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How we got here

Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) is developing a proposed Aquaculture Act based on several considerations and recommendations provided to the Department. A number of preliminary engagement sessions were held from 2017-19, which has helped to shape ongoing work in the development of the proposed Aquaculture Act.

DFO engaged Canadians in the spring and summer of 2019 on the proposed Aquaculture Act and launched online engagement that was open to all Canadians from June 4 to December 21, 2019. A report was developed to provide a summary of the input received during the 2019 engagement. Recognizing that engagement is key for the successful development of legislation, DFO has developed a discussion paper to provide greater detail on the proposed Act and to seek your views.


The 2016 Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans report, Ocean of Opportunities, calls for a unified legislative framework for the aquaculture sector.


The Advisory Council on Economic Growth recommends developing aquaculture-specific legislation to help increase Canada’s global market share. DFO holds 34 preliminary engagement sessions (from the fall of 2017 to the spring of 2018) to seek public interest for an Aquaculture Act.


At the December 2018 meeting of Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, federal, provincial, and territorial ministers confirm their support for a federal Aquaculture Act of “limited scope that respects federal, provincial, and territorial jurisdictions, and provides greater clarity to the sector”.


DFO leads over 20 engagement sessions across the country and online engagement to seek input on proposed authorities for a federal Aquaculture Act. The 2019 mandate letter from the Prime Minister to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard asks the Minister to “begin work to introduce Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act”.


DFO publishes a report summarizing the 2019 engagement and posts a discussion paper that provides greater detail on the authorities being proposed for the Act. This launches the next round of engagement on the proposed Aquaculture Act that included a series of virtual engagement sessions with key partners. Written submissions to the discussion paper are welcomed until February 12, 2021.


DFO will publish a report summarizing input received through the public consultation that came to a close February 12, 2021 . Dialogue with Indigenous people is ongoing and expected to continue well into 2021.

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