Senators Fabian Manning and Elizabeth Hubley have reissued a report on the aquaculture industry that calls for a doubling of the industry in the next decade. They made the presentation before the Aquaculture and Cold Harvest Conference in St. John’s this morning. VOCM’s David Maher reports.
The report calls for a renewed Aquaculture Act to be passed by the federal government that will give the $2-billion industry more ability to grow across the country.
Senator Manning says there’s too much red tape involved in the industry now, which prevents new businesses from entering the field. Aquaculture farmers in British Columbia recently took the federal government to court about whether or not the industry fell under provincial or federal jurisdiction and found that it was a federal responsibility in that province. Manning says it’s that “absolute mess” of bureaucracy that’s restricting the industry from growing.
Senator Hubley says removing red tape doesn’t mean removing oversight of the industry. She says on the East Coast, farmed salmon escapes do pose a risk to wild populations. She says reducing the number of escapes is very important for the safety of the environment. She says the department of fisheries and oceans needs to inspect Aquaculture facilities regularly and provide adequate oversight on the federal level.
Tory Senator Fabian Manning says wherever they went across the country, they heard the same thing, that red tape is holding the industry back.
He says there are 70 pieces of legislation out there now in various provinces and jurisdictions.
Provincial Fisheries Minister Steve Crocker says he welcomes word that Ottawa is looking at federal legislation regulating the aquaculture industry.
He says he was very pleased to hear Fisheries Minister Dominic LeBlanc support the idea of national legislation last week.