Fisheries Ministers Commit to Working Together to Protect Fisheries and Develop Canadian Fishing and Aquaculture Industry

Marketwired

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwired - Sep 5, 2013) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Federal and provincial Ministers concluded the annual meetings of the Atlantic and Canadian Councils of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers today in Québec. On September 4 and 5, Ministers discussed a range of topics, including recreational fisheries, the lobster fishery, the continuing importance of the seal hunt to Canadian coastal communities, the federal Fisheries Protection Program, aquaculture, and aquatic invasive species.

"Today was a day of collaboration between federal, provincial and territorial partners," said the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. "We want to see our fisheries and aquaculture industries grow and we remain committed to working together to protect our fisheries' productivity and develop the fishing and aquaculture industries to ensure its sustainable future in Canadian waters."

"It was a pleasure to welcome the federal, provincial and territorial fisheries and aquaculture ministers and to share our priorities and directions. Our government will continue to support initiatives that help make Quebec's fisheries and aquaculture industry a prosperous industry that creates well-paying jobs, is environmentally responsible and contributes to the highest and best use of our territory's resources," said Jeannine Richard, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and MNA for Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

The meetings were co-chaired by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of Quebec, and were attended by fisheries ministers from Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta (see photo).

Today, the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers discussed the challenges and opportunities facing the recreational fisheries. According to the 2010 Survey of Recreational Fishing in Canada, more than 3.3 million adult anglers participated in recreational fishing activities in Canada that year, contributing as much as $8.3 billion to various local economies across Canada. Ministers also received a presentation from Manitoba on the Lake Friendly Accord, an example of collaboration to protect water quality and fisheries.

The Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers meeting on September 4 featured discussions on the challenges and opportunities in the Atlantic fishing and aquaculture industries.

Ministers discussed the challenges facing the Atlantic lobster industry and ways to improve viability. They also discussed the importance of improving market access through trade agreements, for this fishery and the sector in general, particularly those currently under discussion with the European Union, members of the Trans-Pacific Partnerships, Japan and India.

Ministers were updated on the work of the Maritime Ministers' Lobster Panel with a focus on what was heard during consultations. Ministers look forward to receiving the final report with recommendations in the fall.

Ministers also discussed how they will work together to protect Canada's fisheries. Specifically, federal and provincial representatives approved a work plan for collaboration on the new approach to protecting recreational, commercial and Aboriginal fisheries. Attendees were also provided an update on the recently announced Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnership Program, which will help protect, restore and rebuild recreational fisheries habitat and allow Canada's thriving recreational fishery to grow and prosper.

Federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked successfully over the past years to prevent the entry into Canadian waters of aquatic invasive species. One of these initiatives is the federal, provincial and territorial collaboration on development of new regulations that will provide a key tool to manage the threat of aquatic invasive species. Ministers re-affirmed their commitment to continue to work together in a manner consistent with the respective jurisdictions of the two levels of government to bring this most important project to fruition.

At the meeting, Ministers also endorsed the renewed National Code on Introductions and Transfers of Aquatic Organisms, which is intended to protect aquatic ecosystems while encouraging responsible use of aquatic resources for the benefit of Canadians. The updated code will improve and strengthen current practices around the introduction and transfer of aquatic animals by simplifying the process and avoiding duplication, while also strengthening transparency, accountability and service delivery.

These three projects were highlighted by Ministers as concrete examples of the positive collaboration that makes the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers such an important and productive intergovernmental forum.

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Fisheries Ministers commit to working together to protect fisheries and develop Canadian fishing and aquaculture industries.

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Contact:
Frank Stanek
Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
613-990-7537
Sophie Doucet
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-992-3474

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