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CAIA Responds to Closed Containment Aquaculture Report

13 March 2013

CANADA - The Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has tabled its report on closed containment fish farming. making six recommendations to the government; one of which was to develop a national policy and regulatory framework for aquaculture including an aquaculture act.

In a statement, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) said: "Canada's aquaculture industry welcomes the recommendations and believe they offer a reasonable, responsible basis for setting policy that will serve the interests of all.

"We applaud the suggestion that the government pursue a national policy and framework for aquaculture. This has long been the view of the industry. Such an approach offers us the best hope at taking a truly thoughtful, responsible approach to the industry’s growth.

"As the Committee recognised, Canada’s salmon farmers are experts with closed-containment technology as we already use land-based closed containment systems for one-third of our fish’s lives. We understand the opportunities and challenges associated with it very well."

The statement continues: "While land-based farms may seem like an easy mitigation tool for some concerns, closed containment aquaculture carries its own set of environmental impact - the large footprint of these facilities, required use of freshwater and energy, high capital costs and potential impacts on animal welfare are all challenges that still need to be addressed.

"We feel we are producing a healthy product in a sustainable way now, but are always open to opportunities for improvement. Research and development on this topic may present such opportunities."

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