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

Surrey school district student enrolment down from projections

‘That’s not something I can say in my time in Surrey, I have ever said at the board table’: superintendent

Fraser Health relocates Surrey COVID-19 testing centre

New location will triple testing capacity: Dr. Victoria Lee

White Rock acupuncturist suspended for ‘scare tactics, excessive fees’

30-day suspension for Jun Hua (Davy) Hua issued Aug. 18

Latimer Road the latest Surrey school to report COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Mother-daughter charged in 2017 torched-SUV killing in South Surrey now allowed contact

Judge grants Manjit Kaur Deo permission to connect with Inderdeep Kaur Deo through a lawyer

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Machine pistol among 14 firearms seized from Alaska man at B.C. border crossing

Corey Scott Kettering faces charges of smuggling and prohibited firearm possession

Most Read