Federal-Provincial-Territorial Meeting of Ministers responsible for Fisheries


QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, September 23, 1999 --The Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (CCFAM), composed of federal, provincial and territorial Ministers, today discussed national and global issues affecting the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and identified shared policy objectives and principles. The meeting was hosted by Rémy Trudel, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Herb Dhaliwal, federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.

At the end of the meeting, Minister Rémy Trudel said on behalf of his provincial and territorial colleagues, "We are pleased with the progress made since last September in Victoria. The development of the Council's new structure will lead to beneficial discussions and concrete deliverables. As well, with the working groups that will be formed, we should be able to address current issues and implement the Council's decisions more quickly."

"It was a great pleasure to meet with my provincial and territorial counterparts at this inaugural meeting of the CCFAM," said Mr. Dhaliwal. "I am confident that today we have entered a new era of federal-provincial-territorial relations in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors. Ministers and their departments will work together strategically and effectively. This Council is well-positioned to create economic opportunities through a viable fishery and an ecologically sustainable aquaculture industry."

Today, Ministers endorsed a new Agreement on Interjurisdictional Cooperation, which outlines several principles of cooperation, including timely consultations, information-sharing, transparency and flexibility in the application of policies and programs. The Agreement is the mechanism that will permit Ministers to identify shared priorities and create opportunities for the fisheries and aquaculture sectors.

Ministers reviewed and agreed upon a strategic workplan for 1999-2000. The workplan sets out concrete objectives and deliverables that will support fisheries and aquaculture diversification and development. Federal-provincial-territorial working groups will be established to undertake work in the following areas:


  • Freshwater Fishery Initiative
  • National Code on Introductions and Transfers of Aquatic Organisms
  • Plan to Manage Fishing Capacity
  • Sustainable Aquaculture
  • Emerging Fisheries, and
  • Recreational Fishing.

Mr. Yves Bastien, Aquaculture Commissioner, provided a progress report on the status of the review of the legislative and regulatory framework for aquaculture, and committed to continue to work closely with provincial and territorial governments in the exercise of his mandate. Provincial and territorial Ministers asked the federal Minister to make additional funding available to sustain development of this important industry. All Ministers endorsed the goal of Canada becoming a world leader in sustainable aquaculture.

On recreational fishing, Ministers indicated their support for proceeding with a Canada-wide survey on recreational fishing in the year 2000. They further agreed to continue to work with the private sector in the promotion and development of this fishery.

Discussions took place on the recent Supreme Court decision on the Marshall Case. Ministers stressed again the need to immediately address the many issues and uncertainties surrounding the decision. Minister Dhaliwal reiterated his objective to follow the direction of the Court in a manner that will ensure conservation, and that is fair to the interests of all. All Ministers appealed to the groups involved in the Atlantic fishery for patience, restraint and goodwill during this period of some uncertainty.

Minister Dhaliwal presented his Department's science priorities and Ministers discussed opportunities to enhance federal-provincial-territorial collaboration in this area.

The Canadian Responsible Fisheries Board provided an update on the ratification of the Canadian Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing by Canadian fishing organizations. All Ministers endorsed the work of the Board in advancing the development and adoption of sustainable fishing practices.

The next meeting of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers will take place in Nunavut in the summer of 2000.


- 30 -