Monday, April 24, 2006

Atlantic Think tanks thoughts on fishery "food for thought"

It is FARMING, not Fishing: Re-thinking how we view Canada’s aquaculture industry.

The latest AIMS paper in the How to Farm the Seas series shows how Canada is missing the boat on what could be a lucrative industry.

Author Robin Neill, professor of Economics at UPEI, examines the bureaucracy surrounding the industry in Canada and calls for a fundamental reorientation. Aquaculture in Canada needs to be recognized for what it is: farming. He says aquaculture needs to be separated from the administration of the wild fishery, which means taking it out of the jurisdiction of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO). He concludes:

“Aquaculture in Canada is being held back by a dysfunctional government bureaucracy, by an obsolete property rights system, and by the machinations of environmental activists operating through pressured, unthinking mass media.

"As one critic put it, the government’s oversight of aquaculture is analogous to ‘a chicken farm being managed by the Migratory Birds Act’," Neill says. "In Canada, fish farming falls under the jurisdiction of the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, not the Department of Agriculture as are other types of farmed animals, such as hogs, chickens and cattle."

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