Following their bilateral meeting during the Aqua Nor aquaculture trade show, Geoff Regan, Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Svein Ludvigsen, Norway's Minister of Fisheries and Coastal Affairs, announced an International Working Group on Cold Water Aquaculture.
"Around the world, we are seeing a growing interest by our citizens in the health and environmental sustainability of aquaculture products, particularly farmed salmon," said Minister Regan. "Government programs regulate the food safety and environmental sustainability and through sharing information internationally we believe we can make continuous improvements in these areas. We also believe that the public must receive balanced information about this industry, so they can make informed decisions."
"I am pleased with the significant international support demonstrated for this new working group," said Minister Ludvigsen. "It is an excellent opportunity for those involved in the aquaculture industry to exchange information and identify areas for collaboration - such as scientific research - to ensure that the industry remains environmentally sustainable."
Building on an initiative led by Minister Ludvigsen in June 2004, senior officials from Norway, Canada, the United States, Chile, Scotland and Ireland participated in the first meeting of an international Working Group on Cold Water Aquaculture. The purpose of this group is to establish better communications on food safety and environmental sustainability issues. Other like-minded countries are already considering joining the group.
Participants agreed to establish networks to share information on emerging issues, best practices with regard to the regulation of cold-water aquaculture and scientific data available in the public domain in their jurisdictions. They also agreed to share information on approaches regarding the management of issues of international interest.
Aqua Nor is the world's largest aquaculture tradeshow taking place in Trondheim, Norway from August 8-12, 2005.