(Calgary, Alberta; 26 June 2014) Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers met today at the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) annual meeting to reinforce their commitment to job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity, through sustainability and a broad range of fisheries and aquaculture issues.
The annual meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Gail Shea, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Cal Dallas, Alberta Minister of International and Intergovernmental Relations, and attended by fisheries ministers from Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan, and Nunavut. Quebec was represented by the Minister’s Parliamentary Assistant.
Ministers discussed the recently announced Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement and the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union. Ministers emphasized the continued importance of opening other international markets through trade agreements to ensure long term growth and prosperity and to create job opportunities for Canadians. Ministers noted that to capitalize on these new markets, access to a stable workforce for the aquaculture, harvesting and processing sectors is required.
The new Aquaculture Activities Regulations for the aquaculture sector announced by Minister Shea earlier today demonstrate how the federal government will pursue a targeted, pragmatic regulatory agenda and will address key barriers to industry growth while safeguarding the environment and respecting the jurisdiction of the provinces and territories.
Ministers also discussed the proposed aquatic invasive species regulations. Over the past several years, federal, provincial and territorial governments have worked cooperatively to protect Canadian waters against the threat of aquatic invasive species. Ministers agreed on the importance of these newly developed regulations as a key tool in managing the threat of aquatic invasive species in our waters, that will protect our shared economic interests and domestic species.
Ministers also reviewed a presentation on the continued implementation of the Fisheries Protection Program, and received an update on the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program (RFCPP), which has been given a total investment of $25 million through the Economic Action Plan. Recreational fishing is a significant industry in Canada and contributes greatly to the Canadian economy, especially in rural areas. In 2010, anglers generated $8.3 billion for local economies.
Following the CCFAM meeting, the Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers met to discuss the important challenges still facing the Atlantic lobster industry. They also discussed the World Trade Organization’s recent ruling on the European Union ban on seals.
Ministers recognized the importance of the consultations and efforts made over the last number of months to address lobster industry issues. They also acknowledged challenges facing the fisheries, such as acute local labour shortages in the processing sector.
Ontario will host the next meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers meeting in 2015.
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