Pacific oysters sit ready for market at a B.C. shellfish farm. Public comment on a proposed Aquaculture Act are being accepted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada until Jan. 15, 2021. (Quinn Bender photo)

Canada’s first Aquaculture Act enters new phase of consultation

Fisheries minister promises act will respect B.C.’s jurisdiction over land management

The federal government is seeking public input on the country’s first-ever Aquaculture Act, a document both industry and government hopes will move the sector past a myriad of regulatory inconsistencies.

Oversight of the industry currently varies by province and territory. In B.C., the provincial government is responsible for land management while the federal government looks after environmental regulations in marine areas.

Ottawa classifies aquaculture as a form of agriculture, but regulates it under the Fisheries Act, which was designed to manage wild capture fisheries. This has long been a point of frustration for the aquaculture sector, which cultivates its product from an early stage of life through to harvest.

READ MORE: Metlakatla awarded $375,000 for shellfish aquaculture

“The women and men in Canada’s aquaculture sector have been feeding Canadians and the world for years – and as the industry grows, we need to ensure the rules and regulations keep up with its growth,” said Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan. “This Act will provide more certainty, improve the regulatory regime across the country, and will help position Canada as a global leader in sustainable, high-quality, aquaculture products. I look forward to hearing from Canadians, provincial and territorial partners, Indigenous peoples, industry, and key stakeholders, as we chart this new path forward together.”

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans in 2016 and 2017 highlighted the need for legislative reform of the industry, and in 2019 Jordan was given the mandate to create an Aquaculture Act. This round of consultation is DFO’s third since 2017.

READ MORE: Conservation group challenges sustainable-certification claims of B.C. salmon farmer

The scope of the new act is to foster national consistency; improve clarity and certainty for the industry; enhance environmental protection; and help sustainably grow the industry for the benefit of Indigenous and rural communities.

An Aquaculture Act Discussion Paper can be found at this link on DFO’s website.

To submit comments to the Aquaculture Consultations email XMAR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca by Jan. 15, 2021.



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Pandemic reunites 2000s era Victoria rock band The Origin

Saanich musicians recording for first time since 2008

Local authors nominated for Victoria Book Prize awards

Finalists for 2020 announced in two categories

Patrick brothers who shaped modern hockey also tried, but failed, to remove violence

New history thesis shows efforts to sell a “clean game” in Oak Bay

Central Saanich to formally inform Agricultural Land Commission about soccer pitch proposal

Move is meant for information only with no application having come forward yet

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Body discovered floating in water near Lasqueti Island

JRCC reports personnel aboard fishing vessel made the find

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Most Read