCC also works with international agencies and fishing industry counterparts in other countries regarding issues such as sustainable fisheries management, conservation and export to foreign markets.
Examples of specific work areas and activities include:
1. Market Access/Trade Policy
- communications with the US Task Force on IUU Fishing & Seafood Fraud and subsequent filing of a formal FCC submission on the proposed rule
- joint FCC and National Fisheries Institute submission to the Canada-USA “Beyond the Border” initiative regarding seafood inspection equivalency agreement and harmonization of food safety action levels
- worked with the Government of Canada, US Food and Drug Administration, US Customs Bureau, and the US seafood industry to get workable prior notice and plant registration rules introduced regarding the US Bioterrorism Act
European Union (EU)
- worked with like-minded seafood associations to get an improved EU Import Quota regime for 2013-15
- represented the Canadian live capture fishing industry in the Canada-EU Trade Agreement negotiations
- coordinated our industry’s input regarding the EU’s proposed catch certification regime
- worked to get EU Member States to update their approved lobster commercial designation to permit labelling as “Canadian lobster (Homarus Americanus)”
- organized industry to meet the filing deadline for the approved exporter list
- Worked with CFIA and External Affairs to develop a co-ordinated strategy to normalize market access for the shell-on shrimp sector
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
- Represented the Canadian seafood industry in the negotiations of the TPP
Certification and Market Access Issues
- FCC, with financial support from Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, developed a Canadian model to have third party certification of Canadian fisheries based on the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries Management Seafood Marketing Institute
2. Inspection/Technical Issues
- FCC is a member of the CFIA ad hoc working group regarding CFIA’s Inspection Modernization initiative
- FCC was successful in getting Health Canada to approve a health claim regarding Omega 3 lowering triglyceride levels
- FCC pressed Health Canada for changes to its sodium reduction targets (i.e. salt is naturally occurring in ocean fish and seafood)
- FCC worked to have the European Union amend its initiative regarding the testing for cadmium in lobsters
- FCC worked to have China introduce a user-friendly fish and seafood market import certificate
3. Environmental/Ocean Use Issues
- FCC and its members engage actively with DFO regarding the designation of marine protected areas.
- FCC, as a member of ICFA (International Coalition of Fisheries Associations) participates in United Nations fora regarding ocean use, fisheries management, conservation, etc.
4. International Fisheries Issues
- FCC is a member of ICFA. The coalition of national fisheries associations represents fishing industry interests at world forms such as the UN, FAO, IUCN, etc.
- FCC worked with Transport Canada to ensure that fishing vessels were exempted from the proposed Polar Code’s double hull requirement
FCC is directed by a twenty-member Board of Directors. Each processor association, group of direct corporate processor members, and the direct corporate importer groups get one board member per 5% of the assessments.
The Board of Directors
The Board of Directors holds in-person meetings at least twice per year. The Board Chair is elected yearly.
The Executive Committee of the Board is comprised of the Chair, vice-Chair and past-Chair.
FCC members have formed a number of committees to assist and manage with the many files that are dealt with as part of the FCC’s areas of work.
The Committees include:
Market Access /Trade Policy