Today, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray, closed the two-day Seal Summit, which brought together Indigenous partners, the commercial fishing industry, provincial and territorial representatives, and other stakeholders and experts.
Hurricane Fiona has had a devastating effect on communities across Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec. Houses and buildings have been severely damaged and destroyed, as well as small craft harbours that are critical to fisheries and coastal communities. Extreme weather is a major cause of lost fishing gear, known as ghost gear (such as nets, line, rope, traps, pots, and floats), and Fiona has caused a lot of this fishing gear to be lost in the Atlantic Ocean. This lost fishing gear costs money for fish harvesters to replace, and is also a severe threat to the marine environment.
Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and a driving force of the economy. The seafood sector is a rapidly shifting environment – competition is intensifying, and consumers are looking for sustainability and quality. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia (NS) today are announcing total funding of more than $7 million for 120 Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF) projects to support increased lobster quality in Nova Scotia through infrastructure, innovation and science partnership projects.
The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with First Nations and managing a sustainable shellfish aquaculture sector in the Province of British Columbia. Innovation and collaboration is key to ensuring the long term sustainability of aquatic ecosystems and the continued viability of the fish and seafood sector in BC.
The Government of Canada continues to engage with Indigenous communities to further implement the Supreme Court of Canada Marshall decisions, which affirmed the Treaty right of First Nations in Atlantic Canada and Quebec to fish in pursuit of a moderate livelihood. Increasing First Nations participation in commercial fisheries is key to advancing the implementation of the Treaty right.
Fish harvesters play an essential role in their communities and local economies across Atlantic Canada and Eastern Quebec. The impacts of Hurricane Fiona have been immense, including gear loss and damage to small craft harbours. The Government of Canada is working with fish harvesters, harbour authorities and provincial governments to clean up the ocean and begin repairs to critical infrastructure, including small craft harbours.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada understands the important role that a healthy ecosystem has in the sustainability of our fisheries. The Department also recognizes the impact of our oceans on the livelihoods of Canadians and the economies of rural and remote communities. That is why we are committed to exploring opportunities for Canadian seal products, all while respecting the latest science advice.
Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and a driving force of the economy. The seafood sector is a rapidly shifting environment – competition is intensifying, consumers are looking for sustainability and quality. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia (NS) today announced funding support to the Maritime Fishermen’s Union Inc.’s (MFU) Nova Scotia members through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund (AFF).