CANADA - After slow growth of the aquaculture sector in 2013, a review of Novia Scotia's regulatory framework took place. The concluding report suggests that a complete overhaul of the province's aquaculture regulations are needed.
Nova Scotia's Independent Aquaculture Regulatory Review Panel released the final report on the 16 December.
Professors Meinhard Doelle and William Lahey, of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, were appointed to conduct the review in April 2013.
The release of the panel's report is the final step in the regulatory review of the aquaculture sector in Nova Scotia.
"We very much appreciate the thoughtful and constructive input we received on our draft report at the public hearings and in the written submissions," said Mr Doelle. "The feedback has enabled us to strengthen the final report in important ways."
As part of its public consultation, the panel held 42 community meetings, and more than 20 targeted meetings with interested organisations and individuals. The panel also conducted three knowledge workshops with researchers and local experts, and held four public meetings on its draft report this past summer.
"In this report, we conclude that a fundamental overhaul of the regulation of aquaculture in Nova Scotia is called for," said Mr Lahey.
"It should be guided by the idea that aquaculture that integrates economic prosperity, social well-being and environmental sustainability is one that is low impact and high value."
Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell received the report and thanked the panelists for their thorough public consultation.
"This is a very comprehensive review done for government and I want to thank Mr Doelle and Mr Lahey for their work," said Mr Colwell. "Government will now take this into consideration.
"This review provides valuable information to help develop that regulatory framework for the acquaculture industry."
Also commenting on the release, Cooke Aquaculture told the ChronicleHerald that it is keen to now proceed with its expansion in Nova Scotia.
“Now that the regulatory review is complete and the province is ready to move ahead with the development of the sector, we are hopeful that we will be able to continue with the rest of our investment plan,” said company spokeswoman Nell Halse.
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) Executive Director, Pamela Parker, said: “Now that the review has been completed and a report has been submitted, we must continue to move forward to grow the sector and create jobs in rural Nova Scotia. Our industry already meets high regulatory standards that cover all aspects of our farming operations. We look forward to working with the Province of Nova Scotia to finalise any regulatory amendments or, where necessary, the introduction of new regulations in a timely manner.”
The report is available to view at http://www.aquaculturereview.ca/.
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TheFishSite News Desk