Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

December 22, 2010 11:00 ET

New Measures Protect Canada's Aquatic Industry

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Dec. 22, 2010) - As one of the largest seafood exporters in the world, Canada now has a stronger regulatory framework that will further protect aquatic animal resources and ensure the aquatic industry remains strong. New regulations came into effect today that will better safeguard the health of the domestic industry from the import of aquatic animal disease, enhance domestic surveillance and put into place an emergency plan to respond to disease outbreaks.

"The aquaculture industry and seafood sector are vibrant and thriving in Canada, as they create jobs, drive our economy and provide consumers with high quality seafood," said Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "These new and improved measures will better protect Canada's aquatic industry and will enhance the confidence of our international trading partners."

The amendments to the Health of Animals Regulations enable the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to implement the National Aquatic Animal Health Program. This science-based program will help protect finfish, molluscs and crustaceans from aquatic diseases.

"The aquatic industry plays an important role in the rural communities here in Prince Edward Island and across this country," said Fisheries and Oceans Minister and Egmont Member of Parliament, Honourable Gail Shea. "I'm pleased with the proactive approach of our Government recognizing the importance of our fishers and seafood processors and taking the right measures to help protect these key resources."

Regulatory changes now in effect will better control the import of aquatic animals and their products in order to prevent the introduction of disease, require the mandatory reporting of specified aquatic animal diseases, and establish a national framework that meets the international standards established by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) in order to maintain markets for Canadian exports.

Canada is the fifth-largest seafood exporter in the world with 25% of the world's coastline. Annually, more than $4 billion worth of seafood is exported to more than 80 countries.

These regulatory changes were the result of extensive consultations with the federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry and stakeholders.

For additional information on the amendments, visit:

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  • Canadian Food Inspection Agency
    Media Relations