The Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers concluded their annual meeting on September 1st with discussions on the need for Canada to maintain a leading position in a changing global fishing industry. The meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Keith Ashfield, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Honorable Daniel Shewchuk, Minister of Environment for the Government of Nunavut.
“My colleagues and I are working together to support a more economically and ecologically sustainable Canadian fishing and aquaculture industry that will ensure the continued competitiveness of Canadian seafood products in domestic and international markets,” said Minister Ashfield. “We are cooperating to provide Canadian fish harvesters, processors and marketers with an operating environment characterized by stability, predictability, transparency and trust – where they can make more informed business decisions for the longer term.”
Discussions took place on the work already under way to maintain Canada’s leading position in a changing global fishing industry, where market dynamics, resource fluctuations and environmental changes are leading to profound shifts. Ministers also discussed how food traceability is becoming a global trend and how consumers – domestic and international – are asking for fish and seafood products that come from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture.
Ministers recognized the growing importance of aquaculture as a contributor to the Canadian seafood industry. Further discussions were held on key seafood trade and safety issues, and addressing aquatic invasive species. At the meeting, Ministers also approved in principle a national framework for a network of Marine Protected Areas.
“The Government of Nunavut is very pleased with the shared focus on sustainable growth in Canada’s fishing and aquaculture industries,” said Minister Shewchuk. “We see tremendous opportunity for a new understanding of how both emerging and established fisheries can be managed for maximum benefit in the future.”
The 2012 meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers will be hosted by the Government of British Columbia.