Workshop Held on Finfish Traceability

NOVA SCOTIA - Press Release

Committee Advising on Finfish Traceability Learning About Best Practices
Fisheries and Aquaculture
May 18, 2016 1:04 PM

A committee providing government with advice on a practical way to trace escaped finfish, such as trout and salmon, back to their source is learning about best practices at a workshop with experts from Canada, the United States and Norway.

The workshop, today, May 18, focuses on approaches to tracing escaped finfish in Maine and Norway and research on new technology that can support traceability. The committee attending the session includes representatives of the Nova Scotia Salmon Association, the Atlantic Salmon Federation, the aquaculture industry, lobster harvesters and a staff member from the federal and provincial governments.

"Containment management is an important part of our new regulatory approach to the aquaculture industry and that includes how we trace escaped finfish," said Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. "This committee is gathering information on the best approaches in other jurisdictions and the latest research and I am looking forward to receiving their advice later this year."

The workshop presentations include:

  • David Bean, a biologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's National Marine Fisheries Service, whose career has focused on efforts to help salmon stocks recover, outlining Maine's traceability program
  • Sebastien Belle, executive director of the Maine Aquaculture Association and a fish biologist with expertise in aquaculture regulation and fish farm management, providing an industry perspective on Maine's traceability program
  • Amber Garber, a research scientist at the Huntsman Marine Science Centre in Saint Andrew's, New Brunswick, with expertise in aquaculture and wild fisheries, presenting scientific research into traceability methods
  • Eva Thorstad, a research scientist with the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research with a background in fish ecology and fisheries management, discussing fish tagging in Norway
  • Rich Lincoln, founder and senior advisor for Ocean Outcomes, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the sustainability of fish populations, describing approaches to tagging used around the world

The committee, appointed in January, is considering options for industry policies and regulations.

"This workshop will offer lessons learned from other jurisdictions about the pros and cons of various marking technologies," said Jonathan Carr, executive director of research and environment with the Atlantic Salmon Federation.

"This will help our committee in its task of recommending a mark that can accurately identify a farmed fish if it escapes and trace it to the company of origin."

Government introduced new regulations for aquaculture licensing and leasing and management in October. Information about the regulations is available at http://novascotia.ca/fish/aquaculture/laws-regs/ .