Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne released new policies and procedures for the aquaculture industry on Wednesday, a day after revelations of a mass die-off of farmed salmon on the south coast of Newfoundland.
Highlights of the updates include:
- Policies that focus on industry accountability, environmental stewardship, and best practices that adhere to, or exceed, industry standards;
- A strong, public reporting policy that enhances industry accountability and public trust;
- Clearer expectations around the selling and buying of licenses and sub-leasing processes; and
- Security bonding for any environmental remediation resulting from aquaculture activity.
Aquatic animal health measures to mitigate disease have also been adopted, including:
- Requirement for licensees to have a detailed fish health management plan;
- Net washing procedures to ensure full sanitization of nets; species and site separation;
- Finfish and shellfish surveillance measures to ensure regular and publicly reportable diagnostic testing; and
- Biosecurity auditing of aquaculture facilities, sites and activities to ensure world-class biosecurity standards are maintained.
The government says more stringent standards will also be adopted for public communication by aquaculture companies regarding escape and disease events, and compliance.