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New Study Confirms Aquaculture Critical to Future of Healthy Seafood Supply

Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance welcomes report’s independent assessment of industry outlook

OTTAWA, ON – The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) today welcomed several recommendations contained in the newly released Conference Board of Canada study of how to improve the economic viability of Canada’s seafood industries in meeting growing global demand for fish and seafood. In particular, CAIA echoed the Conference Board’s call for the creation of a federal Aquaculture Act to achieve increase growth, employment, investment income and export opportunities.

“This study confirms the vital role of farmed seafood in Canada's future food supply, and the unique opportunity for us in terms of new jobs and growth," said Ruth Salmon, CAIA Executive Director. “The Conference Board report serves to remind that, with world demand for seafood increasing dramatically, Canada is uniquely positioned to benefit."

Currently, the Canadian aquaculture sector is regulated under the auspices of the Fisheries Act. As the report and many independent experts observe however, this piece of framework legislation was last overhauled a generation ago and was created to oversee the management of a wild fishery. Contemporary realities and the importance of sound, science-based regulation suggest that a distinct policy framework is required. Indeed, an independent Act governing aquaculture would permit Canada to position itself as a global leader, unleashing new jobs in coastal communities and bringing additional clarity to the regulatory framework. Specifically, the Conference Board study states an Act could provide a vision for the sector, a harmonized regulatory structure, modernized property rights, and consolidated and strengthened risk management.

“Our industry embraces both the responsibility to manage production wisely and the opportunity to create new jobs, growth and exports,” continued Salmon. “We have long advocated an independent Aquaculture Act in recognition of the importance of this sector and the need to ensure it can be developed responsibly for both today and tomorrow.”

The study also highlighted the health and nutritional importance of increasing the share of seafood in Canadians’ diets. The Conference Board report called for greater domestic communication about the health, vitality and developmental benefits of fish and seafood consumption.

“Seafood is healthy and we have the chance to boost production and consumption thanks to aquaculture,” concluded Salmon. “An important principle highlighted in the Conference Board study is the chance for a win-win by improving both the health of Canadians and the health of the industry.”

CAIA had no involvement with the preparation or development of the Conference Board’s report.