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Transitional Policy For Aquaculture

CANADA - Victoria province has placed a moratorium on issuing new finfish aquaculture licences and will no longer be accepting new applications for shellfish aquaculture, following Tuesdays British Columbian (BC) Supreme Court ruling.

The province will also negotiate the regulatory transfer of shellfish aquaculture to the federal government in addition to the transfer of finfish aquaculture currently underway, Agriculture and Lands Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

“The purpose of this moratorium is to both meet the spirit of the recent BC Supreme Court ruling while ensuring a smooth transition of aquaculture regulation to the federal government,” said mR Thomson. “Negotiating the regulatory transfer of shellfish in addition to the court ordered transfer of finfish aquaculture will ensure BC’s aquaculture industry has an efficient and unified regulatory system.”

On Tuesday the BC Supreme Court granted an extension to the transfer deadline for finfish aquaculture to federal regulation until 18 December, 2010. As part of this extension, the Court ordered a suspension on approvals of all new marine finfish licenses in BC.

In addition, the Province is also announcing it will no longer be accepting new applications for shellfish aquaculture licenses and will only process those applications received prior to 26 January 2010. Furthermore, the Province has announced its intention to negotiate the transfer of shellfish aquaculture regulation to the federal government. This decision will enable the federal government to become the single regulator for aquaculture, while the Province retains management over Crown land.

“By moving towards a transfer of shellfish aquaculture regulation, we are laying the foundation for a more efficient aquaculture management system,” said Mr Thomson. “Our aim is to work with the federal government to create a streamlined aquaculture regulation that sustainably manages BC’s aquaculture sectors.”

In February 2009, the BC Supreme Court ruled that marine finfish aquaculture is a fishery and a matter of federal jurisdiction. The court directed the transfer of administration and regulatory control to the federal government.

the Fish Site Editor

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