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Developing Canada’s blue economy strategy

Our three oceans have shaped Canada’s identity and the livelihoods of countless Canadians. They will continue to be a driving force in our economic development and revenue. But they are not a resource. Our oceans are an essential part of our natural environment and are integral to many Indigenous and non-Indigenous cultures and ways of life.

The World Bank defines the blue economy as “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihoods and jobs, and ocean ecosystem health.”

Today, Canada’s ocean economy is being challenged by the global pandemic. The health of the world’s oceans is also under increasing pressure from overexploitation, pollution, and climate change. Growing the ocean economy therefore requires a comprehensive approach and steadfast commitments to ocean protection as well as production and prosperity. This is a sustainable blue economy.

The Government of Canada will develop a strategic framework to guide future actions and investments that will help grow our ocean economy, while advancing our conservation objectives. This strategy aims to harness opportunities on all three coasts and position Canada as a leader in the global blue economy.

To ensure Canada’s Blue Economy Strategy reflects the needs of Canadians, the Government of Canada will engage and collaborate with the provinces and territories, Indigenous peoples, businesses and other stakeholders, and the public. This includes involving our partners and all Canadians in identifying practical solutions to support economic recovery and long-term prosperity, while ensuring oceans health and a coast-to-coast-to-coast approach that considers regional differences, preferences, and challenges.

An engagement paper has been prepared to guide these activities. It explores how we can increase Indigenous participation and foster greater inclusion and diversity in the blue economy. It considers seven key areas that may help build a sustainable blue economy in Canada. And, it features an overview of the main ocean-based sectors in Canada’s economy.

Each section of the paper suggests potential actions that a blue economy strategy could take and invites responses to some questions. There are also some ‘big picture’ questions at the end for Canadians to consider as they prepare to send in their input.

Submissions may be sent by June 15, 2021
via email to:
or by standard mail to:

Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Blue Economy Strategy Secretariat
200, Kent Street
Ottawa, ON  K1A 0E6

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