Parliamentary Secretary Beech to hold virtual roundtable discussions on the transition of open-net pen aquaculture in British Columbia
February 22, 2021
Vancouver, British Columbia – The Government of Canada is committed to a responsible plan to transition from open-net pen aquaculture in British Columbia by 2025. Close collaboration with Indigenous communities, industry and other key stakeholders will ensure the transition is workable, economically feasible and takes into account social impacts.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced that Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour has started a series of aquaculture engagements. Throughout February and March, Parliamentary Secretary Beech will be holding virtual roundtable engagement sessions with First Nations in B.C., the aquaculture industry, environmental stakeholders, and other interested parties to hear their diverse perspectives on this important initiative. These sessions are being complemented by an opportunity to engage through online submissions, allowing those who cannot participate in the virtual sessions to have their opinions heard. Members of the public are invited to share their views with the Government by responding online to key questions until March 26, 2021.
The feedback received from Parliamentary Secretary Beech’s engagements, along with the input received from the online public engagement website, will contribute to an interim report that will be presented to Minister Jordan later this year. This report will help to inform next steps for the development of the open-net pen aquaculture transition.
“As we strengthen Canada’s sustainable blue economy, British Columbia’s aquaculture sector will have a key role to play. To ensure that we grow this sector in way that works best for environment and the people of this region, we’re working closely First Nations, industry, scientists, governments of all levels, and other key stakeholders. This is about partnership – it’s only through collaboration with experts and those on the ground that we build a stronger, more sustainable aquaculture sector for the long-term.”
The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
"As a British Columbian, I know how important the aquaculture sector is to our economy, our workforce, and the sustainability of coastal communities in our province. The transition from open-net pens will make this vital industry more sustainable and more prosperous in the long-term. I look forward to collaborating with Indigenous communities, the Government of British Columbia, industry members, scientists, and other partners to determine the best path forward on a transition plan that meets the needs of our communities, our workers, and our environment."
Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North – Seymour
The aquaculture sector provides safe, high-quality Canadian products to markets here at home and around the world.
The engagement phase builds on work already completed, including:
- the 2019 “State of Salmon Aquaculture Technologies Study”, funded by DFO in partnership with Sustainable Development Technology Canada and the Province of British Columbia. This study examined four alternatives to open-net pens for producing market-sized salmon;
- the summary report and technical working group reports on salmonid alternative production technologies, marine finfish and land-based fish health and area-based management developed under the Indigenous and Multi-stakeholder Advisory Body on Aquaculture;
- the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans’ report “An Ocean of Opportunities: Aquaculture in Canada”; and,
- the final 2018 Report from the Independent Expert Panel on Aquaculture Science.
Work on the transition will complement the department’s Wild Salmon Policy Implementation Plan, which is a coordinated action plan that builds on 13 years of work guided by the Wild Salmon Policy to protect and restore these incredible populations.
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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