The women and men of Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of our coastal, rural and Indigenous communities. They feed millions of households across the country and around the world. In 2019, Canada exported $7.4 billion worth of seafood.
Conservation and sustainability underpin everything we do at Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). Indigenous and commercial harvesters share this priority, as their livelihoods depend on the health of our oceans and seafood stocks.
“We thank the Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs for their leadership and for the open, respectful and constructive conversation today, where we affirmed what the Marshall Decision declared over 20 years ago – that Mi’kmaw have a constitutionally protected treaty right to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood.
As we mark World Oceans Day, I am struck by the strength of Canadians. This pandemic has highlighted that Canadians do not give up – and neither will we. While staying safe, Canadians from coast to coast to coast are continuing to do the important work that our country needs to keep our oceans economy healthy and strong. Together we are here for Canada – we are determined, collaborating, and innovating during COVID-19.
Canada’s fish and seafood sector has proven itself resilient and flexible in response to the unprecedented challenges that have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not business as usual and as a government, we recognize this.
Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and her provincial counterparts; André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food for Quebec, Ross Wetmore, Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries for New Brunswick, Gerry Byrne, Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources for Newfoundland and Labrador, Keith Colwell, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries and Aquaculture for Nova Scotia, and Jamie Fox, Minister of Fisheries and Communities for Prince Edward Island, issued the following joint statement.
During these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever that we work across all levels of Government to ensure Canadians are safe and local economies are supported. Today, provincial Fisheries and Aquaculture ministers from across Eastern Canada joined me for a call to discuss the rapidly evolving impacts of the COVID-19 on the industry in Quebec, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
The COVID-19 situation is fluid and rapidly evolving, and the Government of Canada will be there every step of the way to protect Canadians, support local businesses, and ensure families have the funds needed to weather the storm. In collaboration with our international partners, and based on the best available public health advice, Canada has taken a number of actions to help reduce the health impacts on Canadians. While this is a public health emergency, we know that it is exacting a toll on many people, personally, socially, and economically.