Survey: Canadians support aquaculture
The majority of Canadian consumers support legislation to enable the growth of the nation’s aquaculture industry, according to the results of a survey released on Wednesday.
Administered by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) and conducted by Abacus Data, the survey found that about eight out of 10 Canadians either strongly support (40 percent) or somewhat support (41 percent) a national aquaculture act. Only 4 percent oppose such legislation. In British Columbia, where anti-aquaculture campaigns are most active, 79 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat support the development of an aquaculture act.
The survey also found that 88 percent of Canadian consumers have eaten seafood in the past three months and that more than 70 percent of respondents feel it’s important to get fresh protein year-round that’s locally grown in an environmentally responsible manner.
The CAIA used the survey results to point out that the Canadian aquaculture industry is governed by 73 pieces of regulations that are often conflicting, making Canada’s aquaculture industry one of the most heavily regulated in the world. It is also the world’s only major farmed seafood-producing country without national legislation specifically designed to govern aquaculture, according to the CAIA.
“Canadians overwhelmingly support our call for a federal aquaculture act. Canada’s finfish and shellfish farmers have long been advocating for sustainable expansion and efficient regulations, and this survey confirms the Canadian public recognizes the social, economic and nutritional benefits our sustainable industry provides,” said CAIA Executive Director Ruth Salmon. “Demand for seafood is on the rise as consumers opt for healthier lifestyle choices. If the industry were able to expand in an efficiently regulated manner, we would be in a position to meet growing domestic and international demand for our product — something we currently can’t do.”
For the survey, nearly 1,200 randomly selected Canadian adults were polled on the telephone. The results are available on the CAIA website, www.aquaculture.ca.