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Fisheries, Aquaculture Ministers Continue to Work Together to Protect Fisheries

CANADA - Federal, provincial and territorial ministers concluded the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) in Victoria, British Columbia. Ministers discussed a range of issues such as aquaculture, aquatic invasive species, and protecting Canadas fisheries.

The meeting was co-chaired by Keith Ashfield, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture. In addition to Minister Ashfield, the Ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture in Yukon (Currie Dixon), Nunavut (James Arreak), Manitoba (Gord Mackintosh), Nova Scotia (Sterling Belliveau), New Brunswick (Michael Olscamp) and Prince Edward Island (Ron MacKinley) attended the meeting. Representatives from Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta also participated.

I am pleased and proud that we can come together as federal, provincial, and territorial partners to support the long-term sustainability and prosperity of our fisheries and aquaculture sectors," said Minister Ashfield. Recognising the economic contribution of Canadas fisheries and aquaculture sectors, we are all committed to working together to make sure they continue to thrive in the future.

Representatives from all provinces, territories, and the federal government recognized that cooperation is needed to protect Canadian waters from aquatic invasive species with the goal of preserving the biodiversity of aquatic ecosystems, while avoiding duplication and ensuring alignment among both levels of government.

Representatives also discussed the development of an aquaculture regulatory programme that will support sustainable fish and seafood production while ensuring the effective management of aquatic animal health and protection of the environment. This will provide stability and will allow aquaculture continued growth as a contributor to the Canadian economy. Aquaculture currently generates about $2 billion in economic activity, creates good jobs in rural communities and occurs in all provinces and in Yukon.

The Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers and representatives also took time to meet and discuss matters relevant to Atlantic Canada. Atlantic Ministers discussed the importance of the lobster fishery to Atlantic Canada and agreed to continue discussions aimed at ensuring stability and viability of this important fishery.

At this meeting, Ministers also discussed ongoing science activities such as stock assessment and agreed that these activities are important to both the health of ecosystems and the long-term economic prosperity of the fishing and aquaculture industries.

The 2013 annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers will be hosted by Quebec.

Lucy Towers

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