Canada creates new 'aquaculture science' committee

ANA staff
May 28, 2019
By ANA staff
Minister Jonathan Wilkinson
Minister Jonathan Wilkinson Photo credit: DFO
The Canadian government has announced the creation of an external advisory committee on aquaculture science and will "immediately" launch a public process to select member of this new committee.

Jonathan Wilkinson, minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, is leading this initiative and the public process, according to a statement from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).

"The Government knows the importance of implementing evidence-based policies relating to aquaculture," the statement said. "This represents a further step in ensuring Fisheries and Oceans Canada has the best and most up-to-date scientific information to assist in the development of aquaculture policies and decisions."

Following receipt of the 2018 Report on Aquaculture Science led by Canada's chief science advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, Wilkinson committed to building the federal government's capacity to develop and implement more effective regulations for the Canadian aquaculture industry.

Building on other recent actions, including the creation of the Departmental Science Advisor role and launching the State of Salmon Aquaculture Technology Study, the new advisory committee will be comprised of experts in the field who will assist the Canadian government in advancing scientifically sound aquaculture policy, the DFO said.

"Our Government of Canada is committed to advancing an evidence-based aquaculture sector that is both responsible and sustainable," Wilkinson said. "We are taking action to ensure decisions with respect to aquaculture and resource management are based on sound scientific advice and support a strong and sustainable fisheries industry for the future.

"The creation of an independent advisory committee on aquaculture science underlines our government's commitment to broadening our engagement on aquaculture science, and will provide us the benefit of a range of expertise."

In the statement, the DFO acknowledged that a successful aquaculture industry is important for addressing the growing global demand for seafood without putting more strain on wild stocks. "The use of best practices to ensure that the Canadian aquaculture industry is environmentally sustainable aligns with our government's commitment to fostering economic growth while effectively protecting our environment."

The new advisory committee on aquaculture science will be made up of five members, who will be selected based on their area of expertise and independence. This committee will comprise Canadian and international scientific experts, as well as an Indigenous representative.

The creation of this committee aligns with recommendations from the 2018 Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is now accepting nominations and expressions of interest for these positions.

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