OFA provided comments regarding the federal consultation on the discussion paper from Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) with respect to the proposed Canadian Aquaculture Act. Currently, the Canadian aquaculture industry is overseen by a combination of federal, provincial and local bodies, and is regulated by DFO through the federal Fisheries Act.OFA strongly supported the development of a federal legislation specific to aquatic farming. OFA recommended the creation of a federal advisory agency, whose mandate would support the economic development of a thriving, sustainable and competitive aquaculture sector, while allowing DFO to retain its regulatory and constitutional responsibility. OFA recommended defining the term “Aquaculture” and that the legislation clearly designate aquaculture as a farming activity. OFA further recommended that the proposed federal legislation clarify that the new Act applies to the farming of aquatic species. OFA believes the Fisheries Actshould not apply to those licensed under the new Act. OFA also recommended that the environmental protections specified in the new Act be made specific to the aquaculture sector and not be applied more broadly. OFA strongly recommended that man-made infrastructures that were built to support agricultural activities, including aquacultural activities, be excluded from what is considered fish habitat for the purposes of the legislation. OFA further recommended that the death of fish in these man-made, agriculturally-purposed infrastructures as a result of the normal operation and/or maintenance of these infrastructures not be prohibited.
Submissions & Correspondence
OFA submission regarding the proposed federal Aquaculture Act
Updated: January 22, 2021