The idea for a registration and certification board started in 1991. Back then, the federal government was interested in having a provincial or regional body that would take on the responsibility for registering fish harvesters.

By 1999, the Nova Scotia Fisheries Sector Council started working to find a way to bring all the associations together to agree on a mandate for the new board. Between 2001 and 2004, they consulted with the industry to determine priority needs.

By 2006, the majority of PFR holders in the region voted in favour of having a registration body that would provide training standards and raise awareness about training requirements.

Between 2009 and 2015, the Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Act was passed, the by-laws and governance policies determined, and the whole structure was presented to and approved by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans.

In 2016, implementation began on the plan to establish the Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Board of Nova Scotia.

In 2020, the regulatory amendment passed and the final stages of the plan began with a goal of the board being fully operational by 2022.

Background FAQs

Q. Is the board new?
A. Yes – although the concept behind the board has been around since 1991. Learn more here.

Q. Does DFO recognize the board?
A. Yes. Over the next year, DFO will support and assist the board to register Nova Scotia fish harvesters. Once the board is active, you’ll have the choice of registering with the board, or with DFO. You will only pay once.

Q. How are directors selected/who are they?
A. Directors are selected by a nomination process and will represent each of Nova Scotia’s fleet sectors and geographical areas. A full outline of the process is included in the governance policy for the board.

Q. Where does the board get its authority?
A. This board is formed under the authority of the Fish Harvesters Registration and Certification Act that was passed in May 2012. The NS Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture was the sponsoring department for the legislation.

Q. How will I know what the board is doing?
A. Check in with this website, as well as our Facebook page. We will also send out regular newsletters to all registrants and attend regular meetings of fishery associations/organizations and produce an annual report.

Q. Will the board decide how I fish?
A. No. We are not involved in management of the fishery.