COVID-19: Fish and Seafood Classified as Essential Services

OTTAWA, ON: The Fisheries Council of Canada (FCC) and the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) would like to commend the federal government for their collaborative hard work to support the fish and seafood sector, especially in light of today’s recognition of the Canadian fish and seafood industries as essential services as announced by the latest COVID-19 guidance.

“Our wild and farmed fish and seafood sector has been working closely with other food organizations, together with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and other departments to address the COVID-19 challenge,” said Paul Lansbergen, President of the FCC. “It is critical that our members, as important contributors to the food supply chain, maintain their ability to operate and fill grocery store shelves during this crisis.”

“The federal government has now announced numerous programs that will help our essential workers and businesses to continue to operate and supply Canadians and the global community with Canadian seafood,” said Timothy Kennedy, President & CEO, CAIA. “Wage supports and essential worker definitions are critical programs to support – both financially and morally – our Canadian fish and seafood workers. Our members are committed to maintaining our high-quality standards for Canadians during this challenging time.”

In addition to supporting the food supply chain, our members in Canadian fish and seafood – both wild and farmed – promote a healthy resource and work to develop an economically sound, market-driven, competitively-structured industry. Continued operations will help to secure the livelihoods of over 80,000 Canadians, mainly in coastal and rural communities, as harvesters, seafood farmers, employees, and processors. FCC and CAIA are staying engaged with government partners to address issues as the pandemic, and its economic impact, evolves.

Our thoughts are with our communities, including those of our Indigenous partners, as they work to keep their people safe and healthy in these uncertain times. We look forward to continuing our work together to adjust and respond where necessary. Our sector is applying current COVID-19 guidance to our existing health and safety requirements to ensure the protection of both our employees and the public.

Our industry stands with all Canadians as we work together to flatten the curve.

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.

 Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) is the national association that speaks for Canada’s seafood farmers, representing their interests in Ottawa and internationally. CAIA members generate over $6 billion in economic activity, $2.45 billion in GDP, and employ over 25,000 Canadians delivering a healthy, growing and sustainable seafood farming sector in Canada.

For more information or to set up an interview please contact:
Kelly McCarthy
Manager, Communications
613-727-7450 ext. 2722

Sheri Beaulieu
Communications & Marketing Manager
613 239-0612 ext. 224

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