Government Relations

Canadian Seafood Farmers Welcome Jonathan Wilkinson as New Fisheries and Oceans Minister

CAIA sent out the following statement on the new Minister:

CAIA welcomed the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson as the new federal Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and expressed their enthusiasm to work together to create new jobs and growth following a cabinet shuffle by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on July 18th.

"We look forward to working in partnership with Minister Wilkinson to hasten the pace and broaden the reach of the economic and health benefits that flow from Canada's farmed seafood sector," said Timothy Kennedy, Executive Director of CAIA. "Canada's seafood farmers are already amongst the most sustainable producers of protein in the world. We have an opportunity to lead the world as we further build upon and expand a highly innovative and responsibly developed aquaculture industry. With the new Minister's leadership we are confident this moment can be seized.”

The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans holds lead federal responsibility for aquaculture and Canada’s farmed seafood sector, which operates in every part of the country creating well-paying jobs for thousands of Canadians while providing consumers with highly nutritious and healthy seafood for their daily diet. 

As demand for nutritious and safe seafood outstrips the production capacity of the wild fishery, aquaculture has grown substantially worldwide. Each year demand grows worldwide by 6.9% to 9.9%. This has led to intense global competition as nations such as Norway, Scotland and New Zealand have expanded their capacity significantly. During this time, Canada's industry has remained largely unchanged, despite the fact that Canada has by far the largest bio-physical capacity for development. The opportunity to grow and recapture a sizable portion of global market share is substantial. 

"With a supportive policy and regulatory environment, our industry is ready to expand dramatically, creating new middle class jobs and growing our economy, much of that activity in coastal communities and with Indigenous partnership and engagement," added Kennedy. 

CAIA also took the opportunity to thank outgoing Fisheries and Ocean Minister Dominic LeBlanc for his dedication and work on behalf of Canada’s farmed seafood sector. 

"Minister LeBlanc recognized the potential of our industry and provided appreciated leadership in fostering a national vision for our sustainable growth," concluded Kennedy. “His is a record and approach that we can build upon”.