"Today was a day of collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial partners,” said Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
“We want to see our fisheries and aquaculture industries grow and we remain committed to working together to protect our fisheries’ productivity and develop the fishing and aquaculture industries to ensure its sustainable future in Canadian waters.”
“It was a pleasure to welcome the federal, provincial and territorial fisheries and aquaculture ministers and to share our priorities and directions. Our government will continue to support initiatives that help make Quebec’s fisheries and aquaculture industry a prosperous industry that creates well-paying jobs, is environmentally responsible and contributes to the highest and best use of our territory’s resources,” said Jeannine Richard, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and MNA for Îles-de-la-Madeleine.
Ministers discussed the challenges facing the Atlantic lobster industry and ways to improve viability. They also discussed the importance of improving market access through trade agreements, for this fishery and the sector in general, particularly those currently under discussion with the European Union, members of the Trans-Pacific Partnerships, Japan and India.
Ministers were updated on the work of the Maritime Ministers’ Lobster Panel with a focus on what was heard during consultations. Ministers look forward to receiving the final report with recommendations in the fall.
Ministers also discussed how they will work together to protect Canada’s fisheries. Specifically, federal and provincial representatives approved a work plan for collaboration on the new approach to protecting recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fisheries. Attendees were also provided an update on the recently announced Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, which will help protect, restore and rebuild recreational fisheries habitat and allow Canada’s thriving recreational fishery to grow and prosper.
Federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked successfully over the past years to prevent the entry into Canadian waters of aquatic invasive species. One of these initiatives is the federal, provincial and territorial collaboration on development of new regulations that will provide a key tool to manage the threat of aquatic invasive species. Ministers re-affirmed their commitment to continue to work together in a manner consistent with the respective jurisdictions of the two levels of government to bring this most important project to fruition.
At the meeting, Ministers also endorsed the renewed National Code on Introductions and Transfers of Aquatic Organisms, which is intended to protect aquatic ecosystems while encouraging responsible use of aquatic resources for the benefit of Canadians. The updated code will improve and strengthen current practices around the introduction and transfer of aquatic animals by simplifying the process and avoiding duplication, while also strengthening transparency, accountability and service delivery.
These three projects were highlighted by Ministers as concrete examples of the positive collaboration that makes the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers such an important and productive intergovernmental forum.