Canada takes new steps to improve aquaculture sector
December 10, 2018
By Aquaculture North America Staff
The Canadian government announced a number of initiatives on Monday to improve the country’s aquaculture sector and further protect threatened wild salmon populations.
A key initiative includes a study on the alternative technologies for aquaculture, including land and sea-based closed containment technology. The study will help determine gaps that limit commercial readiness and help to inform future technology development efforts, according to a release, and will be conducted in partnership with Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Province of British Columbia.
Another key focus is moving towards an area-based approach to aquaculture management – to ensure that environmental, social and economic factors are taken into consideration when identifying potential areas for aquaculture development – including considerations relating to migration pathways for wild salmon. The British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund will also be receiving more than $100 million in federal funding over six years, with provincial funding still to be announced.
Another key initiative is developing a framework for aquaculture risk management, based on the precautionary approach, which will ensure the sustainable management of aquaculture, and will be the overarching framework for future policies.
And finally, creating a single comprehensive set of regulations – the General Aquaculture Regulations, which the government says will bring more clarity for industry, stakeholders and the Canadian public about how aquaculture is managed for responsible growth in Canada.
“The Government of Canada is committed to making aquaculture more effective, efficient and environmentally sustainable,” stated Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard. “Together, with Indigenous, environmental and industry partners, we will lead the way towards a more prosperous and sustainable aquaculture industry.”
The initiatives announced Monday follow last week’s meeting of the Canadian Council for Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) in St. John’s, Newfoundland, where ministers agreed to the development of a federal Aquaculture Act that will enhance sector transparency, facilitate the adoption of best practices and provide greater consistency and certainty for industry.