Joyce Murray, an avowed opponent of open-net salmon farming, has been appointed as Canada’s new Fisheries Minister.
She takes over from Bernadette Jordan, who lost her seat in the recent Canadian general election.
Jordan won few friends in the fish farming sector when she tried to shift aquaculture in British Columbia to a land-based system by forcing companies in the Discovery Islands region to end their activities. She cited calls from First Nations groups to justify the decision.
Joyce Murray, who represents Vancouver in BC, has been an MP since 2008 and is on record to supporting anti-fish farming groups by signing a petition calling for an end to open-net farming in the province, an industry which supports thousands of local jobs.
However, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) has issued a diplomatic statement congratulating Murray on her appointment.
It said: “Our members would like to welcome the Honourable Joyce Murray as the new Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard and express their enthusiasm to work together to realize the opportunities for Canada through sector development.
“According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the global and domestic demand for seafood continues to increase 7% to 10% a year. The new government has committed to ensuring that Canada is positioned to succeed in the fast-growing global sector of the blue economy.”
CAIA President and CEO Tim Kennedy said aquaculture and building up Canada’s “blue economy” is a pathway to combating climate change, achieving food security, reaching Indigenous reconciliation, and creating sustainable jobs.
He said the alliance will urge Murray to help modernise the sector and to create stability and confidence in BC’s salmon farming industry.