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Special Report on Eco-certification
Supportive governments
Shrimp bag and its eco-certification logo
Crevette du Nord Atlantique Inc.
M. Lapierre

For fishers…

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is responsible for managing the harvest of marine resources. When an independent organization attempts to assess whether a fishing activity is sustainable, it must inevitably turn to Fisheries and Oceans Canada as a source of scientific information and as fisheries manager.

The Department implements mechanisms to ensure a marine resource management that is transparent, uniform and rigorous. With the new Sustainable fisheries framework, Fisheries and Oceans Canada ensures that management of Canadian fisheries meets the highest international standards. At the same time, this facilitates the eco-certification of Canadian fishery products. During the certification process, Fisheries and Oceans Canada offers the industry its support to answer the evaluator’s questions and build action plans.

For aquaculturers…

Fisheries and Oceans Canada manages the Aquaculture innovation and market access program. This program encourages the industry to adopt responsible and sustainable practices and helps it in its efforts to identify and adopt standards associated with the eco-certification of its products. Finally, Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the provincial governments develop strategic plans that serve to improve the coordination of their aquaculture-related efforts and to ensure the industry’s sustainable development in a manner that respects the environment and other users of marine resources.

…and for processors

To help processing companies meet buyers’ requirements and diversify their markets, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec can “support industry eco-certification efforts” as set out in the ministerial action plan Together for a thriving industry. In addition, the Financial support program for collective initiatives in the commercial fisheries and aquaculture sector provides financing to hire consultants certified to evaluate the sustainability of a fishery.

The eco-certification process can be a collective operation undertaken by fisheries and processing stakeholders working together with the governments of Canada and Québec as well as with other provincial governments when the stocks of a species are shared. For example, Québec and New Brunswick have cooperated to help finance accreditation efforts leading to the eco-certification of Gulf of St. Lawrence northern shrimp.

The Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation du Québec via its ACCORD program targeting niches of excellence (Programme ACCORD-Créneaux d’excellence) supports eco-certification efforts by encouraging initiatives that strengthen the competitive capacities of companies while ensuring sustainable development.

The sustainable nature of the fishery practiced in Québec and its recognition by consumers will thus become an asset for the industry as it seeks to conquer markets.

Sustainable fisheries framework
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – National site

Aquaculture innovation and market access program
Fisheries and Oceans Canada – National site

Together for a thriving industry action plan
Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l'Alimentation du Québec

Programme ACCORD-Créneaux d'excellence
Ministère du Développement économique, de l’Innovation et de l’Exportation du Québec

Sustainable aquatic products… The new market reality (other articles)

Maité Chavez et Cédric Arseneau
Policy and Economics / Fisheries Management
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