Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

March 24, 2006 14:40 ET

Meeting of Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers

ST. JOHN'S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR--(CCNMatthews - March 24, 2006) - The Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (ACFAM) met in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, today. The ACFAM is made up of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers from the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Nunavut and the federal government.

"It was my pleasure to welcome the ACFAM to St. John's and I very much enjoyed hosting my counterparts from the other Atlantic Provinces, Quebec and Nunavut. My department looks forward to continued positive relations in the future" said co-chair Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"This was an important opportunity to meet with my colleagues to discuss the challenges that lie ahead for our fishing and aquaculture industries and how we can better work together to develop long-term, sustainable solutions for our resources and those that depend on them," said co-chair Loyola Hearn, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

DFO's objectives for Fisheries renewal - improve conservation outcomes, stabilize access and allocation, share stewardship, modernize compliance and take steps to improve the economic viability of the fishing sector - were key items of discussion among Ministers. Provinces and Nunavut expressed support for this new direction and for Minister Hearn's vision of sustainable management of the publicly-owned resource for the greatest benefit to Canadians. They called on the federal government to proceed as soon as possible with changes to the Fisheries Act.

Federal-provincial and territorial governments agreed that they must work collectively to develop comprehensive approaches to manage oceans resources from sea to market, to find long-term solutions to challenges in the fishery and aquaculture sector and to identify new opportunities.

During the meeting:

- Ministers agreed to work together to address the many real
challenges facing the industry by renewing our approach to
fisheries and habitat management, aquaculture and oceans;

- Ministers recognized the increasing importance of aquaculture to
rural and coastal communities and agreed to move as quickly as
possible on an Aquaculture Framework Agreement which will
harmonize legal, regulatory and policy initiatives;

- Ministers directed officials to complete the profile of current
issues, challenges and opportunities facing the snow crab
industry and report back by Fall 2006. This in depth analysis
will lead to future measures to address challenges faced by this
sector of the fishing industry;

- Ministers approved the terms of reference for a new Task Group
on shrimp and agreed to ensure continued multilateral
coordination and information-sharing in advance of the 2007

- Following a presentation by the Province of Ontario on American
eel, Ministers established a short-term Task Group for ACFAM
jurisdictions and Ontario to contribute to an integrated
conservation plan for the American eel and report back to the
Ministers, and

- Ministers discussed the Aquatic Invasive Species Task Group and
agreed that a cooperative interjurisdictional approach was
necessary to effectively address the issue.

The Council received a presentation from the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI) on its efforts to expand its activities throughout the Atlantic. Ministers expressed their appreciation for the work of the Centre and supported the long-term viability of the Centre.

Given the opening of the seal hunt tomorrow and recent media attention over this activity, Ministers acknowledged that the annual seal hunt is well-managed, sustainable, humane and legitimate.

The ACFAM meets on a regular basis to discuss and work collaboratively on fisheries and aquaculture issues of particular interest to Eastern Canada.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Steve Outhouse
    Director of Communications
    (613) 992-3474
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Sophie Galarneau
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    Government of Newfoundland and Labrador
    Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
    Lori Lee Oates
    (709) 729-3733