Concerning Lack of Commitment to Canadian Fisheries Science and
Blue Economy in Federal Budget

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 28, 2023

OTTAWA, ON: The federal budget tabled by Minister Freeland today shows a concerning lack of support for the Canadian fisheries industry and essential fisheries science. The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is disappointed to see an absence of recognition of the importance of a sufficient science for supporting data-based fisheries management decisions that will allow our industry to establish a robust Blue Economy.

As the national voice representing the Canadian fisheries industry, FCC made several pre-budget recommendations and was pleased to see that several had been considered in pre-budget report, released by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance. The pre-budget report highlighted the need for the federal government to increase funding for fisheries science and prioritize the hiring and retention of fisheries scientists. It is discouraging to see that these recommendations did not come through in the 2023 Budget. The fisheries industry has been a strong advocate for improved fisheries science to support maximum sustainable use, balancing conservation with food production.

“The Canadian fisheries industry has long been a cornerstone of the national economy, supporting thousands in rural, coastal and Indigenous communities. In order to reach its full potential as the largest ocean-based jobs provider and foundational of a healthy Blue Economy, the industry needs dedication from the federal government to fund sufficient fisheries science,” said Paul Lansbergen, President, FCC. “Making sound science-based fisheries management decisions is the only way to maximize growth and sustainability in tandem.”

This concerning lack of funding for science comes at a time when the House of Commons Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans has just released their much-awaited study on science at Fisheries and Oceans Canada, which makes 48 recommendations to the department to improve implementation of fisheries science policies and guidelines to make what is “good on paper good in practice.”  

“It is worth noting that there is no mention of the Blue Economy in the Budget. The Blue Economy Strategy was first mentioned in 2019 and now seems forgotten,” said Lansbergen. “We are a great source of sustainable, low carbon food and jobs. There is so much potential in our sector to realize.”

FCC is part of a national seafood partnership that has developed a vision and action plan to make Canada a top three global producer of sustainable seafood by 2040, with sufficient government support. This strategy outlines a plan to double the value of Canadian seafood, double the economic benefits and double domestic consumption – helping Canada capture its seafood opportunity as an economic powerhouse.

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The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) is the voice of Canada’s wild capture fish and seafood industry, promoting a healthy resource and prosperous industry playing a vital role in the Canadian economy. Our members include small, medium and larger-sized companies along with Indigenous enterprises that harvest and process fish from Canada’s three oceans.

For more information or to set up an interview please contact:
Kelly McCarthy
Manager, Communications
[email protected]

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