Ontario fish and shrimp farmers thank Ford government for championing aquaculture

Ontario fish and shrimp farmers thank Ford government for championing aquaculture

August 29, 2019 — Cabinet ministers from the Ford government gathered today with 60+ fish and shrimp farmers to announce how they’re streamlining Ontario’s regulatory framework to help the aquaculture sector grow.

Minister Jeff Yurek (Environment, Conservation and Parks), Associate Minister Bill Walker (Energy), and MPP Mike Harris (Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry) shared the news at Cedar Crest Trout Farms in Hanover, Ontario.

The Ford government announced key changes that add business certainty, unlock loan and investment opportunities, and help the sector grow, including:

  • Finalizing objectives for water quality for net-pen farms, on the industry’s request
  • Extending aquaculture licences from 5 to 20 years
  • Restructuring public land tenure from 5-year land-use permits to 20-year leases for net-pen farms

Ontario’s fish and shrimp farmers grow more than 100 million meals of eco-friendly protein every year. The sector has an economic contribution of more than $122 million, and provides jobs and prosperity to many of Ontario’s rural, northern and Indigenous communities.

“Aquaculture is one the sectors that is most dependent on our ability to keep our waters clean,” said the Hon. Jeff Yurek, Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks. “Ontario’s fish farming community are known world-wide for finding some of the most sustainable ways to operate, while ensuring there is minimal impact on the environment.”

“Aquaculture is already the fastest growing agri-food sector in the world,” said Susan Cole, president of the Ontario Aquaculture Association and owner of Cole-Munro Foods. “These changes carry our regulatory regime into the 21st century, and they bring us one step closer to realizing our goal of doubling fish and shrimp production in the province within five years.”

“Businesses like Cedar Crest Trout Farm play an important role in providing a quality food product for Ontarians and new economic opportunities for our region and province, and so I’m pleased to see our government supporting our local business and the aquaculture industry,” said the Hon. Bill Walker, Associate Minister of Energy. “I’m excited about the potential to significantly expand this industry, jobs and the economy.”

“Ontario fish and shrimp farmers are among the most sustainable producers of protein in the world,” said RJ Taylor, managing director for the Ontario Aquaculture Association and owner of Cedar Crest Trout Farms, where the announcement took place. “Ontario’s largest farms are certified and recognized internationally for their environmental stewardship and best management practices.”

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