Canadian government publishes roadmap for country's blue economy to prosper

Lobster and crabbing gear in Newfoundland, Canada
Lobster and crabbing gear in Newfoundland, Canada | Photo courtesy of Shutterstock/Ramon Cliff
4 Min

The Canadian government has released its Blue Economy Regulatory Roadmap, a document outlining the government’s planned actions to support economic growth in the country’s oceans.

“We are implementing over 100 distinct regulatory modernization initiatives across different sectors and themes, which now includes Canada’s blue economy,” Treasury Board President Anita Anand said. “This is a concrete example of how our government is modernizing regulations and supporting sustainable economic growth while maintaining strong health, safety, security, and environmental protections. We will continue to cut red tape and support the Canadian economy.”

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat launched the Blue Economy Regulatory Review (BERR) in 2022 to examine how Canada’s regulatory practices affect ocean innovation. Starting in December 2022, the government conducted roughly three months' worth of public engagement to learn how it could craft agile regulations that can enable future-oriented ocean industries without sacrificing environmental sustainability.

“Our oceans hold immense potential to combat climate change and drive sustainable economic growth,” Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Diane Lebouthillier said. “This roadmap marks a significant stride toward eliminating barriers for businesses that rely on the ocean to grow in a sustainable way, which will deliver widespread benefits for all Canadians.”

The report splits its actions across five main areas: marine renewable energy and environmental protection, marine spatial planning, maritime autonomous surface ships, ocean technology, and sustainable fishing gear and practices.

DFO led the development of the roadmap as part of a targeted regulatory review coordinated by the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, with input from Natural Resources Canada, Transport Canada, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, and the National Research Council of Canada.

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