Government of Canada Launches Public Engagement on First-Ever Aquaculture Act

News release

August 17, 2020 

Ottawa, ON - Sustainable aquaculture is a cornerstone of Canada’s fish and seafood sector, playing an important role in the country’s food security and helping drive economic growth, particularly in rural, coastal, and Indigenous communities.

Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan,  launched the next phase of the Government’s public engagement on the first-ever Aquaculture Act. The proposed Act will provide more clarity and certainty as this industry continues to develop across Canada, while respecting federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions.

A discussion paper providing background on aquaculture in Canada, rationale for the proposed legislation and an overview of the elements proposed for the new Act, is now available online with key questions to guide feedback to the Government on this important initiative. The public is invited to visit, and will have until January 15, 2021 to participate in this round of consultation.



“The women and men in Canada’s aquaculture sector have been feeding Canadians and the world for years – and as the industry grows, we need to ensure the rules and regulations keep up with its growth. This Act will provide more certainty, improve the regulatory regime across the country, and will help position Canada as a global leader in sustainable, high-quality, aquaculture products. I look forward to hearing from Canadians, provincial and territorial partners, Indigenous peoples, industry, and key stakeholders, as we chart this new path forward together.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“An Aquaculture Act will provide a nationally consistent and adaptable legislative framework, while also taking into account regional differences. Our goal is to develop an Act that will provide more clarity and certainty as this industry develops across Canada, while ensuring strong sustainability and environmental protections. An important step in developing this legislation is engaging with our Indigenous partners, stakeholders and Canadians to hear their views.”

The Honourable Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • The 2016 Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans report: An Ocean of Opportunities: Aquaculture in Canada called for a unified legislative framework to make the aquaculture industry in Canada more competitive. As a result, the Government of Canada committed to exploring opportunities to develop federal aquaculture legislation.

  • In 2018, the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) announced support for a federal Aquaculture Act “of limited scope that respects federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions, and provides greater clarity to the sector.”

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada led two initial rounds of engagement in 2017-18 and in 2019. An online consultation also took place from June to December 2019 along with in-person engagement in some regions. We have now posted the “What We Heard Report” on these engagements online.

Associated links


Jane Deeks                                                      
Press Secretary 
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard             

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

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