Minister Tootoo backs aquaculture

March 7, 2016

Minister Tootoo backs aquaculture
Canada’s Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Hunter Tootoo, met with Canadian seafood industry representatives and provincial and territorial counterparts in Boston to show his support for the country’s aquaculture sector.
 FishfarmingExpert,  Laura Braden, PhD, March 6, 2016

Minister Tootoo held a media availability/teleconference about Canada’s efforts to showcase our fish and seafood industry and its importance to the Canadian economy, as well as efforts to expand market access.

He was joined by Ruth Salmon, Executive Director of Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) and Michelle Boudreau, President of Fisheries Council of Canada.

“It’s a real honour for me to be here,” said Minister Tootoo, “I think that we value our special relationship with the US, and it is very important to collaborate together.”

“Thank you for being here and showcasing Canadian farmed seafood,” Minister Tootoo said to industry representatives including Jeremy Dunn (BC Salmon Farmers Association), Sue Farquason (Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association), Laurie Jensen (Cermaq Canada), Ian Roberts (Marine Harvest Canada), Mark Lane (Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, NAIA), Cyr Couturier (NAIA), Nell Halse (Cooke Aquaculture), and Matt Sullivan (PEI Aquaculture Alliance).

Minister Tootoo also addressed the challenges associated with climate change and the industry. “As an Inuk I’m very aware of the unique issues in the North… we are on the front lines of climate change. I look forward to joining the Prime Minister in bringing some of those issues to the table.”

Ruth Salmon (CAIA) spoke about the export potential for Canadian farmed seafood.

“This is always a good experience to showcase Canadian aquaculture,” said Salmon, “The United States remains a very important market for us… the demand in the US is up and growing. Last year Canadian seafood farmers exported 97,000 tonnes of farmed seafood, worth $742 million to the United States.”

Salmon added that, in 2015, sales were not only strong in the US, but had also increased in Asia.

“We are very proud of what we have accomplished. We are proud to produce the healthiest and freshest seafood in the world, and we believe that we have oceans of new opportunity in the future.

“As global seafood demand is expected to dramatically increase, we believe that Canada’s aquaculture industry will have a vital role in feeding the world. Working cooperatively as seafood farmers, together with our government leaders, Federally and Provincially, we know we can meet that new demand responsibly, with Global Best Practices and continued sustainability. This will ensure seafood farmers can continue to deliver jobs and economic prosperity to coastal and indigenous communities. While at the same time, protecting our oceans for future generations. We all benefit from vibrant and healthy oceans,” said Salmon.