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

Vernon cyclist struck by vehicle rides 1,625 km in challenge

Avid cyclist raises over $2,500 in August’s Great Cycle Challenge Canada after being hit by a vehicle in May

City reintroduces online tool to Vernon in new video

New video highlights benefits and features of MyCity

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

BC VOTES 2020: Vernon nurse running for NDP

Harwinder Sandhu, who ran for NDP in 2019 federal vote, is declared Vernon-Monashee candidate

More victims possible in Vernon assault case

Police have a man in custody but feel there could be more victims in the case

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Motorcycle rider identified following fatal crash in Peachland

Michael Odenbach died in a motorcycle collision on Sept. 27

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Shuswap BC SPCA launches spay/neuter program for low-income residents

Program available to low-income residents in the region

Most Read