RAP consists of a secretariat, a Coordination Committee, Editorial Board,
and working groups.
The Secretariat consists of a RAP coordinator, administrator
and secretary. The Secretariat oversees the RAP schedule and agenda, assists in the conduct of
RAP meetings as required, arranges editorial services as directed by the Coordination Committee,
arranges for the translation of status reports, catalogues working papers and other documents,
distributes documents and other RAP products both within and external to DFO, maintains computer
files of RAP reports, and provides other administrative services as required. It also interacts
with similar secretariats established in other regions, including Ottawa.
The Coordination Committee coordinates the RAP. This includes
identifying the issues to be addressed, establishing the work agenda and schedule, and monitoring
activities of RAP meetings. It provides a forum for the review of research recommendations generated
by the RAP and dialogue on those issues that require priority attention. Recommendations of a regional
nature are forwarded to regional line managers and those with zonal implications are submitted to the
Canadian Stock Assessment Secretariat (CSAS).
The Coordination Committee provides an editorial service for status reports and
proceedings through an Editorial Board which is established on an ad-hoc basis to review
documents. It is chaired by the RAP Coordinator, and consists of the relevant RAP meeting chair, the
author(s) of the reports under review and can include invited participants. Notice of an Editorial Board
meeting is copied to members of the RAP Coordination Committee in the event they wish to participate.
Individuals, such as regional scientists and members of the fishing industry can be requested to assist
the board in its editorial function.
The Coordination Committee is chaired by the RAP Coordinator, who reports to the
Maritimes Regional Director of Science and has a memorandum of understanding with the Gulf Fisheries
Management Region. It has, as members, Science and Oceans Division Managers, Directors of Science,
Fisheries Management, and Economics from both regions, the Director of the Oceans Act Office (Maritimes),
the CSAS Coordinator, and regional delegates as appointed by the RAP Coordinator. Chairs of RAP reviews and
other participants, such as stakeholders can be invited to meetings. The Coordination Committee meets at
least twice per year and as required. The fall meeting reviews both the previous year's activities and
discusses in detail the plans for the coming year.
RAP meetings are chaired by individuals nominated by the Coordination Committee
on an issues basis. Meetings are held to provide the scientific basis for the management of the regions'
marine and freshwater resources, and their habitat. Meetings are also held to provide advice on the
appropriate objectives, strategies, and regulatory measures (tactics) for the fisheries of the Maritimes
Region and the Gulf Fisheries Management Region. To this end, a RAP meeting is mandated to:
- Review all pertinent scientific data and analyses, and conducts such analyses as may be required to
establish the status of stocks and their habitat, and to advise on management of both stocks and habitat.
- Conduct reviews related to ocean management, e.g. ecosystem consideration guidelines ,
Marine Protected Areas (MPA), and ocean management plans.
- Conduct reviews related to aquaculture, e.g. impact of aquaculture activities on the
- Conduct reviews of management issues e.g. fisheries management plans, both proposed and already
implemented, strategic reference points (target and limit), catch versus effort control, the regulation
of dumping and discarding, rules on capacity control, etc., either brought forward by RAP or by other
bodies, such as the Fisheries Management Studies Working Group (FMSWG).
- Provide a forum for discussion of the biology of the stocks and their habitat and of methods for
determination of their status, potential yields, safe conservation levels, and response to habitat
- Provide a forum for debate and consensus building on fishery management issues, based on technical
analyses which address the elements of the DFO business lines relevant to these issues. RAP encourages
a coordinated and harmonized approach to the implementation of management measures and procedures across
- Review the reports of scientific deliberations of international scientific organizations
(e.g. ICES, NAFO, NASCO) and of other external bodies or individuals and comments on matters relevant
to RAP's mandate.
- Provide input to and conducts reviews of the products of DFO and non-DFO agencies, such as the FRCC,
which make statements on DFO's management approaches.
- Identify research requirements and recommends programs as may be required to line management via
the RAP Coordination Committee.
Attendance at RAP meetings varies in relation to the issues being discussed and can
involve experts from DFO, outside agencies, universities, the fishing and oceans use industries, who can
provide meaningful input to the review process. These participants provide the nucleus of the peer review.
As well, meetings are open to any interested party. If associations wish to send representatives,
they would contact the chair and generally they would be allowed to attend. However, it would be
acknowledged that they are representatives rather than experts. All participants are allowed to
participate in the discussion and formulation of the final products. Participation of the media is at
the discretion of the meeting chair. The chairs make the purpose of each meeting clear, what is expected
from participants, the place of RAP in the overall management process, and the status of the material under
consideration. Regional line management is to ensure that there are sufficient scientific staff in
attendance at any RAP meeting to provide rigorous scientific peer review.
Outside scientists or agencies can present scientific papers to a RAP meeting for peer
review. However, if such a paper is presented to a RAP meeting, the outside scientists are expected to
remain at the RAP meeting for the full meeting rather than present the paper in question and then depart.
Such papers are to be submitted to the meeting chair two weeks in advance of the meeting with a request
that they be peer reviewed at the meeting, and not tabled the day of the meeting with the expectation that
it will be peer reviewed.
Routinely, individuals are not paid to attend RAP meetings, however there is a small
budget for travel of outside experts who have been invited to the meeting that can be used if needed.
Working Groups are struck when needed to address particular issues.
Current Working Groups include:
- Plankton Trends Working Group
- Fisheries Management Studies Working Group, and
- ICCAT Working Group
Attendance at working group meetings is generally limited to DFO staff with external
participation invited as required.
Notices of meetings are posted with the Communications Secretariat in Halifax with
the name and phone number of the meeting chair and instructions informing individuals wishing to observe
the meeting to contact the chair. These are also posted on the intranet site for the convenience of DFO
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