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January 22, 2016
For immediate release

McIsaac pleased with outcomes of FPT meetings

Agriculture and Fisheries

Canada’s ministers of fisheries and aquaculture have agreed to work together to identify approaches to advance common goals and priorities going forward. The commitment was made yesterday at the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM) meetings in Montreal.

“There was a spirit of collaboration and partnership at the first meeting of the Ministers with the new federal government,” said Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, Alan McIsaac. “While each province and territory has its own priorities, we understand that by working together we can achieve more and truly benefit Canada’s fisheries and aquaculture industries for the betterment of our own jurisdictions and the country.”

Ministers shared their priorities and discussed ways to work together to advance their common goals of economic growth, strengthening global market access and protecting Canada’s oceans, coasts, waterways and fisheries.

The Ministers exchanged views on key priorities such as: increasing the proportion of Canada’s marine and coastal areas that are protected, restoring funding to support federal ocean and freshwater science and monitoring programs, and reviewing the Fisheries Act, to improve protection for fish and fish habitat.

Market access for Canada’s fish and seafood exports was also discussed. Talks focused on fish and seafood trade opportunities associated with Canada’s trade agreements. Ministers also discussed Canada’s access initiatives for Indigenous communities and the sealing industry to market their seal products to the EU and other markets. Ministers also discussed challenges with labour availability in Canada’s fish and seafood sector.

Another key discussion was the economic value and potential of Canada’s aquaculture sector. The Ministers recognized that aquaculture represents significant opportunities for employment, economic growth and prosperity in remote, rural, coastal and Indigenous communities across Canada. They acknowledged that further development of the sector can be done in a sustainable manner while respecting the environment and commercial, recreational and Indigenous fisheries.

The Ministers also discussed the damaging impact of aquatic invasive species on our fisheries, infrastructure, and the environment. They acknowledged the importance of working together to explore ways to lessen the impact and reduce the threat of further spread of aquatic invasive species already in Canada.

“Prince Edward Island’s fishing and aquaculture industries represent a significant portion of our provincial economy creating jobs and economic development opportunities in communities across our province,” said Minister McIsaac. “The Province of Prince Edward Island will work with all levels of government and our industry partners in order for our primary industries to grow and prosper.”

Media Contact: April Gallant
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