Industry welcomes Diane Lebouthillier as new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
July 27, 2023
By Maryam Farag
After MP Joyce Murray’s announcement that she will not run again in the next federal election, the aquaculture industry has welcomed Minister Diane Lebouthillier as the new federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard (DFO).
“We congratulate and look forward to working in partnership with the new Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Diane Lebouthillier,” said Timothy Kennedy, president & CEO of CAIA. “Salmon farming in British Columbia has faced significant policy challenges in the last few years, resulting in a reduction in food production and jobs, and higher food prices for Canadians. Under this new Minister we are optimistic for a fresh, innovative and pragmatic approach to growing and leveraging the competitive advantage that Canada’s ocean resources offer.”
The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans holds lead federal responsibility for aquaculture and Canada’s farmed seafood sector, which operates in every part of the country creating well-paying jobs for close to 20,000 Canadians.
According to CAIA, wild caught seafood cannot meet growing domestic and international demand for seafood. In response, aquaculture has grown substantially worldwide. Each year demand is expected to grow annually by 6.90 per cent (CAGR 2023-2028). This has led to nations such as Norway, U.K., Iceland, Chile and the U.S. significantly expanding their capacity.
“We understand Minister Lebouthillier is from a fishing community,” said Brian Kingzett, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. “We appreciate the appointment of a Minister that understands the opportunities and challenges of resource-based communities, especially in relation to the federal salmon farming Transition Plan.”
Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s largest aquaculture export and, before 2020, created over $1.6 billion in economic activity annually in B.C.
Salmon farmers in B.C. are committed to the sector’s transition principles of supporting First Nations’ right to self-determination, reconciliation and tripartite governance with Indigenous rights holders. According to BCSFA, salmon farmers in B.C. can provide sustainable sector growth while aligning with Canada’s Climate Change Plan and Blue Economy Strategy, developing broader trust and transparency.
“We are ready to meet with Minister Lebouthillier, along with our members and the First Nations whose territories we operate in, to learn more about the sector and the role of salmon farming in supporting poverty reduction, economic growth and sustainable food production in BC,” said Kingzett. “We look forward to learning more about our new Minister, her vision, and how we can align.”
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