Government of Canada moves to strengthen science on aquaculture ensuring protection of wild fish stocks

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By Milthon Lujan

Ottawa, Canada.- The Government knows the importance of implementing evidence based policies relating to aquaculture. With this in mind, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, will create an external Advisory Committee on Aquaculture Science, and will immediately launch a public process to select Committee members.

This represents a further step in ensuring Fisheries and Oceans Canada has the best and most up to date scientific information to assist in the development of aquaculture policies and decisions. Following receipt of the 2018 Report on Aquaculture Science led by Canada’s Chief Science Advisor, Dr. Mona Nemer, Minister Wilkinson committed to building the federal government’s capacity to develop and implement more effective regulations for the Canadian aquaculture industry.

Building on other recent actions, including the creation of the Departmental Science Advisor role and launching the State of Salmon Aquaculture Technology Study, the new Advisory Committee will be comprised of experts in the field who will assist our government in advancing scientifically sound aquaculture policy.

A successful aquaculture industry is important for feeding the world’s growing demand for seafood products without putting more pressure on wild stocks. The use of best practices to ensure that the Canadian aquaculture industry is environmentally sustainable aligns with our government’s commitment to fostering economic growth while effectively protecting our environment.

The new Advisory Committee on Aquaculture Science will be made up of five members, and who will be selected based on their area of expertise and independence. This Committee will be made up of Canadian and international scientific experts, and will also include an Indigenous representative.

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The creation of this committee aligns with recommendations from the 2018 Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science. 


“Our Government of Canada is committed to advancing an evidence-based aquaculture sector that is both responsible and sustainable. We are taking action to ensure decisions with respect to aquaculture and resource management are based on sound scientific advice and support a strong and sustainable fisheries industry for the future. The creation of an independent Advisory Committee on Aquaculture Science underlines our government’s commitment to broadening our engagement on aquaculture science, and will provide us the benefit of a range of expertise.”

Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson

Quick facts

The five-member committee will be comprised of one Canadian scientist, two international scientists, one Indigenous Canadian representative, and one member at large. Fisheries and Oceans Canada is now accepting nominations and expressions of interest for these positions.

The 2018 Report of the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture made recommendations to the Fisheries and Oceans Department about the appropriate use of scientific evidence in risk-based aquaculture decision-making, the priority-setting process for aquaculture science, and the communication of aquaculture science and resulting decisions to Canadians.

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