What do we mean by sustainability?
In Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has the federal lead for aquaculture, playing a dual role as both regulator and developer. When we consider sustainability, we take into account three essential, equally important, and inter-connected elements of sustainability – environment, social and economic.
We liken it to a three-legged stool with each leg necessary to support the whole:
Ensuring ecosystems remain healthy and productive.
Supporting and protecting local, First Nations and aboriginal communities and cultures in which aquaculture operates, and providing meaningful jobs.
Encouraging long-term growth of the aquaculture industry and providing stable jobs.
We ensure our aquaculture industry is sustainable by:
•Strong monitoring and enforcement
•Basing decisions on in-depth scientific advice
•Mitigating environmental impacts
•Involving communities and stakeholders
•Fostering an aquaculture industry that is proactive and innovative
Aquaculture must be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable to be a viable industry. And each element builds upon another.
For example, if aquaculture businesses do well economically, farmers can invest more in innovation and technology to improve production practices. It is in their best interest to do so in order to ensure that their businesses have strong long-term potential. And to take it one step further, if aquaculture enterprises protect the environment and the social well-being of the community in which they operate, then the local community is more likely to support them, which in turn leads to meaningful employment and social stability.
Aquaculture businesses have realized that sustainability makes solid business sense