Aquaculture North America

Regulatory changes would streamline aquaculture in Canada

September 15, 2014
By Liza Mayer

Ruth Salmon, executive director for the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), says that proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations announced in June by Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, will provide the industry with greater clarity and certainty.

         At present fish farmers – who are regulated by 10 different federal agencies – can find themselves considering a product to treat their fish – one that’s been approved by the Pest Management Regulatory Agency or by the Veterinary Product Directorate – only to discover that they’re not allowed to use it under the Federal Fisheries Act (FFA) governed by DFO.

         The ongoing effort within the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans to “streamline” aquaculture regulation was announced by Fisheries Minister Gail Shea with the aid and support of Assistant Deputy Minister for Program Policy, Trevor Swerdfager.

         At press time the regulations hadn’t been finalized and gazetted, so Salmon was waiting until she sees the details before commenting.


         Both the industry and public have been promised time to provide feedback to Shea and DFO. The strength of industry support will depend on what’s in the details of the proposed changes.

         Salmon also noted that some of those changes are to be applied by DFO right across Canada and not just in BC, where the department is the lead government agency on the aquaculture industry.

         Salmon stressed that Shea emphasized that, as always, DFO will continue to require farmers to monitor and report on their activities.

         “The industry does that now anyway, and we’re not opposed to that,” Salmon said. “The fact is that this will provide us some clarity and spell out how these (pesticide and medical-treatment) products can be used once they have been approved for health and safety. We support the general objectives of these regulations.”

— Quentin Dodd

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