According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the current world population of 7.3 billion is expected to reach 9.7 billion in 2050; accordingly, the world's food supply must double by 2050. To fill this gap, the world must rely more and more on aquaculture which is now the world's fastest-growing food production system. The FAO noted that aquaculture’s contribution to the food supply, through finfish, shellfish and aquatic plants, overtook that of wild fish for the first time in 2014.
As aquaculture is expanding, Canada is working with other governments in the country, partner countries and multinational organizations to create new, and strengthen existing mechanisms to secure a sustainable future for global aquaculture. Building strong collaborations worldwide enables Canada to support responsible and sustainable aquaculture development.
Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program (ACRDP)
The Aquaculture Collaborative Research and Development Program is a Fisheries and Oceans Canada initiative to increase the level of collaborative research and development activity with the aquaculture industry and academia.
Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM)
Under the auspices of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, Fisheries and Oceans Canada works with its provincial and territorial partners to develop coordinated regulations, policies and programs in support of a sustainable Canadian aquaculture sector.
Strategic Management Committee on Aquaculture (SMC)
The CCFAM Strategic Management Committee on Aquaculture (SMC) enables interjurisdictional cooperation, collaboration, coordination and information sharing on the governance and strategic development of the aquaculture sector in Canada, while respecting the varying federal/provincial/territorial mandates.
Codex Alimentarius - United Nations
The Codex Alimentarius Commission is a United Nations-based organization that engages and develops international food standards, guidelines, and codes of practice that contribute to the safety, quality and fairness of international food trade. The organization includes a number of committees, such as the Codex Committee on Food Labelling (CCFL) hosted by Canada.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada is working with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency on a special CCFL Committee established to develop an organic aquaculture element within the existing organic agriculture standard. This work supports Canada’s national Organic Aquaculture Standards.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) - United Nations
In response to growing concerns over global depletion of fish stocks and rapid aquaculture development, the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was tasked in 1992 to develop a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. Canada was a key supporter and contributor of this initiative that aimed at conserving fish stocks and protecting the marine environment.
Adopted by 80 countries, including Canada, at the 28th Conference of the FAO in 1995, the Code of Conduct is an important reference tool for responsible aquaculture development nationally and internationally.
Canada continues to be a strong supporter of the FAO’s goal of responsible aquaculture development. Fisheries and Oceans Canada helped develop the FAO’s Technical Guidelines on Aquaculture Certification, and is a regular contributor to the organization’s Committee on Fisheries - Sub-Committee on Aquaculture.
International Organization for Standardization (ISO)
Globalization in virtually all aspects of aquaculture production has necessitated the development of international standards to ensure conformity across multiple jurisdictions, prevent countries from becoming isolated, and foster worldwide collaboration.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has been an active participant in the International Organization for Standardization’s Technical Committee 234 on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ISO/TC234), which has produced many standards relating to traceability for finfish and shellfish products, aquaculture cage technology, sea lice surveillance, and environmental monitoring of aquaculture impacts. Aquaculture operators can obtain more information and purchase ISO/TC 234 standards through the ISO webpages.
Joint Statement Between Canada, Chile, Norway, and Scotland on Aquaculture
In 2015, Canada, Chile, Scotland and Norway signed a Joint Statement on Aquaculture committing themselves to exchanging information, knowledge and experiences, and continuing to adopt effective management tools to further promote sustainable aquaculture development. The Statement is a strong first step towards strengthening ties amongst the four leading cold-water-aquaculture producing countries, especially as they have a significant interest in farmed salmon.
North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization (NASCO)
The international North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization was established to enable collaboration amongst member-countries on conserving, restoring, enhancing and managing wild Atlantic salmon, taking into account the best available science. As a member, Canada is required to develop an Implementation Plan and submit annual progress reports to demonstrate what actions it has taken to implement NASCO Resolutions, Agreements and Guidelines.
A North American Commission was established under NASCO to foster Canada-United States cooperation to minimize aquaculture’s potential impacts on wild Atlantic salmon. This cooperation includes annual reports on salmonid diseases, fish escapes, introductions of fish from outside the Commission’s area, and transgenic activities.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) - Committee on Fisheries
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development - Committee on Fisheries provides a forum for members to discuss the economic and policy aspects of fisheries and aquaculture. The OECD also develops important research to assist policy makers in ensuring the continued sustainability of fisheries and aquaculture resources worldwide.
Fisheries and Oceans Canada has contributed information to many OECD documents, including the recent publication entitled Green Growth in Fisheries and Aquaculture.
Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC) - Canada – United States
Canada and the United States established the Regulatory Cooperation Council to facilitate closer regulatory cooperation and enhance economic competitiveness by aligning their regulatory systems where appropriate.
In August 2014, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established a partnership to deepen their collaboration and advance regulatory cooperation for the aquaculture sector.
- Regulatory Partnership Statement – DFO-NOAA
- Canada and United States cooperate on marine aquaculture
- Statement regarding ongoing Canada-United States regulatory cooperation on aquaculture
- Joint Study Report on Regulatory Regimes for Net Pen Aquaculture
- To receive an accessible copy of this report from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, email us at AMD-DGGA.XNCR@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
- Report on Regulatory Development Initiatives for Offshore Aquaculture in the United States
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