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Canada Moving Forward With Aquaculture

by the Fish Site Editor
10 December 2009, at 12:00am

CANADA - According to a recent announcement by the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), aquaculture is an important segment of the marine sector economy.

Aquatic resources have long played an important role in Canada's development and growth as a nation, reports Fishfarmingexpert.com.

They are integral to the historical, economic and cultural fabric of Canada's coastal communities, providing a strong and reliable resource base around which Canada's national economy and sense of nationhood grew. More recently, aquaculture, the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, molluscs, crustaceans, and aquatic plants, has emerged as a principal force within the Canadian fish and seafood sector.

Unlike commercial fisheries, farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing process - e.g. regular stocking, feeding, or protection from predators - that enhances production. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being cultivated. Since the first National Aquaculture Conference in St. Andrews, in 1983, the capacity to develop aquaculture in Canada has been recognised and encouraged.

Nevertheless, after 25 years of development, Canadian aquaculture still has considerable untapped potential. Now more than ever, circumstances warrant development of a vibrant and innovative aquaculture industry to complement commercial fisheries in a manner that is environmentally and socially responsible, economically prosperous and internationally competitive.

It is time to develop this opportunity. Within each of the industry sub-sectors, there exists a tremendous potential for expansion that is enhanced by the many competitive advantages stemming from Canada's bio-physical geography and inherent experience and expertise in the fish and seafood industry. The realisation of this potential, however, requires the collective and collaborative effort of all stakeholders (industry, governments, First Nations, Aboriginal groups and interested parties) to develop concise strategic Action Plans targeted toward specific initiatives intended to resolve the most pressing constraints to sustainable industry development.

In 2008, DFO's new Sustainable Aquaculture ProgramME was established to develop the conditions for the success of a more vibrant and innovative Canadian aquaculture sector that is environmentally and socially sustainable and internationally competitive for the benefit of all Canadians. This new initiative has four pillars including regulatory reform, increased regulatory science to inform decision-making, innovation, and certification and market access.

Under the leadership and direction of DFO, and with the support of the Provinces and Territories, the National Aquaculture Strategic Action Planning Initiative (NASAPI) has been launched to develop targeted action plans to facilitate sustainable growth in all regions of the country.

Each Strategic Action Plan will target precise and realistic objectives to be achieved within a 5-year time frame. Implementation will be facilitated through a national agreement endorsed by the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) and coordinated amongst the federal and provincial / territorial governments via MOUs or other similar mechanisms.

the Fish Site Editor