Canada's Sustainable Aquaculture Program

Canada’s aquaculture industry is increasingly important to our economy, now contributing more than $2 billion in total economic activity. Aquaculture accounts for about 20% of Canada’s total seafood production. Despite a smaller level of production, relative to the capture fisheries, aquaculture yields about a third of Canada’s total seafood value.

The Government of Canada is committed to developing aquaculture in a sustainable manner that protects marine ecosystems and conserves wild fish populations.

With an initial investment of $70 million, the Government of Canada established the Sustainable Aquaculture Program in 2008 to enhance the sustainable development of Canada’s aquaculture industry.

A renewed investment

The Government of Canada is building on this investment by providing $54 million over five years, from 2013 to 2018, to further improve the regulatory system for the aquaculture sector in Canada.

The renewed Sustainable Aquaculture Program will help address the sector’s challenges to growth by streamlining regulations, improving regulatory management, increasing scientific knowledge and science-based decision-making, and ensuring transparency through enhanced public reporting.

The renewal of this Program is providing $54 million for three key initiatives:

  • $6.5 million per year will be available over the next five years for continued regulatory aquaculture science, $5.4 million of which will directly support science and research activities on an annual basis.
  • $2.9 million per year will be available over the next five years to build on existing work related to regulatory reform and governance.
  • $1.4 million per year will be available over the next five years for improved aquaculture public reporting on the environmental and economic performance of Canada’s aquaculture sector.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is the lead federal Department responsible for aquaculture, and is committed to working collaboratively with industry, provinces, Aboriginal groups, and others to ensure the success and sustainability of Canada’s aquaculture sector.

Learn more about how the Sustainable Aquaculture Program is helping industry to become more innovative and competitive, and view our national action plan for a sustainable future: