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Fisheries and Oceans

Photograph of Gaspé fishermen, Percé, Quebec, 1932

Gaspé fishermen, Percé, Quebec, 1932
Source ]

The Department of Marine and Fisheries, created on July 1, 1867, was legally responsible for the seacoast and inland fisheries of the new dominion.

When British Columbia entered Confederation in 1871, the federal government recognized the need for a strong presence in the Pacific region to monitor fisheries and oceans. The Department established a headquarters in Victoria, and by 1875, the Dominion Commissioner of Fisheries recommended that the Fisheries Act be applied to British Columbia. In the following year, a proclamation was issued, extending the Act.

The Government Organization Act of 1979 resulted in the creation of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, under which the federal government's fisheries management and ocean science programs are now jointly located. The Constitution Act, 1982 reinforced this mandate by granting the Department federal jurisdiction over fisheries, public harbours, and navigation. Today, the mandate still calls for the Department to manage Canada's waterways so that they are clean, safe, productive, and accessible -- to ensure sustainable use of fisheries resources, and to facilitate marine trade and commerce.

Documents on the depletion of the cod fishery, RG 23, volume 202, file 994, 14 pages
Source ]

Further Research

Department of Fisheries and Oceans fonds. Library and Archives Canada.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010).

"History of Departments: Fisheries and Oceans." Parliament of Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010)

Shipwreck Investigations. Library and Archives Canada.
(accessed June 13, 2010).