The aquaculture study continues
Members in attendance
Conservatives: Rodney Weston (chair), Mike Allen, Ryan Leef, Robert Sopuck, Bryan Hayes, Randy Kamp, Patricia Davidson
NDP: Fin Donnelly, Rosane Doré Lefebvre, Ryan Cleary, Jonathan Tremblay
Liberals: Lawrence Macaulay
Committee in brief
The standing committee on fisheries and oceans met on Monday with witnesses from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to discuss closed-containment aquaculture. Witnesses from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans explained how Canada was meeting its research and regulatory goals in the domain of aquaculture, and how Canada’s progress fit in to the overall goals and priorities of the North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO). While witnesses stated that there was no requirement for closed-containment within national or international aquaculture regulations, they acknowledged that operational realities and limitations for open-net aquaculture were spurring the industry to move in that direction. They stated that the biggest challenge facing this move to closed-containment aquaculture was the economic viability of it, which had yet to be proven — though they stated that research continued to be done to develop an economically viable model for it.
Asked whether they thought establishing an Aquaculture Act would be a good idea for Canada, witnesses replied in the affirmative, reasoning that it would be an important tool to bring together a framework for aquaculture management encompassing the various provinces and departments.
Members asked how cuts to DFO – including a $3-million cut to an aquaculture program – would affect the scientific research being produced on aquaculture, which NGOs were involved in NASCO’s consultation processes, what the allotted $800,000 for the closed-containment facility at the ‘Namgis First Nation would be used for, what the survival rate of escapes was, whether there were discrepancies between countries for monitoring escapes and how much it cost Canada to be part of NASCO.