Canada could triple grow-out: report

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Little available water being used, Fisheries Minister told to triple farming.

Canada has considered creating conditions for the tripling of aquaculture activity in the country mainly by expanding license areas, judging by a hopeful-looking report released during a major fish-farming policy conference in capital city Ottawa.

“The finance minister’s economic advisory council (in 2017) suggested a tripling of production, which would lead to even more jobs and activity being created,” the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance report released Wednesday said.

The growth outlook seen by government and absorbed by 60 members of parliament attending an industry policy conference in Ottawa Wednesday suggests 22,000 new jobs were within reach over the next decade if farmed seafood production was “doubled” to 500,000 tonnes. The current number of jobs in seafood farming are put at just under 19,000.

Numbers created for the CAIA say just one percent of water area that could be used for farming seafood is being used. In British Columbia, 7,660 hectares are leased out of 985,000 hectares deemed suitable for finfish and shellfish, although 90 percent of all farming in the province is salmon.

“The area of finfish farms in British Columbia could be encompassed within Stanley Park in Vancouver,” the organization’s report said. “The total footprint of seafood farms across Canada is very small compared to other countries.”