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Archived - Harper Government Takes Further Steps to Enable the Aquaculture Industry to Thrive

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Regulatory Changes to Reduce Duplication While Maintaining Strong Environmental Standards

June 26, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced today that the Government of Canada will take extra steps to increase sustainable aquaculture production in Canada while protecting the environment.

Despite Canada benefitting from the longest coastline in the world, it continues to lag behind other countries. Red tape and regulatory burden are among the main causes for this situation. This sector is currently being regulated by ten different federal acts.

A modernized regulatory environment will allow Canada to take advantage of the global demand for fish and seafood products that continues to rise. It will improve coherence, simplicity and accountability while maintaining strong environmental standards.

Earlier this year the Government has announced a $54 million investment for the renewal of the Sustainable Aquaculture Program, which includes an aquaculture regulatory reform agenda. Today’s announcement clarifies the role of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on the deposit of substances in water for the purposes of aquaculture.

As the next step of this process, new proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations will be pre-published in early July, 2014 in the Canada Gazette, Part I, for a 60-day public comment period.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been working with its regulatory partners to develop the proposed Regulations to ensure they build on existing provincial and federal regulatory regimes. When finalized, the proposed Regulations would resolve uncertainties in the application of various federal Acts, eliminate overlap and duplication issues and reflect the unique circumstances of aquaculture.

Quick Facts

  • The aquaculture industry in Canada now creates over 14,000 full-time equivalent, year-round, stable jobs in rural, coastal, and Aboriginal communities.
  • With its tremendous set of natural advantages for aquaculture production, Canada has to better position itself to tap into global demand, especially in the context of the expected signature of trade agreements with the European Union and South Korea.
  • Aquaculture accounts for nearly 50 per cent of seafood consumed worldwide. By 2030, it is estimated that demand will exceed supply by 40 million tonnes.  
  • The next steps in the aquaculture regulatory reform agenda will include a number of regulatory initiatives such as amendments to the Pacific Aquaculture Regulations. These will establish a licence fee schedule and provide for annual payment installments for multi-year aquaculture licences.


“Our Government is committed to job creation, economic growth and long term prosperity. Canada benefits from the longest coastline in the world and a growing aquaculture sector can provide jobs to rural, coastal and Aboriginal communities. Today we are taking further steps to enable the aquaculture industry to thrive and create much needed jobs, while being sustainable and environmentally sound.”

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

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Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario

Sophie Doucet
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Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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