Value: Annual funding of the AFS is $35 million, with about 125 AFS agreements signed each year since the implementation of the program.
In 1990, the Supreme Court of Canada issued a landmark ruling in the Sparrow decision. This decision found that the Musqueam First Nation has an Aboriginal right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes. The Supreme Court found that where an Aboriginal group has a right to fish for food, social and ceremonial purposes, it takes priority, after conservation, over other uses of the resource. The Supreme Court also indicated the importance of consulting with Aboriginal groups when their fishing rights might be affected. In response to this decision, and to provide stable fishery management, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) launched the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) in 1992. The AFS is applicable where DFO manages the fishery and where land claims settlements have not already put a fisheries management regime in place. The program objectives are:
- To provide a framework for the management of fishing by Aboriginal groups for food, social and ceremonial purposes
- To provide Aboriginal groups with an opportunity to participate in the management of fisheries, thereby improving conservation, management and enhancement of the resource
- To contribute to the economic self-sufficiency of Aboriginal communities
- To provide a foundation for the development of self-government agreements and treaties
- To improve the fisheries management skills and capacity of Aboriginal groups
Contact: Fisheries and Oceans Canada | 604-666-0384 | email@example.com