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Letter: N.L. fish farmers respond to federal report on salmon farming

Julie Gelfand, Canada’s commissioner of the environment and sustainable development, said that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans “is at risk of being seen to be promoting aquaculture over the protection of wild fish.”
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Salmon farming is a growing industry in Canada that provides an important source of healthy sustainable seafood. Globally, aquaculture now provides more than half of all seafood for human consumption.

Aquaculture is a fast-evolving sector and our farmers rely on the latest science, innovation and technology to manage their farming operations, maintain healthy fish, produce premium seafood and reduce their environmental footprint.

The aquaculture industry of Newfoundland and Labrador supports well-informed recommendations and regulatory proposals that are based on robust science, clarify regulator roles and responsibilities, achieve sustainable growth, and protect wild salmon populations and the environment.

Related story:

Canada not properly managing fish farms, environment commissioner says

Salmon farming practices in Newfoundland and Labrador are regulated by federal and provincial regulations, and international third-party sustainability certifications.

It is important to note that this audit and subsequent report did not examine regulations and policies at the provincial level or within other federal departments and agencies that provide regulatory oversight of the industry.

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador has very stringent regulatory policies and regulations that our industry complies with; such as our Code of Containment, which exists as a current condition of licensing. In the report, the Commissioner also stated that Canadian producers demonstrate “high compliance” with licensing conditions.

We expect Canadian regulations to evolve to reflect modern advances in our industry. We are pleased to read the progressive responses by Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) included in the auditor’s report.

As responsible farmers of the sea we offer our support and co-operation to DFO and CFIA to implement the eight recommendations outlined in Canada’s Commissioner of the Environment Report on Salmon Farming.

Mark Lane

Executive Director

N.L. Aquaculture Industry Association

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