` Oceana Fishery Audit 2021

If Commitments Were Met, We Would See Change

If DFO completed all deliverables outlined in all five of its fiscal-year work plans (2017/18 to 2021/22), we’d see a big jump in the number of critically depleted stocks with rebuilding plans, as well as appreciable gains in the number of stocks with LRPs and USRs.

Stocks with LRPs:


Stocks with USRs:


Stocks included in IFMPs:


Critical zone stocks with rebuilding plans:


Big Commitments, Little Action
Over the past five years, the federal government has announced many commitments to improve fisheries management and backed those up with significant investments. However, it has been slow to implement them. DFO work plans make this clear. On average, DFO has only completed a quarter of the deliverables laid out in its work plans each year since Oceana Canada began its annual audits. As a result, progress on the water has been limited. To ensure robust fisheries management and better support rebuilding depleted stocks, DFO must address the systemic issues preventing it from meeting its commitments.

DFO work plan deliverables completed* (%)

Purpose : Achieve the department’s own priorities set out each year, including developing LRPs, IFMPs and rebuilding plans.


* New indicator in 2018


Positive pandemic performance
This year, DFO cited the pandemic as a cause of one-third of delayed deliverables. Despite COVID-19 restrictions and policies that saw many people working remotely, DFO increased the proportion of completed work plan deliverables from 14.3% to 19.5%. Hopefully, this positive trend accelerates in the coming years.


Credit: Alamy Stock Photo/Lee Brown