Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science

Terms of Reference

1. Objective

The independent Expert Panel (IEP) will provide advice and recommendations to the Minister of Science and the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans on: (1) the appropriate use of scientific evidence in decisions concerning aquaculture; and (2) the transparent and effective public communication of the underlying scientific evidence and rationale for policy and regulatory decisions related to impacts on the marine environment. 

2. About the Panel

As the Chair of the Panel, Canada’s Chief Science Advisor (CSA) will determine and invite appropriate experts. It is expected that approximately 6-10 experts may be needed to address the range of issues for discussion, including international experts. Panel decision-making will be based on consensus.

3. Panel Questions

In achieving its mandate, the Panel will provide advice and recommendations on:

  • The consideration of scientific evidence in risk-based decision-making and policy development processes that form the basis for the management of aquaculture;
  • The priority-setting process for aquaculture science work at Fisheries and Oceans Canada; and
  • Opportunities to improve communication of aquaculture science findings and resulting decisions to Canadians.

4. Deliverables and timelines

Panel responses to the charge questions, and associated recommendations, will be included in a report submitted to the Ministers by the CSA. It is expected that a draft report will be submitted on or before July 1, 2018, with a final report submitted by September 1, 2018.

5. Panel support

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) will provide the resources for all necessary administrative, management, research and production support, including, but not limited to:

  1. timely production and provisioning of all required background documentation;
  2. meeting organization, logistics, and reporting/documentation, including preparation of meeting summaries;
  3. preparation of all internal/public communication materials, as required; and
  4. editing, translation and production of both the draft and final reports;
  5. contracting professional services as required.

6. Panel confidentiality

Expert Panel discussions will be confidential. Correspondence among panel members will also be considered confidential and must not be shared with any non-panel members. Draft reports, or sections thereof, must also be treated as confidential.

7. Publication of final report

In keeping with the mandate of the CSA, the final report of the expert panel will be publicly available. 

8. Panel remuneration

Panelists will serve without remuneration, but will be compensated for travel and accommodation expenses based on current Treasury Board standards and rates.

9. Conflict of Interest

Panelists are expected to abide by Treasury Board policies on Apparent Conflict of interest and Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment. All panelists are expected to declare any real or perceived conflict of interest to the CSA. Members may be recused from discussions and/or decisions on those issues from which the real or perceived conflict arises.