CANADA’S seafood farmers have openly welcomed a new federal government review of science based decision making in aquaculture.
Timothy Kennedy, executive director of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA), said: ‘Aquaculture in Canada today is leading the way with science and the very highest environmental, food safety and social standards.
‘Working in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, coastal communities and Canada’s indigenous peoples, we have built a responsible and sustainable farmed seafood sector that we can all be very proud of.
‘Any efforts to increase engagement with Canadians and to develop trust and understanding of the science are welcomed.’
Fisheries minister Dominic LeBlanc has asked Canada’s chief science advisor, Dr Mona Nemer, to lead an independent expert panel to provide recommendations on the appropriate use, consideration and communication of scientific evidence in protecting the marine environment in decision making on aquaculture.
The panel will also provide advice on the communication of this science, and associated decisions, to Canadians.
This corresponds with the chief science advisor’s mandate to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, scientists are able to speak freely about their work, and scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions.
LeBlanc said: ‘Our government understands that Canadians have real concerns around aquaculture. We look forward to the recommendations of the panel led by the chief science advisor on how science can be better applied to decision making and communicated to the public in support of sustainable aquaculture as we seek to remain a strong, science based regulator of the aquaculture industry.’
According to the latest Statistics Canada data, Canadian seafood farmers produced $1.35 billion of fresh seafood in 2016, with farming and processing activities generating more than $5 billion in economic activity, $2 billion in GDP, and more than 25,000 full-time jobs.