Mr. Speaker, in response to (a), the national aquaculture strategic action plan initiative, NASAPI, is not a Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, initiative per se, but a sectoral initiative overseen by federal-provincial-territorial aquaculture lead agencies under the auspices of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, CCFAM, umbrella. Therefore, under the leadership of CCFAM, NASAPI has been launched to develop targeted action plans to facilitate economically, environmentally and socially sustainable aquaculture development in all regions of Canada. Three principal areas for action have been identified: governance; social licence/reporting; and productivity and competitiveness. The areas for action, and the plans themselves, were developed through discussions with federal, provincial and territorial, industry, fish feed suppliers, first nations groups, non-government organizations and others. The plans will include specific actions that will be taken under principal areas of aquaculture including east coast marine finfish, west coast marine finfish, east coast shellfish, west coast shellfish, and freshwater. The actions will be led by the industry, the provinces and territories and/or federal government departments including DFO, depending on the activity. The vision for NASAPI is to supply quality products and generating rural and coastal prosperity through environmentally, socially and economically responsible sustainable aquaculture development that upholds public confidence. Regarding the status of NASAPI, an overarching framework plus three sectoral plans, east coast finfish, east coast shellfish and national fresh water, have been drafted, with plans for the west coast to be developed during the fall of 2010.
In response to (b), NASAPI’s implementation schedule is over a five-year time frame in all regions. It is a mutual and inclusive exercise of aquaculture stakeholders to develop action plans that will facilitate meaningful, progressive sustainable aquaculture industry advancement. The action plans are being developed for each subsector of the Canadian aquaculture industry: east coast marine finfish, east coast shellfish, west coast marine finfish, west coast shellfish and national fresh water. Thus the national fresh water strategic action plan encompasses the Atlantic region, central Canada, the Prairies and the west coast region. The east coast marine finfish strategic action plan and the east coast shellfish strategic action plan covers the Atlantic region and Quebec; and the west coast marine finfish strategic action plan and the west coast shellfish strategic action plan include the province of British Columbia. The implementation structure for the NASAPI will make use of existing federal-provincial-territorial co-ordinating mechanisms for aquaculture governance and management already in place. NASAPI is proposed to be tabled for the consideration of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers at the November 2010 ministerial meeting.
In response to (c), the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, DFO, is the lead federal department for aquaculture management. Under the leadership of the Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, the DFO Aquaculture Management Directorate of the DFO Policy Program Sector is guiding the NASAPI process.
In response to (d), to date, 13 meetings concerning finfish and shellfish have been held in Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, Quebec, Ontario and the prairie provinces. Hundreds of participants attended these meetings with representation from federal, provincial and territorial governments, industry, fish feed suppliers, first nations and aboriginal groups, non-government organizations and others. A discussion paper, shared in advance with all participants, was developed to focus and stimulate discussions throughout the process. Moreover and in order to facilitate more intensive expert discussion, the issue of identifying priority species for diversification efforts was dealt with separately through five advance regional workshops in February and March of 2009. Steering committees with reps from all interested parties were formed for each of the subsectors and the steering commiteee members assisted in the development and subsequent review of the action plans. These plans were then discussed within the CCFAM Strategic Management Committee, comprising reps from federal, provincial and territorial jurisdictions. In addition, a national workshop was held in May 2010 to bring representatives from industry and other stakeholder groups together to review the draft sector-based action plans.
In response to (e), west coast NASAPI discussions were deferred until the end of the 60-day comment period, which concluded on September 8, 2010, on the proposed Pacific aquaculture regulations. It is therefore planned to hold informational NASAPI meetings in British Columbia during the early fall of 2010.
In response to (f), environmental assessments have not been conducted as NASAPI is a plan, not an industry commercial aquaculture project, to facilitate sustainable Canadian aquaculture development based on the principles of sustainability, i.e., environmental protection, social licence and economic prosperity. However, obviously any new or expansion project, arising under NASAPI would need to meet any applicable provincial-territorial-federal environmental regulatory requirements.