Positions On Issues


Presented at:

The BC Seafood Alliance Workshop on "Sustainability through Co-Management:
Managing for a Sustainable, Profitable Fishery,"October 9-10, 2002, Vancouver, BC
By Christina Burridge, Executive Director, BC Seafood Alliance

In its 2001 Vision for a Modern Seafood Industry in BC, the BC Seafood Alliance identified a number of priority action items, as well as a series of performance measures by which the sector’s development can be measured over time. It also promised to monitor annually the performance of the province’s seafood sector in advancing this Agenda for Change.


1. Co-operative Management Agreements

2001/02 Target: Within five years, negotiate cooperative management agreements for all of BC’s commercial fisheries that establish the roles and responsibilities of the federal government, the provincial government and fisheries interests—and provide security of access to the resource for tenure holders.

Progress: Progressing, especially on first part.

Sustainability through Co-Management workshop, associated papers
Still awaiting commitments re security of access

2002/03 Target: No change.


2. Federal/Provincial Aquaculture Framework

2001/02 Target: Within two years, establish a federally and provincially integrated and consistent policy framework for aquaculture in B.C. to encourage private sector investment in sustainable growth.

Progress: Progressing

Federal Aquaculture Policy Framework
Federal/provincial guidebook on aquaculture application requirements nearing completion, likely early 2003

2002/03 Target: No change.

3. Inspection Requirements

2001/02 Target: Within one year, harmonize provincial and federal seafood inspection regulations to eliminate unnecessary provincial regulations by having all seafood in B.C. meet CFIA standards.

Progress: One-year target not met.

Preliminary discussions between MAFF, Health Canada and CFIA
Provincial funding to analyse current system and identify overlaps and difficulties to further discussion
Agricultural Policy Framework identifies food safety as one of six pillars of a successful food industry.

2002/03 Target: Continue discussions with view to resolution by 2004.


4. New Access to Capture Fisheries

2001/02 Target: Within one year, secure an explicit commitment from both the federal and provincial governments that any new access to capture fisheries must be retired with compensation out of existing fishery access.

Progress: Target not met.

Alliance position paper on access distributed
Correspondence with both levels of government

2002/03 Target: Continue discussions with view to resolution by 2004.


5. R& D and Marketing

2001/02 Target: Within six months, establish a joint federal/provincial/industry task force to develop a proposal for the establishment of an organization and infrastructure to support industry research and development and to pursue an international marketing and brand development campaign for B.C. seafood products.

Progress: Target not met.

Successful conclusion October 2 to five-year campaign to gain access for seafood to federal trade development programs
Inclusion of seafood in Agricultural Policy Framework, including branding pilot for Canadian food products in Japan.
Informal meetings with both levels of government and industry; provincial funding secured for strategic analysis of delivery of generic marketing.

2002/03 Target: Continue discussions with a view to establishing a more formal mechanism by 2004.


6. IFMPs to Include Sustainability Goals

2001/02 Target: Beginning in 2002, ensure that every integrated fishery management plan in British Columbia identifies key sustainability issues, goals and criteria, as well as a detailed plan and timeline to achieve them.

Progress: Progressing through a number of initiatives

Sections being incorporated into a number of integrated management plans
Pilot implementation of objectives-based management in sablefish and roe herring fisheries
Four implementation projects for the Canadian Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing in B.C. fisheries: integrated groundfish fisheries, geoduck, spawn-on-kelp and seine roe herring.
Application for MSC certification of BC wild salmon fishery as sustainable and well-managed.

2002/03 Target: no change


7. Performance Based Waste Standards for Finfish Aquaculture

2001/02 Target: By the end of 2001, implement performance-based waste management standards for finfish aquaculture.

Progress: Complete. Standards recently announced.

2002/03 Target: Monitor implementation


8. Formal Dialogue between Wild Fisheries & Aquaculture

2001/02 Target: Within six months, establish a formal process for dialogue between BC’s wild fisheries and aquaculture sectors to pursue common interests, including protection of the marine environment, processing and other infrastructure synergies, technology transfer, policy issues etc.

Progress: More informal process substituted reflecting divisions in commercial sector re marine aquaculture.

Correspondence with both levels of government requesting inclusion in advisory processes
Appointment to BC Aquaculture Research & Development Committee of Science Council of BC, tasked with identifying key research areas for Aqua-E fund
Participation in OCAD processes—trans-border issues, food safety issues, business environment
Provincial SWOT analysis of four sectors should identify areas of common interest and/or conflict
Support for PFRCC project to expand and deepen the current public dialogue about the potential impacts of salmon aquaculture on wild salmon by examining the information and assumptions supporting the arguments of opposing interests and developing a credible portrayal of key issues and impacts.

2002/03 Target: Revised. Continue informal discussion; press both levels of government for more information, better research, and enforcement. Encourage aquaculture and capture fisheries in sustainability goals.



1. Wholesale Value

Target: Increase the total wholesale value of BC seafood products by an average of four per cent annually for the next 10 years. This would increase the total value of the province’s seafood industry from approximately $1 billion to $1.5 billion by 2011.

Performance: Target not met. Wholesale value of just over $1 billion dropped 4%, based on preliminary figures for 2001 and revised, higher ones for 2000. MAFF’s "BC Seafood Year in Review" notes that industry is "poised for growth."

2. Exports

Target: By 2005, regain British Columbia’s status as the leading exporter of seafood products in Canada. In 2000, B.C. exported seafood products valued at $903 million, while the leading Canadian province (Nova Scotia) exported seafood products valued at $1.096 billion.

Performance: 2001 exports $974 million, up 8%. NS exports to $1.1 billion, or static.

3. Export Share

Target: By 2006, increase B.C.’s share of total Canadian seafood exports from 22 to 27 per cent. The total value of Canadian seafood exports in 2000 was $4.07 billion.

Performance: 2001 total exports, $4.21 billion; BC gained 1 percentage point to 23%.