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Co-Management Partners

Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and its Special Operating Agency, the Canadian Coast Guard, deliver programs and services that support sustainable use and development of Canada’s waterways and aquatic resources.


Excellence in service to Canadians to ensure the sustainable development and safe use of Canadian waters.


It is our mission, as DFO employees, to deliver to Canadians the following outcomes:

  • Safe and Accessible Waterways;
  • Healthy and Productive Aquatic Ecosystems; and
  • Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture.

In working toward these outcomes, the Department will be guided by the principles of sound scientific knowledge and effective management.


On behalf of the Government of Canada, DFO is responsible for developing and implementing policies and programs in support of Canada’s scientific, ecological, social and economic interests in oceans and fresh waters.

DFO is a national and international leader in marine safety and in the management of oceans and freshwater resources. Departmental activities and presence on Canadian waters help to ensure the safe movement of people and goods. As a sustainable development department, DFO will integrate environment, economic and social perspectives to ensure Canada’s oceans and freshwater resources benefit this generation and those to come.

The Department’s guiding legislation includes the Oceans Act, which charges the Minister with leading oceans management and providing coast guard and hydrographic services on behalf of the Government of Canada, and the Fisheries Act, which confers responsibility to the Minister for the management of fisheries, habitat and aquaculture. The Department is also one of the three responsible authorities under the Species at Risk Act.

In real terms, what do we do?

  • Save lives.
  • Work with security forces to ensure the safe and secure use of Canada’s waterways.
  • Help with ship-to-shore communication, navigation, and clear passageways for safe water travel.
  • Study, conserve and protect aquatic ecosystems.
  • Conduct scientific research and related activities, which are vital to the understanding and sustainable management of Canada’s oceans and aquatic resources.
  • Work in collaboration to manage the commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries.
  • Provide services to fishermen such as issuing licences.
  • Create the conditions to support a vibrant and sustainable aquaculture industry.
  • Maintain a network of harbours.
  • Ensure compliance with environmental standards and regulations in support of economic development and other activities.
  • Provide high-quality hydrographic data, products and services.
  • Respond to ship-sourced oil spills
  • Develop and promote the wise use of technology to ensure the long-term health of Canada’s waters.

The Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board (GRRB) is a co-management board composed of representatives selected by: The Gwich’in Tribal Council, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, The Canadian Wildlife Service, and The Department of Environment & Natural Resources.




Gwich'in Renewable Resources Board