Ontario’s licensed (non-aboriginal) commercial fishery is regulated by a series of Federal and Provincial legislative Acts. The most prominent Acts governing the industry are the:
- Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act
- Federal Fisheries Act
- Ontario Fishing Regulations
- Provincial Fish Inspection Act
- Canadian Food Inspection Act
- Federal Public Health Act
- Provincial Public Health Act
In addition, the industry is governed by a series of ‘Conditions of License’ which vary from quota zone to quota zone and lake to lake.
All fish landed in the Province of Ontario by a non-aboriginal commercial fishery are subject to inspection prior to offloading the day’s catch. This is accomplished by two methods. On Lake Erie, the bulk of the catches are scrutinized by a government appointed dock-side monitor and sample weights are taken which must correlate to the Daily-Catch-Report (DCR) filed by the Captain of the fishing vessel. Where a dock-side monitor is not available, the Captain must file the DCR report at a lock-box station prior to off-loading his catch. When utilizing this method, the Captain and the DCR’s are subject to random audits by Conservation Officers.
Processed fish, which are exported from Canada, are regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.