Mandate letter to new Fisheries Minister signals beginning of the end.
In just one line, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau has set in motion the transition of open nets pens in BC.
On Friday, Trudeau released ministerial mandate letters to guide Cabinet in “delivering real, positive results for Canadians”.
Trudeau wrote to new Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan to put into effect the Liberal party’s pledge to: “Work with the province of British Columbia and Indigenous communities to create a responsible plan to transition from open net-pen salmon farming in coastal British Columbia waters by 2025 and begin work to introduce Canada’s first-ever Aquaculture Act”.
Canada remains the world’s only major farmed seafood producing country without modern legislation specifically designed to govern a “responsible and sustainable aquaculture industry”. Currently, aquaculture is governed by a 150-year old Fisheries Act, in which aquaculture is undefined.
The Aquaculture Act is federal legislation that has an aim to better create long-term conditions for the development of aquaculture sector, and one “which that benefits the economic development of rural, coastal and Indigenous communities”.
Last Friday, Minister of Digital Government Joyce Murray posted on social media that she had a discussion with the Pacific Salmon Foundation about “moving forward to end open net pen aquaculture in Pacific coastal waters”.