Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers Meeting

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In June, the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) met to discuss a broad range of common priorities including marine conservation, a process to review the Fisheries Act, market access for Canadian fish and seafood, responsible aquaculture development, and aquatic invasive species.

The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Honourable Rick Doucet, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries. Attendees included Ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, and Nunavut, along with representatives from British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Northwest Territories and, Yukon.

CCFAM members shared their priorities and discussed ways they could work in partnership to advance their goals of economic growth, strengthening global market access for Canadian fish and seafood products, including seals, and protecting Canada’s oceans, coasts, waterways, and fisheries.

Ministers reiterated their commitment to increase collaboration on marine protection and to work together to support federal, provincial, and territorial marine conservation targets.

Ministers also discussed the damaging impact of aquatic invasive species on infrastructure and on the environment and renewed their commitment to work together to combat aquatic invasive species.

The economic value and potential of Canada’s aquaculture sector was also discussed. Recognizing aquaculture’s potential to create jobs, economic growth and prosperity in remote, rural, coastal, and Indigenous communities, the Ministers reviewed and provided further direction on a three-year CCFAM Aquaculture Development Strategy.

The strategy promotes strong and environmentally sustainable aquaculture development, responsible growth and the engagement of stakeholders.

Ministers discussed the process to review changes to the Fisheries Act announced on June 20th by the Government of Canada which will restore lost protections to fish and fish habitat and incorporate modern safeguards.

Market access and continued emphasis on high quality Canadian fish and seafood products was also discussed by CCFAM.

Ministers supported the compilation of an inventory of federal, provincial, and territorial financing programs that specifically support the fish and seafood sector.

Ministers were briefed on the Government of Canada’s Clean Energy Initiative and discussed innovation opportunities in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

As the meeting concluded, Ministers agreed to work together to identify approaches to advance common goals and priorities in the coming months.

Canada Seafood Facts

Canadian fish and seafood exports continue to grow with total sales of $6 billion in 2015. This represents a record high growth rate of 21% and a $1 billion increase since 2014.

Aquaculture accounts for nearly 50% of seafood consumed worldwide. By 2030, it is estimated that demand will exceed supply by 40 million tonnes.

source: Government of Canada