Farming the Seas
of the Commissioner
for Aquaculture Development
8 May 2001 -- Yves Bastien, the federal Commissioner
Aquaculture Development, today released his report on a review of
legislation and regulations governing aquaculture in Canada.
report has been submitted to the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
The report contains 36 recommendations on priority initiatives to be
undertaken relating to the legislative and regulatory environment
aquaculture. It focuses mainly on policy changes required to
serve the development of a sustainable aquaculture industry in
Canada. Full News Release, View the Report, (You must have Acrobat
The stated mandate of the Office of the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development
is to bring together all appropriate federal government resources, lead required
regulatory reforms, and work with the provinces to develop a vibrant, environmentally
sustainable aquaculture industry. The Commissioner is responsible for implementing the
1995 Federal Aquaculture Development Strategy.
More about our mandate.
A Definition of Aquaculture
"Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms, including fish, molluscs,
crustaceans and aquatic plants. Farming implies some form of intervention in the rearing
process to enhance production, such as regular stocking, feeding, protection from
predators, etc. Farming also implies individual or corporate ownership of the stock being
cultivated." - United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
Aquaculture in Canada
Aquaculture is an established practice in many parts of the world. Production is
increasing annually. In Canada, aquaculture was first used to enhance natural stocks.
However, it is now a large-scale, country-wide commercial industry providing direct and
indirect economic benefits to many local and regional economies.
All ten provinces and the Yukon Territory currently have a stake in commercial
aquaculture. Interest is increasing in the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. In 1998,
Aquaculture production accounted for nine percent of total fish production in Canada, but
almost 25 percent of total value.
aquaculture production dates from the 1950s, when trout and oysters were the species of
interest. Over the past 20 years, commercial production has expanded to include several
species of salmon, Arctic char, mussels, clams and scallops. New species being developed
include black cod in British Columbia and halibut, haddock and Atlantic cod in the
Maritime Provinces. Others include eel, tilapia, sea urchin, quahogs, and geoduck clams. More
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