Today, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, announced the appointment of Allister Surette as Federal Special Representative, a neutral third-party who will communicate with and rebuild trust between commercial and Indigenous fishers. Mr. Surette will gather the different perspectives on the issues, seek to build understanding, and make recommendations to the Ministers of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and of Crown-Indigenous Relations, as well as to the public, so parties can move forward toward a positive resolution.
The Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program has been extended by another two weeks to ensure that as many Canadian fish harvesters as possible can take advantage of it. The online portal will now close on October 19, 2020.
Vancouver, British Columbia – The Government of Canada understands that strong, collaborative relationships with Indigenous peoples regarding the management of the marine environment will lead to better outcomes for their communities and help support healthy oceans.
The Fish Harvester Benefit and Grant Program is delivering financial support to self-employed harvesters across the country who are facing hardships brought on by the economic impact of COVID-19. The Program provides eligible indigenous and non-indigenous fish harvesters with the financial support they need right now, while also positioning the sector for a strong recovery in the long-term.
Today, the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) met virtually to discuss the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, and how to position the sector for a strong economic recovery in the long-term. They also discussed other priority topics, including creating good jobs in these industries, reducing the impact of aquatic invasive species, financial support for Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture sector, trade, and sustainable aquaculture development.
Canada is an ocean nation. Canadians rely on healthy, marine ecosystems to sustain our economy, our food supply, and our coastal communities. But the ocean is a shared resource that requires global cooperation to protect and manage.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is committed to protecting Canada’s wildlife and biodiversity and safeguarding the long-term health and productivity of Canada’s fisheries resources. These efforts include enforcing the Fisheries Act and Marine Mammal Regulations. On Aug. 24, 2020, B.C. harvester Allan Marsden pleaded guilty in Courtenay Provincial Court to disturbing marine mammals under section 7.1(b) of the Marine Mammal Regulations. Mr. Marsden was fined $8,000 and prohibited from possessing explosives for the next three years.
The governments of Canada and Quebec are announcing close to $500,000 to improve the efficiency, quality and sustainability of the Quebec fish and seafood sector. The federal government will contribute $342,656 to these five projects, while the Quebec government will contribute $146,853.
Canada’s fish and seafood harvesters are the driving economic force behind many coastal and rural communities. Canadians across the country have faced hardship due to COVID-19, but our fisheries have faced unique challenges.