Thursday, April 21, 2011

Canadians overwhelmingly support regulated expansion of national aquaculture industry

OTTAWA, April 20, 2011 /Canada NewsWire/ - A new survey reveals the majority of Canadians support national legislation to govern and enable the growth of our aquaculture industry.

Conducted from April 7 - 14, 2011, the survey found that eight in ten Canadians (81 percent) either strongly support (40 percent) or somewhat support (41 percent) a national Aquaculture Act. Only 4 percent oppose national legislation.

Even in British Columbia - where campaigns opposing aquaculture are most active - 79 percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat support the development of an Aquaculture Act. More than six in ten Canadians indicated support for national legislation, saying the country needs national standards for the industry (69 percent) and a framework for industry growth (60 percent).

"Canadians overwhelmingly support our call for a federal Aquaculture Act," said Ruth Salmon, Executive Director of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA). "Canada's finfish and shellfish farmers have long been advocating for sustainable expansion and efficient regulations, and this survey confirms the Canadian public recognizes the social, economic and nutritional benefits our sustainable industry provides."

Currently, the Canadian aquaculture industry is governed by 73 pieces of often conflicting rules and regulations, making Canada's aquaculture industry one of the most heavily-regulated in the world. Canada is also the world's only major farmed seafood producing country without national legislation specifically designed to govern and enable its aquaculture industry.

The survey also found that almost nine in ten Canadians (88 percent) have eaten seafood in the past three months and that over 70 percent of respondents feel it's important to get fresh protein year-round, food that's locally-grown, and food grown in an environmentally sustainable way.

"Demand for seafood is on the rise as consumers opt for healthier lifestyle choices," said Salmon. "If the industry were able to expand in an efficiently regulated manner, we would be in a position to meet growing domestic and international demand for our product - something we currently can't do."

Abacus Data Inc. conducted the online survey among 1,196 randomly selected Canadian adults from an online panel of over 75,000 Canadians, who were randomly selected to join the panel by telephone. The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is comparable to +/-2.9%, 19 times out of 20.

The detailed findings from the survey can be found here:,_2011_FINAL.pdf

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