Blue Economy Regulatory Review

General Intrests

**** Via DFO

The health of our oceans is essential for healthy communities. Ghost gear (abandoned, lost or otherwise discarded fishing gear) threatens the future of that healthy foundation, which is why we’re committed to taking action against it.

To ensure Canadian fisheries continue to thrive, the Blue Economy Regulatory Review will explore ways to strengthen efforts to reduce and eliminate ghost gear with the use of eco-friendly materials in the production of sustainable fishing gear.

Blue Economy Regulatory Review

In December 2019, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO) was mandated to lead the development of a comprehensive Blue Economy Strategy. The strategy will aim to:

  • accelerate the transformation of Canada’s marine sectors from a traditional ocean economy to a sustainable blue economy
  • outline Canada’s vision for its ocean-related sectors
  • help guide future federal government actions and investments that enable long-term sustainable growth, especially for coastal communities

From February 8 to June 15, 2021, DFO ran a public engagement process where they received input based on questions asked in the Blue Economy Strategy Engagement Paper(External link). More than 1,600 Canadians shared their ideas and perspectives on how Canada should develop its Blue Economy Strategy.

On March 11, 2022, Minister Joyce Murray released What We Heard: Engaging on Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy(External link), which provides a summary of feedback received during the engagement process. There was a general consensus from Canadians on a desire to foster a blue economy that:

  • provides sustainable growth opportunities
  • enhances the participation of underrepresented groups to promote equity, address labor market skills gaps and drive innovation in the ocean economy

More specifically, DFO heard the following:

  • need for consistency across jurisdictions to support dependable decision-making
  • regulations must be agile and responsive to innovation and emerging sectors
  • current regulations do not allow for industry to operate with predictability and certainty
  • concerns around inconsistent decision-making across regions and the lack of transparency regarding factors that inform decision-making
  • Canada’s regulations are out of date, slow to adapt and overly cumbersome

Under the leadership of DFO, with the support of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS), the third round of targeted regulatory reviews will include a review focused on the blue economy. The Blue Economy Regulatory Review will examine:

  • the role of regulation as a driver of ocean innovation
  • regulatory and administrative barriers to environmentally sustainable growth
  • ways to facilitate the development of agile regulations to address concerns of future oriented ocean industries


DFO and TBS are inviting input from all interested parties on the Blue Economy Regulatory Review. Your feedback to date has resulted in the identification and prioritization of five (5) specific theme areas for which we are seeking additional insight at this time. A summary of the proposed blue economy themes, guiding questions and instructions for submissions are detailed on this site.

Responses received from this consultation will be used to inform the Blue Economy Regulatory Roadmap. Regulatory Roadmaps lay out plans to advance regulatory modernization in support of sustainable economic growth and innovation.

Who should participate

We are seeking input from the following groups:

  • ocean industry stakeholders
  • Indigenous peoples
  • other levels of government
  • other organizations or individuals interested in regulatory issues related to the blue economy

How to participate

Below, you will find several blue economy themes where we are seeking your input. Please review each theme and share your views through the platform by March 17, 2023.

Sharing your views using this platform provides an opportunity to engage in conversation with others; however, if you prefer to share your views using email, please email link).

We may follow up with you to explore your input in more detail and may share your comments with other teams, departments or governments, where relevant. Input received that falls outside of the scope of this consultation will be shared with the relevant regulator(s) for their information.

We will continue to make use of input submitted to date. If you are interested in re-emphasizing your previous input, you can simply refer to your past submission using the on-line platform referenced below. There is no need to resubmit your earlier input.

For assistance

Visit the Let’s Talk Federal Regulations 101 Page to learn how:

  • to use the platform
  • to register and provide comments
  • the feedback will be reported back


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