Transformational plan indicates move to land-based system or end to aquaculture would be “misguided”

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Big Reset for Atlantic Canada.

Last week, chairperson of the Premier’s Economic Recovery Team (PERT) Dame Moya Greene submitted her report to the Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador Andrew Furey. Experienced businesswoman Greene was the former CEO of Royal Mail.

The report, titled “The Big Reset”, outlined that the province’s fiscal situation must be brought under control.

Echoing the wording of the World Economic Forum’s (also known as the Davos Forum) oft-repeated mantra of “the Great Reset”, the report proposed “a transformational plan for Newfoundland and Labrador that attempts to tie all aspects of the economy and society together to meet some of the biggest challenges and opportunities ever faced by the province.”

This six-year-plan includes austerity programmes and transitions to green energy, for example.

But for salmon farming and processing, a major industry in Atlantic Canada, the PERT report noted that the provincial government “should streamline the regulatory decision-making processes for aquaculture licences and site approvals”.

However PERT acknowleged that “the relationship between aquaculture advocates and advocates for wild salmon are complex and are charged with emotion”.

But it added that “some stakeholders are advocating for an entirely land-based system or even an end to aquaculture altogether. This would be misguided”.

“Their primary motivationis to keep farmed fish out of the ocean ecosystem and to eliminate the potential for any adverse effects on wild stocks. Newfoundland and Labrador’s competitive advantage is based on proximity to pristine waters for growing the fish at sea. Feed and other inputs are imported to the province and products are then exported to markets. Forcing land-based aquaculture will likely result in producers building closer to cheaper feed supplies and closer to their primary markets. It is unlikely that this would be in Newfoundland,” added PERT.