Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau - his government has committed to a blue economy strategy

Canada opens door to seafood sector’s potential

Canada’s aquaculture industry has welcomed a government commitment to developing the blue economy and encouraging the growth of coastal and rural communities.

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The prime minister’s Speech from the Throne – which starts a new session of parliament and outlines government priorities – was delivered by the governor-general, Julie Payette, on Wednesday.

Tim Kennedy, president and CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), said: ‘Canada is a water nation. With three coasts and some of the most marine and freshwater resources in the world, communities and families rely on capturing value from our waters.

Economic potential

‘The government of Canada in the Speech from the Throne recognised it is time we have a blue economy strategy to help us sustainably secure this economic potential.’

In a joint press release, the CAIA and the Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) said the Covid pandemic had seen demand for fish and seafood increase more than almost any other food category.

The seafood industry had shown great resilience and stability and continued to create jobs and to provide a stable, local food supply.

A blue economy strategy represented an opportunity to embrace the sector and ‘through visionary and aspirational targets…unleash our innovative potential to produce the best and highest quality seafood in the world’, said the seafood bodies.

Job creation

‘Canada needs to regain pride in its seafood sector, and in doing so stimulate coastal community development and job creation, sustainable food production, and indigenous reconciliation.’

Paul Lansbergen, president of the FCC, said: ‘With world-leading seafood production and a talented workforce, Canada’s fish and seafood producers are ready to work in partnership with our government to capture this potential for economic recovery in the coastal, indigenous and rural communities that depend on us.’

Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau, has been a critic of salmon farming, and as an election pledge last year vowed to phase out traditional salmon farms in British Columbia by 2025.