Renewed Sustainable Aquaculture Program

The renewed Sustainable Aquaculture Program will help address the sector’s challenges to growth by streamlining regulations, improving regulatory management, increasing scientific knowledge and science-based decision-making, and ensuring transparency through enhanced public reporting.

Regulatory Science

Improved science knowledge and advice to inform regulatory decision-making and policy development

Aquaculture science and research and science-based advice underpins Fisheries and Oceans’ commitment to sustainable aquaculture in Canada.

Research conducted under the Program for Aquaculture Regulatory research will increase the knowledge base upon which regulatory decisions are made, thus reducing uncertainty.

Sustainable Aquaculture Program funding will be used to investigate wild and farmed salmon disease issues; to enhance our understanding of the environmental and biological interactions between wild and farmed aquatic resources; and for monitoring and developing mitigation options for the release of organic nutrients from aquaculture sites. It will also be used to study issues that require longer-term analysis, such as improving our understanding of potential cumulative effects on the ecosystem.

Peer-reviewed science advice, based on the best available research and scientific literature, provides the basis for governments, both federal and provincial, to make informed decisions when developing policy on aquaculture practices and regulations. It also provides an analysis of the uncertainties and strengths of the scientific knowledge base.

Consistent with British Columbia Supreme Court Justice Bruce Cohen’s recommendations in his October 2012 report, The Uncertain Future of the Fraser River Sockeye, the renewed Sustainable Aquaculture Program will support the implementation of a more formalized approach, using a scientific risk assessment framework, to evaluating aquaculture-environmental interactions, including wild-cultured interactions related to fish health.

Regulatory Reform and Governance

Improved regulatory certainty through better coordination among regulatory authorities

The regulatory management of aquaculture is a shared responsibility between the federal, provincial and territorial governments. The renewed program will continue progress in modernizing the sustainable management of the industry, creating a predictable, consistent decision-making process that also reduces cumbersome and unnecessarily costly delays.

The goal of Regulatory Reform and Governance is to create a transparent and efficient governance and regulatory system for Canadian aquaculture that has the confidence of the public, investors and markets as safeguarding public interest, protecting the environment and advancing industry competitiveness and sustainable growth.

This work will focus on streamlining federal, provincial and territorial regulations and policies pertaining to: the environmental aspects of farm site review processes; ongoing regulatory management: a regulatory risk management framework; new policies, regulatory amendments and tools to assist in regulatory decision-making; and, information to support policy development.

Aquaculture Public Reporting

Improved reporting on the environmental and economic performance of Canada’s aquaculture sector

The goal of renewed reporting efforts under the Sustainable Aquaculture Program is to provide information which describes the Department’s regulatory regime as well as changes in the status and trends across the sector on various sustainability issues.

In doing so, this reporting will provide more timely, accurate, relevant and coherent information, both on a periodic and ongoing basis, to the public, markets and investors about the regulatory management of the sector and its economic and environmental performance.