Ministers Continue Collaboration to Protect Fisheries and Support Canadian Fishing and Aquaculture Industries
Fisheries Ministers conclude the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers
June 26, 2014 – Calgary, Alberta
On June 26, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers met at the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) annual meeting, where they reinforced their commitment to job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity, while discussing sustainability and a broad range of fisheries and aquaculture issues.
The annual meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Gail Shea, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Cal Dallas, Alberta Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations, and attended by fisheries ministers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut. Quebec was represented by the Minister’s Parliamentary Assistant.
Ministers discussed the recently announced Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Ministers emphasized the continued importance of opening other international markets through trade agreements to ensure long term growth and prosperity and to create job opportunities for Canadians. Ministers noted that to capitalize on these new markets, access to a stable workforce for the aquaculture, harvesting and processing sectors is required.
The new Aquaculture Activities Regulations for the aquaculture sector announced by Minister Shea earlier today demonstrate how the federal government will pursue a targeted, pragmatic regulatory agenda and will address key barriers to industry growth while safeguarding the environment and respecting the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories.
Ministers also discussed the proposed aquatic invasive species regulations. Over the past several years, federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked cooperatively to protect Canadian waters against the threat of aquatic invasive species. Ministers agreed on the importance of these newly developed regulations as a key tool in managing the threat of aquatic invasive species in our waters, that will protect our shared economic interests and domestic species.
Ministers also reviewed a presentation on the continued implementation of the Fisheries Protection Program, and received an update on the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program (RFCPP), which has been given a total investment of $25 million through the Economic Action Plan. Recreational fishing is a significant industry in Canada and contributes greatly to the Canadian economy, especially in rural areas. In 2010, anglers generated $8.3 billion for local economies.
Following the CCFAM meeting, the Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers met to discuss the important challenges still facing the Atlantic lobster industry. They also discussed the World Trade Organization’s recent ruling on the European Union ban on seals.
Ministers recognized the importance of the consultations and efforts made over the last number of months to address lobster industry issues. They also acknowledged challenges facing the fisheries, such as acute local labour shortages in the processing sector.
Ontario will host the next meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers meeting in 2015.
- Canada and the European Union (EU) reached an agreement in principle in October 2013 on a comprehensive trade agreement that will significantly boost trade and investment ties between the two partners, and create jobs and opportunities for Canadians. When the Canada-EU Trade Agreement comes into force, almost 96 per cent of all EU tariffs on Canadian fish and seafood products will be eliminated, with the remaining 4 per cent to be eliminated by the 7th year of the Agreement.
- Commercial fisheries play a vital role in Canada’s economy, particularly for coastal regions. In 2013, Canada exported $4.4 billion of fish and seafood products, an increase of $268 million from 2012.
- The aquaculture industry in Canada now creates over 14,000 full-time equivalent, year-round, stable jobs in rural, coastal, and Aboriginal communities.
- 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.
- Aquatic invasive species (AIS) pose a significant and growing threat to Canada’s freshwater and marine ecosystems with consequences to multiple economic sectors in Canada. At present Canada does not have national regulations, making it difficult to safe guard our valuable waterways from new and established AIS.
“Healthy oceans and waters as well as aquaculture, recreational and commercial fisheries are an important part of Canada’s economy. Our Government is committed to work with our provincial and territorial partners to maximize job creation and economic growth in these sectors, while maintaining strong environmental and conservation standards.”
The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
“As the host of the annual meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, Alberta is pleased to play a leading role in helping to maintain and promote the productive status of fisheries all across our country. Albertans are committed to sustainable management of our natural resources, and we believe the outcomes of this meeting help us to achieve that end.”
The Honourable Cal Dallas, Alberta Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations
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Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada