SUPPORT REAFFIRMED FOR CANADIAN FISHERIES AND AQUACULTURE
Support reaffirmed for Canadian fisheries and aquaculture. The Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) met virtually recently to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, and how to position the sector for a strong economic recovery in the long-term. They also discussed other priority topics, including creating good jobs in these industries, reducing the impact of aquatic invasive species, financial support for Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, trade, and sustainable aquaculture development.
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, and Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for the Northwest Territories, the Honourable Shane Thompson, co-chaired the CCFAM meeting, which was also attended by representatives from all of the provincial and territorial governments.
Ministers discussed how to support Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture sector now and going forward, in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Ministers were in agreement that working together to grow Canada’s ocean economy by leveraging its vast aquatic resources sustainably, while protecting their health, will be an important component. They agreed that working with Indigenous communities and stakeholders, and ensuring ongoing collaboration between the different orders of government while acknowledging areas of jurisdiction, will be key to advancing all aspects of the sector.
Participating ministers also stated that aquatic invasive species pose serious risks to Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, and its environment. Ministers agreed to work collaboratively to support a healthier aquatic ecosystem, and have committed to revitalising the Canadian Action Plan to Address the Threat of Aquatic Invasive Species to reflect roles and responsibilities for managing aquatic invasive species. This Plan will ensure that provincial and territorial governments, as well as federal government departments and non-government organizations seeking funding opportunities, share clear, strategic plans for taking action against invasive species.
CCFAM Ministers concluded the meeting by stressing that it is more important than ever to keep the lines of communication open. Ministers committed to continued intergovernmental collaboration, in partnership with stakeholders, to support members of the Canadian fisheries and aquaculture sector, and the communities that rely upon them, in this challenging time.
Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said:
“This meeting is an important step on Canada’s road to economic recovery. While the global pandemic has underscored our vulnerabilities, it also offers us a chance to ‘build back better’. By working together, we can help shape a more resilient and sustainable world – one that ensures a strong future for the hardworking women and men who drive our blue economy, from coast to coast to coast. I would like to thank all the Ministers for their participation and I look forward to our continued engagement on these important issues.”
Shane Thompson, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources for the Northwest Territories, said:
“Fish is an important food source for all Canadians and our commercial and sport fisheries are an important part of our local, provincial and territorial economies. Invasive species and new diseases present a real and emerging risk to these sectors. Today, we have strengthened our commitment to work together with our partners to support our fishing industries and all Canadians by taking strong and directed action to protect our aquatic biodiversity from these current and future threats.”
- Canada’s maritime economy accounts for $31 billion annually in Gross Domestic Product. It is the source of almost 300,000 coastal jobs with direct benefits in sectors as diverse as fisheries and aquaculture, marine transportation, ocean energy and technology, recreation, and tourism.
- Aquatic invasive species have significantly impacted native fish stocks in Canada. In addition to environmental damage, invasive species also cost billions of dollars every year due to lost income and tourism revenue, infrastructure damage, and the implementation of control measures.