Senate Fisheries Committee Calls for Creation of Federal Aquaculture Act

Today, the Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled its three-volume report on aquaculture.

In its report, the committee outlines 10 recommendations covering five main themes: legislative and regulatory framework; healthy aquacultured fish; healthy and productive ecosystems; research and development; and social license and public reporting.

Among its recommendations, the Committee calls for the creation of a federal aquaculture Act.

“The central message of our Senate Committee report is that there is an ocean of opportunities for aquaculture in Canada. After completing our extensive 18-month study, we are confident that the Canadian aquaculture industry can grow steadily over the next 10 years and do so sustainably – environmentally, economically and socially. We believe that a strong federal role in the regulation of aquaculture – expressed through a new piece of legislation – is necessary to improve the governance of the industry across the country and stimulate investment,” said Senator Fabian Manning (Newfoundland and Labrador), chair of the committee.

“During our study on aquaculture, we had the opportunity to hear from a wide range of groups and individuals who shared their views about aquaculture. We gave serious consideration to their comments and suggestions as we developed our own observations and conclusions about aquaculture and the challenges and prospects for this industry in Canada. I believe Canada has an opportunity to be a world leader in aquaculture and many of the recommendations outlined in our report will help us achieve this success,” said  Senator Elizabeth Hubley (Prince Edward Island), deputy chair of the committee.

During the study, the committee sat for 66 hours, held 34 public hearings, heard the views of 138 witnesses, and received hundreds of written submissions and other documentation. Senators also visited 23 Canadian regions in six provinces – British Columbia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Québec – and completed fact-finding missions in Norway and Scotland.

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