Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard
How is Canada planning on conserving fish stock, protecting the oceanic environment, whilst fostering a growing blue economy?
Protecting fish habitat and the conservation of fish stocks play critical roles in growing Canada’s fish and seafood sector and coastal economies. Our government has taken important steps to protect aquatic ecosystems and invest in coastal communities. We modernized the Fisheries Act to protect fish and fish habitat, which is vital to the sustainability of Canada’s fisheries. We need healthy fish stocks to continue to grow our fish and seafood sector, and I’m committed to science-based fish management that protects the fisheries for the generations to come.
With seafood demand growing, how can Canada achieve the next level of being a sustainable seafood powerhouse?
Canada can be a leader in sustainable seafood production. Ensuring fish stocks are healthy for the long term growth of Canada’s fisheries is a critical part of sustainable fisheries management. Canada has a great opportunity to be a global leader in truly sustainable, next-generation aquaculture and algae culture. We’re committed to developing Canada’s first Blue Economy Strategy to support coastal communities and ensure Canada can continue to innovate and build a greener, more sustainable oceans economy.
What is Canada doing to build partnerships with First Nations, Indigenous, and Inuit communities across Canadian coastlines?
Our government is committed to advancing reconciliation with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities across Canada.
Increasing indigenous participation in the fisheries is an important part of this work. Indigenous peoples have long standing cultural, social and economic ties to fish, and my department is working with Indigenous peoples to grow their participation in the fisheries according to their rights.
We’re building strong partnerships with Indigenous peoples on ocean and marine conservation. Recently at IMPAC5, together with 17 First Nations, I announced the Northern Shelf Bioregion Network Action Plan in a vast area off of the Pacific Coast, to work in partnership with First Nations and the Province of BC to protect the ocean and waterways.
I will continue working together with Indigenous peoples to protect Canada’s water and coasts.
What is the significance of IMPAC5 for the future of Canada’s ocean?
IMPAC5 was another important step in protecting the oceans and coasts. Continuing the momentum from COP15, IMPAC5 brought together people from around the world to develop ways to advance oceans protection. Canada is a leader in marine conservation, and at IMPAC5 I announced Canada’s new Marine Protected Area standards to further protect the oceans, as well as $46.5 million in federal funding to support cutting edge oceans science research.
With 2030 approaching, what steps is Canada taking to ensure the conservation of ocean and costal ecosystems?
Since 2015, Canada has progressed from protecting just 1% of our oceans, to almost 15%. Our government’s Ocean Protection Plan is investing over $3 billion in federal funding to strengthen marine safety systems, increase protections for marine ecosystems, and engage with Indigenous peoples so they can have greater participation in how their coasts and waterways are protected. The world looks to us to lead on marine conservation, and recently Canada became a signatory to the United Nations “High Seas Treaty”, to work together with international partners to further protect global oceans and aquatic species. Canada is committed to reaching the target of protecting 30% of our oceans by 2030, and we’re taking action to reach this important goal.