Canada farm­ers wel­come new min­is­ter

Fish Farmer - - World News -

THE Cana­dian Aqua­cul­ture In­dus­try Al­liance (CAIA) has told the coun­try’s new fish­eries min­is­ter that it is ready for dra­matic ex­pan­sion.

The al­liance wel­comed Jonathan Wilkin­son to the post af­ter the pre­vi­ous min­is­ter, Do­minic LeBlanc, was moved to a new job as In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Min­is­ter of North­ern Af­fairs and In­ter­nal Trade in a cab­i­net reshuf­fle.

The CAIA said it looked for­ward to work­ing in part­ner­ship with the new man to cre­ate jobs and growth.

Ti­mothy Kennedy, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of the CAIA, said: ‘Canada’s seafood farm­ers are al­ready among the most sus­tain­able pro­duc­ers of pro­tein in the world.

‘We have an op­por­tu­nity to lead the world as we fur­ther build upon and ex­pand a highly in­no­va­tive and re­spon­si­bly de­vel­oped aqua­cul­ture in­dus­try.

‘With the new min­is­ter’s lead­er­ship, we are con­fi­dent this mo­ment can be seized.’

The min­is­ter holds lead fed­eral re­spon­si­bil­ity for aqua­cul­ture and Canada’s farmed seafood sec­tor, which op­er­ates in ev­ery part of the coun­try, cre­at­ing well-pay­ing jobs for thou­sands of Cana­di­ans.

The al­liance says that as de­mand for nu­tri­tious and safe seafood out­strips the pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity of the wild fish­ery, aqua­cul­ture has grown sub­stan­tially world­wide.

‘Each year, de­mand grows world­wide by 6.9 per cent to 9.9 per cent. This has led to in­tense global com­pe­ti­tion as na­tions such as Nor­way, Scot­land and New Zealand have ex­panded their ca­pac­ity sig­nif­i­cantly,’ it said.

Dur­ing this time, Canada’s in­dus­try has re­mained largely un­changed, de­spite the fact that Canada has by far the largest bio-phys­i­cal ca­pac­ity for de­vel­op­ment.

‘The op­por­tu­nity to grow and re­cap­ture a size­able por­tion of global mar­ket share is sub­stan­tial.’

Kennedy said: ‘With a sup­port­ive pol­icy and reg­u­la­tory en­vi­ron­ment, our in­dus­try is ready to ex­pand dra­mat­i­cally, cre­at­ing new mid­dle class jobs and grow­ing our econ­omy, much of that ac­tiv­ity in coastal com­mu­ni­ties and with indige­nous part­ner­ship and en­gage­ment.’

The al­liance also took the op­por­tu­nity to thank LeBlanc for his ded­i­ca­tion and work on be­half of Canada’s farmed seafood sec­tor.

‘Min­is­ter LeBlanc recog­nised the po­ten­tial of our in­dus­try and pro­vided ap­pre­ci­ated lead­er­ship in fos­ter­ing a na­tional vi­sion for our sus­tain­able growth,’ said Kennedy. ‘His is a record and ap­proach that we can build upon.’

Above: Jonathan Wilkin­son

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