The Government of Canada recognizes that, as our economy starts to open up, it will be more important than ever to chart a course to grow Canada’s blue economy.
“We cannot have a strong ocean economy without healthy oceans,” said Bernadette Jordan, the minister of fisheries, oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard. “With three oceans and the longest coastline in the world, Canada has a real opportunity to both grow our economy and become a global leader in ocean conservation.”
Minister Jordan spoke at the Vancouver Board of Trade on July 14, 2020. She outlined the federal government’s path forward to achieve healthy, sustainable oceans and economic prosperity here in Canada and around the world.
This includes reaching the federal government’s target of protecting 25 per cent of our oceans by 2025, working toward 30 per cent by 2030, and developing a national Blue Economy Strategy to ensure Canada is positioned to take advantage of new opportunities.
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“We are also investing now through such programs as British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund in efforts that will protect and restore our oceans and coastlines,” said Jordan. “Together we will ensure that more Canadians can sustainably continue to make a living on, and from, the water for generations to come.”
Minister Jordan also underscored the importance of creating a Blue Economy Strategy that will guide the Government of Canada’s actions and investments to grow Canada’s ocean economy.
She made clear that environmental protection must therefore continue to go hand-in-hand with economic growth. To that end, Minister Jordan announced that Fisheries and Oceans will be accepting new applications for funding from July 15 to September 15, 2020 for the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF).
“The BCSRIF projects will continue to increase our knowledge and understanding of wild salmon behaviour, and to improve the conditions of B.C.’s waterways and oceans so they can support wild fish populations in the years and generations ahead,” said Lana Popham, B.C.’s minister of agriculture. “The collective work underway by First Nations, scientists, and community groups demonstrates how important wild fisheries are to British Columbians, and gives us all hope for sustainable wild fish populations in the future.”
Funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions. Investments through this program will help recover salmon habitat, benefit commercial and recreational fishing and aquaculture, as well as support science and research initiatives. Pacific wild salmon are integral to British Columbia’s economy and cultural heritage, and restoring their populations is a shared, top priority.
Minister Jordan and the Minister Lana Popham also announced funding for eight projects under the British Columbia Salmon Restoration and Innovation Fund (BCSRIF). More than $10 million in funding will support research and monitoring activities, infrastructure upgrades to community hatcheries, and the development of strategies to enhance the sustainability of Pacific fisheries.