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Feds seek feedback on ocean economy regulations

Deadline to comment is March 17
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Ocean waterfront near Tlell on Haida Gwaii. (Photo: Kaitlyn Bailey/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Oceans and Fisheries Canada (DFO) is asking people whose work is impacted by the ocean to give feedback on a new set of proposed regulations around Canada’s marine economy before March 17.

The Blue Economy Regulatory Review lays out five themes related to the ocean: renewable energy and environmental protection, spatial planning, autonomous ships, ocean technology and sustainable fishing practices.

According to the Canadian government’s website, blue economy refers to “the sustainable use of ocean resources for economic growth, improved livelihood and jobs and ocean ecosystem health.”

The DFO is asking for feedback on issues like how policies can better support projects focused on renewable marine energy and are there regulatory gaps when it comes to autonomous surface ships (ships that operate independently of human interaction, essentially self-driving ships).

They are working with the support of the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat for this round of input.

At the time of writing this article, there were fewer than 15 responses on the feedback platform despite being open since Dec. 14, 2022. However, stakeholders may have sent additional comments to the DFO through email, as that was also an option.

In addition to getting feedback from people who work in the ocean industry, the federal government is hoping to hear from Indigenous people, other levels of government and anyone interested in regulatory issues related to the blue economy.

This is the second engagement session the DFO has held for the Blue Regulatory Strategy. They originally asked for input during the first half of 2021 and more than 1,600 Canadians responded, the Canadian government website stated.

The Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard was mandated to develop a Blue Economy Strategy in December 2019.

Individuals who would like to give feedback can visit the Government of Canada’s Let’s Talk Fereral Regulations website or email BlueEconomy-EconomieBleue@dfo-mpo.gc.ca.

READ MORE: B.C. First Nations, groups, launch coalition to save salmon


 Kaitlyn Bailey | Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
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