Canada Fisheries Minister Joyce Murray visits Norway, Iceland to foster collaboration on aquaculture innovation

Canada Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard Joyce Murray recently visited Iceland and Norway to meet with officials and collaborate on seafood innovations. 

Murray visited the two countries on a trip running from 30 March to 5 April, meeting with representatives of the aquaculture and fishing sectors. According to a release from Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), she discussed how the countries deal with protecting wild salmon when also supporting sustainable aquaculture.

“Canada is a global leader in sustainable aquaculture and ocean innovation, and we can always learn more from our international partners in this area,” Murray said.

Viewing how Norway and Iceland manage their seafood industries, the DFO said, will help as Murray develops a plan from transitioning away from open-net pen salmon aquaculture in British Columbia. Murray has repeatedly emphasized protecting wild Pacific salmon in her efforts to “chart the course” for aquaculture in the province.

Canada has already begun denying license renewals in B.C.; The department recently denied renewals for 15 open-net pen Atlantic salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. The DFO launched its net-pen transition process in 2022, with Murray and other DFO representatives meeting with a range of stakeholders including Indigenous leaders, local governments, conservation organizations, First Nations governments, the aquaculture industry, and the public.

In addition to aquaculture companies, Murray met with Iceland Ocean Cluster Founder and Chairman Thor Sigfusson to discuss the cluster’s “100 Percent Fish Project.” The project aims for 100 percent fish utilization to reduce waste and increase the value extracted from every fish caught. She also met with Business Iceland CEO Petur Oskarsson and visited large producers of fish products in the country, including Lysi, the largest producer and exporter of cod liver oil in the country. 

 Murray said the meetings provided the opportunity for the countries to share best practices with each other in order to better manage aquaculture and ocean resources. 

“As the world’s appetite for high-quality fish and seafood continues to grow, and climate consciousness grows around the world, we must find novel and innovative ways to manage the oceans and restore the resources within them,” Murray said. “The government of Canada will continue working together and sharing best practices to restore ocean health and protect our marine ecosystems.”  

Photo courtesy of the Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 


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