Atlantic Canadian provinces commit to sustainable aquaculture development
Four of Canada’s provinces have made commitments to sustainable aquaculture development, according to a release from the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANS).
Nova Scotia Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Keith Colwell, New Brunswick Minster of Agriculture, Aquaculture, and Fisheries Margaret Johnson, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries, Forestry, and Agriculture Derrick Bragg, and Prince Edward Island Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox all affirmed support of aquaculture development by renewing the aquaculture memorandum of understanding for Atlantic Canada. The MoU was first signed in 2008, and the renewal will continue harmonization between the four provinces’ aquaculture policies.
“In a time when food security is especially important, it is good to see our aquaculture industry has grown steadily and is poised for continued growth in 2021, based on environmentally responsible, science-based policies and practices. Our Atlantic partnership continues to help the industry grow sustainably,” Colwell said.
The MoU will unify the provinces’ approach to management decisions for the aquaculture sector. The process will use science-based evidence to make decisions regarding licenses and leases and future legislation involving the industry.
“This partnership solidifies the Atlantic Provinces’ commitment to align regulations, policies, and standards between our provinces, as well as enhancing the legislative landscape,” New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Margaret Johnson said. “This work will provide industry with a clear, predictable, and consistent framework in which to operate. It also provides an enabling environment for growth with strong environmental, aquatic animal health, and habitat protections in place.”
AANS Executive Director Tom Smith said the MoU will help secure jobs and bring revenue to the region.
“If there has been one thing that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown us more than anything, is the importance of buying healthy, locally produced foods,” Smith said. “Aquaculture helps to transform coastal, rural communities in Atlantic Canada from areas of high unemployment to relative prosperity – and the potential exists to create hundreds more jobs and add millions to the provincial economy. Supporting aquaculture is the solution to food security for Nova Scotia.”
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