Canadian government launches independent expert panel on aquaculture science

February 7, 2018

The Government of Canada has reinforced its commitment to regulating a responsible and sustainable aquaculture sector by announcing the creation of an independent expert panel to review and provide recommendations on the appropriate use and consideration of scientific evidence in protecting the marine environment in decision making on aquaculture.

To be led by the country’s Chief Science Advisor Mona Nemer, the panel will also provide advice on the communication of this science, and associated decisions, to Canadians. This corresponds with Nemer’s mandate to ensure that government science is fully available to the public, scientists can speak freely about their work, and scientific analyses are considered when the government makes decisions.

“Our government understands that Canadians have real concerns around aquaculture,” said Dominic LeBlanc, minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “We look forward to the recommendations of the panel led by the chief science advisor on how science can be better applied to decision making and communicated to the public in support of sustainable aquaculture as we seek to remain a strong, science-based regulator of the aquaculture industry.”

In response to the announcement, Timothy Kennedy, the executive director of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance, released the following statement: “Aquaculture in Canada today is leading the way with science and the very highest environmental, food safety, and social standards. Working in partnership with Fisheries and Oceans Canada, coastal communities, and Canada’s Indigenous peoples, we have built a responsible and sustainable farmed seafood sector that we can all be very proud of. Any efforts to increase engagement with Canadians and to develop trust and understanding of the science are welcomed.”

Government press release

Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance statement