Harvesting salmon broodstock. (Photo: Stock File)
Public comments sought on new aquaculture regulations
Monday, August 25, 2014, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
The Ministry of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is inviting Canadians to comment on the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations, which have been pre-published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, until 22 October.
All comments received during the 60-day pre-publication period on the proposed regulations will be considered before policy directions are finalized and revisions, if needed, to the regulations are made.
The DFO says that, when finalized, these new regulations would resolve uncertainties in the application of various federal acts, eliminate overlap and duplication issues, and reflect the unique circumstances of aquaculture.
The proposed Regulations will clarify conditions under which aquaculture operators may treat their fish for disease and parasites, as well as deposit organic matter, under sections 35 and 36 of the Fisheries Act.
As in the past, the Regulations would require that only products regulated by Health Canada under the Pest Control Products Act or the Food and Drugs Act may be used. The proposed Regulations will also impose greater public reporting from the aquaculture industry, as well as specific environmental monitoring and sampling requirements.
The DFO will be holding technical information sessions for affected stakeholders throughout the country in the coming weeks.
After three years, the Ministry will convene a science-based research and advisory process to review the implementation of the proposed Regulations and to determine if modifications are needed. This panel will also review biochemical oxygen-demanding monitoring methodologies to evaluate whether enhancements are needed to the monitoring standards and procedures.
"As I had announced on 26 June, the Government of Canada is taking extra steps to increase sustainable aquaculture production in Canada while protecting the environment by proposing these new Aquaculture Activities Regulations," said Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, Gail Shea in a statement.
"Aquaculture activities currently fall under 10 different federal acts. The proposed changes aim at clearly spelling out conditions under all federal acts. Authorized aquaculture operators would therefore be able to operate with additional certainty about compliance with federal pollution prevention provisions. Importantly, the proposed Regulations would also impose greater public reporting on the environmental performance of the sector," she continued.