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Proceedings of the Standing Senate Committee on

Issue 2 - Evidence

OTTAWA, Tuesday, February 8, 2000

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries met this day at 7:00 p.m. to examine matters relating to the fishing industry.

Senator Gerald J. Comeau (Chairman) in the Chair.


The Chairman: Honourable senators, I call the meeting to order. Our next series of meetings should be interesting since we will be examining the aquaculture industry.

Our witness this evening, Mr. David Rideout, represents the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance. Most of Mr. Rideout's work has been in the field of fish inspection and has included the post of director general of fish inspection for all of Canada. He also oversaw the transition of fish inspection from the department to the new Food Inspection Agency. As well, he helped coordinate the Canadian Fisheries Adjustments Restructuring Program.

Mr. Rideout first appeared before the Senate Fisheries Committee in May of 1988 when the committee was conducting a study on the marketing of East Coast fishery products. Mr. Rideout was then DFO's acting director for field operations of the inspection services directorate.

Last year, as director general of the department's economic and policy analysis directorate, Mr. Rideout accompanied Minister Anderson when he appeared before the committee on April 15, 1999. At that time, the committee was examining DFO's estimates for the fiscal year ending March 31, 1998. On June 2, 1999, Mr. Rideout again appeared with Minister Anderson in his capacity as director general, aquaculture structuring and adjustment.

Mr. Rideout has been in his current position with the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance for only seven days, so we are getting him on the ground floor. We will be able to find out exactly where he intends taking the industry alliance.

We welcome you, sir. Please proceed

Mr. David Rideout, Executive Director, Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance: I was going to beg your indulgence because I am new on the job, but I will just ask you to be gentle and, hopefully, I will be able to answer most, if not all, of your questions. If I cannot, I certainly will be able to get back to you with answers.

The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance is a national industry association, headquartered in Ottawa, that represents the interests of Canadian aquaculture operators, feed companies and suppliers, as well as provincial finfish and shellfish aquaculture associations. It began as a sector council sponsored by HRDC and is now in the process of transition to a self-sufficient operation. That process will be completed at the end of March of this year.

CAIA is very appreciative of the support it has received, and we believe we have accomplished many significant things during our time as a sector coulcil. Examples are: Development of human resource products and services for new entrants to the industry as well as existing workers; promoting a cohesion of regional organizations to better foster national standards; fostering a positive public profile for the sector; becoming self-sufficient; development of national products that serve the membership of CAIA, such as a resource library and reports on existing training and human development programs, as well as a database of such programs; development of a communications strategy to enable Canadians to better understand the industry, using tools such as a Web site, newsletters, and trade show materials; fostering the development of a strategy and action plan to respond to industry's key policy and legislative issues; and restructuring the organization and clarifying its mandate.

Aquaculture is a relatively new industry in Canada, and although it is rapidly expanding and maturing domestically, it has reached a critical juncture in its evolution. World competition for aquaculture products is increasing and investment dollars are looking to find reasoned approaches to policy and regulations -- approaches that allow for the sustainable development of this important industry and which recognize that aquaculture is a rural-based industry providing full-time and, in many cases, year-round jobs in coastal communities across Canada. It is an industry that is very serious about providing viable economic alternatives in coastal communities, but only if a safe, clean and sustainable environment is available for the products of our farms.

I would like to take a few moments to provide a bit of a historical perspective on this industry. The first detailed records of planned aquacultural activity are available beginning in 1857. They indicate that the first superintendent of fisheries in Lower Canada studied the incubation and hatching of Atlantic salmon and brook trout eggs. There is also notice of oyster culture in Prince Edward Island beginning in 1865 when the island government passed a statute providing for the leasing of specific areas for such an activity. By 1950, a network of federal and provincial hatcheries was producing approximately 750 million freshwater fish and fresh-water spawning fish annually for wild stock enhancement and non-commercial stock expansion.

Aquaculture on a commercial basis first began in Canada in the 1970s and grew very quickly throughout the 1980s. It has now become a significant national contributor as a food product supplier and is an economic and employment generator. Aquacultural production facilities now operate across the entire landscape of the country, with activities in all 10 provinces and the Yukon.

Economic opportunity and employment in the aquaculture industry is not limited to commercial production alone. The industry requires significant amounts of equipment and supplies, including cages and feed, boats and motors, and processing equipment and packaging. The industry also requires technical expertise in diving, veterinary services, seed collection, lab testing, business and marketing, transportation services, and ongoing research and development in all areas.

In 1962, changes to the Ontario Fish and Game Act allowed the private sector to culture and sell rainbow and brook trout for human consumption, and to commence stocking of smallmouth and largemouth bass. This set the stage for the beginning of commercial trout aquaculture in Ontario. Salmon aquaculture started in the late 1970s on the East Coast in the Bay of Fundy and on the West Coast in the Sechelt Inlet and the Alberni Inlet.

Mussel culture became established in the 1970s in Atlantic Canada, with Prince Edward Island now the largest mussel-producing area. In 1998, Prince Edward Island produced 12,459 tonnes, or 84 per cent, of the total Canadian farm mussels. British Columbia has just now has underway the establishment of mussel production facilities there. B.C. is, however, the largest grower of commercial finfish, having produced 41,923 tonnes in 1998, worth $228 million, or 65 per cent of the total Canadian production.

It was in the 1980s that salmon aquaculture expanded at an enormous rate, and between 1984 and 1991, it drove the Canadian aquaculture industry to an unprecedented economic product increase, from $7 million to $256 million. It was during this same period that fish feed manufacturing, applied scientific research, and an industry supply and service infrastructure evolved and the industry expanded into every province.

Canada's aquaculture products are actively competing in the global economy. Between 75 and 80 per cent of aquaculture products are exported, with the primary export markets being the United States and Japan. Canadian aquaculturists compete with producers from all over the world for shares in both finfish and shellfish markets. Major competitors for finfish producers come from Chile, Norway and the United Kingdom, whereas shellfish producers compete primarily with U.S. producers from the states of Washington, Oregon, North and South Carolina, Florida, and Virginia, as well as with producers located in Chile, New Zealand and Asian countries.

In 1998, the Canadian aquaculture industry's production -- that is its landings -- was valued at over $433 million, and conservative industry forecasts expect that annual sales of well over $600 million will be achieved by 2001. It should be noted, however, that $433 million represents less than 1 per cent of the total value of world aquaculture production. Just two months ago, the federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans said, "We can do $1 billion more in farming fin fish and over $100 million just in shellfish very quickly."

Together the production and supply-service sectors provide 7,000 to 8,000 direct jobs, the majority of which, as I indicated earlier, are located in rural and coastal areas.

Workers under the age of 30 hold approximately 50 per cent of the jobs in the aquaculture industry; and 98 per cent of the industry is Canadian-owned.

In moving to a self-sufficient industry association, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance has developed a new and clear mandate. One of my first tasks as the new executive director is to prepare a three-year business plan for the alliance working to achieve objectives like providing a strong, independent and united voice for Canada's aquaculture industry in Ottawa and on the national and international scenes; being an effective and proactive advocate for Canadian aquaculture interests in relation to federal government policy and programs; and fostering cooperation and cohesion amongst the country's aquaculture interests so as to help the aquaculture industry achieve its full potential.

The aquaculture industry faces many challenges and there is no reluctance by the industry to meet these challenges. However, we also face some considerable constraints and we are pleased that the Senate has taken an interest in this important industry.

I should like to outline a few of the constraints that are facing the aquaculture industry. First, I shall speak to the subject of user/use conflicts. Aquaculture is now in the process of being recognized as a legitimate user of the aquatic resource and we are seeing encouraging signs of equal consideration in the process of resolving user/use conflicts. These conflicts arise when aquaculture competes for resource use with others like commercial fishers, recreational boaters, anglers, cottage users, et cetera. The debate around user/use has resulted in some highly accusatory and erroneous information being suggested publicly. We run the risk of reducing Canadians' confidence in the value of this industry, so it is essential that all users have policy and regulatory predictability. When I speak of value, I am talking not only in terms of producing high quality fish products, but also in producing high quality, year-round employment and economic activity in many coastal communities.

Second, I would turn to the subject of site leasing. The industry needs access to new lease sites and to new approaches to leasing. One-stop shopping is a goal, and long-term predictability of the lease is essential. The provision of leases requires interjurisdictional cooperation and coordination which, in an ideal situation, will result in a seamless approach to regulating and approving lease sites. This industry needs to be able to plan for the future without fear that they will lose tenure.

Third, I shall now speak to the subject of a federal aquaculture development strategy, FADS, which is a broad-based policy framework developed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for the Government of Canada and which was announced in 1995. However, it requires operational policies and, in some cases, regulations if it is to be effective in helping to achieve sustainable development. We are encouraged by the efforts being made in this area by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and we want to be part of the process from the beginning to the end.

Fourth, I turn to the subject of broodstock development. There are some highly complex and polarized views respecting provision of access to best performing strains of fish and shellfish. Our salmon farming industry is facing a situation where competitors can bring their products to market in less time than Canada because they have access to better performing stocks. The arguments against this require consideration and there must be an open and transparent dialogue. Some opponents desire to have that dialogue in the media. The aquaculture industry is not looking to foster an argument, but rather a scientific discussion, and where scientists differ, a process to achieve a resolution.

Having said that, let me be clear: The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance does not support the use of transgenic fish. We desire to see traditional broodstock development that will result in the choice of animals that provide favourable characteristics that will make Canada competitive, while at the same time providing Canadians with confidence that this is accomplished in an environmentally sustainable fashion.

Fifth and finally, I shall address fish health protection. While I expect that you will hear a significant amount about the issue of fish disease and its control, I ask that you consider this in the context of the Canadian farming industries. If a disease that could be harmful to humans or harmful to other farms is suspected on a traditional Canadian farm, veterinarian tests are performed, and if a reportable disease is found, infected animals are destroyed and the farmer is compensated. This is not the case with aquaculture farmers. The effects of lack of effective fish health protection mechanisms can be seen in the Bay of Fundy where Infectious Salmon Anemia, ISA, has cost the industry over $70 million in direct and foregone opportunity costs. If agriculture-type protection for farmers had been available for aquaculturists, the costs would most likely have been less than $4 million.

We encourage your committee to help us find ways and means of fostering the sustainable development of this important industry sector and to find solutions to difficult issues like ISA, user/use conflicts, broodstock development and site leasing.

We commend the Senate fisheries committee for its work on this important aspect of the coastal community evolution and appreciate the opportunity to discuss issues with you.

Mr. Chairman, I apologize that I did not have my remarks translated in time for the committee meeting.

The Chairman: Before we go on to questions, I should like the committee to agree that the document entitled "Aqua Notes" that you have before you, presented by the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance be filed as an exhibit with the clerk of the committee.

Honourable senators, is that agreed?

Hon. Senators: Agreed.

The Chairman: Is there a date attached to this booklet?

Mr. Rideout: I am afraid I cannot answer that. I believe the document was produced in 1998, but I am not entirely certain.

The Chairman: Perhaps you could give us the date of publication later, Mr. Rideout. There is mention in the booklet of the "end of the decade", and we want to ensure that we understand which decade is meant by that term.

Mr. Rideout: The decade referred to would be the 1990s.

The Chairman: We will confirm that later.


Senator Robichaud: Following your brief presence at the association you represent, you spoke about a number of problems and issues from the users' point of view. We have this problem in our region in the Northumberland Strait, where scallops are being stocked. The spats are collected, of course, but once that is done, they do have to be placed on beds that are set aside for a certain length of time, otherwise the exercise is pointless. That is a problem facing those who want to develop this form of aquaculture with respect to fishermen who just want to do what they have traditionally done, namely go out and fish, and if they do not find any, move elsewhere.

Do you have any suggestions? We have to involve commercial fishermen in this exercise. Do the associations you represent have any representation from commercial fishermen, or are they rather companies that started out with government officials, biologists or business people who were not involved in the commercial fishery as such?


Mr. Rideout: Thank you very much for the question. The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance is made up of feed companies, associations from the various provinces for both shellfish and finfish, as well as allied industry interests. I am not aware of commercial fishers that are members of the provincial organizations, but I suspect there is some linkage between some aquaculturists and commercial fishers in those organizations. I am afraid I have not been out to the regions or to the provinces yet to get a sense of the membership firsthand.

The issue of spat collection or access to broodstock is a complex one which requires very serious consideration. Perhaps you would want to ask that question of the commissioner for aquaculture development, as he has had some direct experience in an experiment that has been quite successful with scallops in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine.

From our perspective, it will be important for the two sides of that user/use issue to be able to come together and find a common purpose and a common resolution. As long as the issue stays "we/they", I am not sure we will find a solution. For fishers, as well as for the aquaculturists, it is important to see that this can be a win-win situation. There will be areas where there could be, for lack of a better word, some "negotiation" necessary between the users, but my sense is that, if we can get the folks together and have a discussion on it, we will be able to find some resolution.

The issue of spat collection, though, is quite contentious for many areas, particularly if there is any threat to the animals or if there is any concern on the part of the wild fishers. We have seen a case where abalone stock in British Columbia was threatened. However, aquaculture and aquaculture technology may help in the rejuvenation of that stock.

We have not got to acceptance of those concepts yet, but that is our aim. There must be confidence that we can do things productively and sustainably and in a way that wild fishers and aquaculturists, as well as Canadians, will benefit. That is doable, but we must start the dialogue.

Senator Robichaud: You agree that there is much work to be done before your aims are achieved. In the last few years, the commercial fishermen have started to want to become involved in the aquacultural experience. A few years ago they wanted nothing to do with it.

Mr. Rideout: Under the rules of conservation or the priorities given to access to fish stocks traditionally, conservation comes first, First Nations treaty rights and aboriginal rights are next in line, and then the remainder is shared amongst the other users. There has been a traditional breakdown of the users amongst the fishers. If we want access to certain broodstock, the question is whether that access will affect the quota approach for fishers. If it does, then of course there will be a reluctance to share. We must find a way to ensure that aquaculturists get some access but that there is also some benefit across the spectrum, if that is possible. I think in some cases it is possible. However, we must first start the dialogue.

Senator Robertson: Mr. Rideout, I want to ask about the health of the stock and the control of disease in fish farming. You already alluded to a major disaster regarding ISA infections down off the Charlotte County coast. As you know, we have suffered major losses in the mussel farming in Prince Edward Island from time to time.

First, do we have a sufficient number of veterinarians who are involved totally in the industry and, second, how can we do a better job of preventing these outbreaks of disease in the stock?

Mr. Rideout: Did I tell you that this was day seven for me? I will try to answer that question. In giving these answers, I can envisage our whole membership, which is new to me, sending me notes in the morning.

On the issue of mussels in Prince Edward Island in 1988, an unknown factor came into the bay or into the gulf. People were dying from eating these products, and the government responded very quickly by taking the products off the market and then trying to figure out what was causing the deaths. It turned out to be demoic acid. Then the government figured out how to get the industry back on its feet. It was a three-pronged process.

My own view is that a tremendous benefit has flowed to the industry from the work DFO did on that issue.

On ISA, we have not been as fortunate. A disease struck the industry. If I understand the way insurance operates in the industry, an operator would need to harvest dead fish in order to claim on his or her insurance. An operator may recognize that his fish are sick, but he has to wait until the fish die before make an insurance claim. If an operator, recognizing that he is harvesting sick fish, decides to kill them, then he would be committing financial hara-kiri because he cannot make a claim on his insurance. That is my understanding of how the insurance operates. I would remind you, though, that I am very new to the job.

When I was with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, I was fortunate to gain a sense of some of the issues surrounding the Health of Animals Act and how it worked on farms because the Canadian Food Inspection agency was responsible for the health of animals. If a contagious disease is found on a farm, the farmer is obligated to report it. The veterinarians come in and test; the animals are ordered destroyed; and the farmer is compensated.

I am not sure of the situation which pertains to the provinces, but I do not believe there is a veterinarian in the Canadian government system that deals with aquaculture fish. There are many veterinarians in the aquaculture industry, but it seems to me that we need to have a system whereby farmers are required to report disease, so that the government, be it provincial or federal, could to go in and take action on those diseased animals or pens, and the farmer could be compensated. That would protect the industry. It would protect the possible interaction of wild stock. It is unknown in some cases whether the wild stock is causing the problem with aquaculture stock or vice versa, and that leads to another issue of surveillance.

We need to understand what is going on and we must have a sense of what is happening in nature. We also need to know what is going on within the industry itself in terms of disease or a rapid response when a disease is found.

Aquaculture is a new and evolving industry. These problems are new, and new and creative solutions must be found. We need to work towards finding solutions and we need to do that as soon as possible. We have a major and significant problem in the Bay of Fundy. We must ask ourselves: Will it be repeated? If it is, how prepared will we be? We must be prepared. Solutions to problems such as that are important, not only in terms of keeping the industry viable, but also in terms of retaining our competitive position.

Senator Robertson: I will concentrate on the veterinarian services to the industry. It is a new industry. How many veterinarians do we have, for instance, in New Brunswick working wholly with the fish farms?

Mr. Rideout: Are you referring to government veterinarians?

Senator Robertson: Whoever hires them.

Mr. Rideout: I am not aware of any veterinarians within the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, however, I am aware that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans works in coordination with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and has access to some of its veterinarians.

Senator Robertson: Do these veterinarians have special training related to fish farming?

Mr. Rideout: There are veterinarians who work on the fish farms for the industry.

Senator Robertson: Do they have the capability to prevent disease, and are they good diagnosticians, or does that whole field of veterinarian training need to be improved?

What is happening in other countries? Are our vets on par with the vets serving in other countries?

I know aquaculture is relatively new, and I have trouble understanding why we have these major problems. There must be answers somewhere because other countries are more advanced in this industry. Where are veterinarians trained to deal with these issues of disease prevention, diagnostic capability, and cures?

Mr. Rideout: I will give two answers, one of which I am shaky about, but I will give it anyway because I have many former colleagues in the department.

I believe that veterinary colleges like the University of Prince Edward Island and Guelph University -- and I regret to say that I am not sure what is available on the West Coast -- do provide a focus on fish and aquaculture. We are seeing a burgeoning educational framework for aquaculture. Some significant things are happening at Memorial University, for example. This focus is picking up across the country.

I hope what I am about to say will not be taken in the wrong context. If we in Canada make the conscious decision that we want an aquaculture industry -- and I believe we are at a crossroads -- we must create a policy and a regulatory and program environment where this industry can operate and have some predictability. Then the investment community will support us. If we set a strategy in motion then part of that strategy will be to have some type of veterinarian or fish health pathology group in a partnership with the industry, or in a partnership with the provinces and the federal government. My take is -- and this is day seven on the job now -- that the industry has made that decision. They want the industry to grow. The question is whether the legislators want the industry to grow. Do we want this for Canada or not?

In my dealings with the industry, and in this job, I have found that there is no fear of trying to find solutions to the problems. We just want to get to it. We want decisions made regarding what this country wants as it relates to an aquaculture industry. To my mind the value, in terms of coastal community diversity, is fantastic. I do not wish to overstate it, but there is tremendous potential.

Senator Carney: In view of your seven days on the job, and for other committee members, because I am from the West Coast, I thought that the best way I could proceed is to outline some of the aquaculture issues on the West Coast and then leave you free to respond to those issues that you feel competent to respond to after seven days on the job. If nothing else, my comments may alert you to some of the problems we face on the West Coast.

I wish to compliment the researcher on this excellent paper. If Mr. Rideout can answer all 74 questions in this paper he will answer the concerns of many of us around the table.

In B.C. coastal communities aquaculture is dealt with as a matter of some suspicion because on our coast we have a big wild fishery. In the coastal communities in B.C. you will see bumper stickers saying "real fish don't do drugs," and "real fish don't eat pellets," because, of course, the fish food is in the form of pellets and there is a certain chemical content to the food. I have one of those stickers on the back of my car.

I could raise many concerns but I will just touch on three. One is the intermingling of the Atlantic salmon with the Pacific stock. This is a reality. It has happened. Scientists on the West Coast have found where spills from the fish farms occurred <#0107>there was a major one of about 38,000 fish <#0107>the fish from the farms have been found intermingling and interbreeding with the Pacific stock. That is a real problem because history tells us it is not good for species to mix. I am no expert, but there are excellent people on the West Coast who know about that.

People on the West Coast are interested in closed systems. Instead of having open systems in the fjords of the West Coast, you can have closed systems where there is no chance of fish escaping and intermingling. My classic example is one of my favourite settlements, Port Hardy. There is a mine in Port Hardy that has been shut down and the community, led by the mayor, has a licence to grow fish in the settling ponds. They have put crayfish in the bottom of the settling ponds to eat the dead fish and debris. We will see what happens.

The other interest on the West Coast is, as you say, in shellfish.

However, the intermingling of stocks and disease are very important issues.

Another issue that is not considered, is the tension between the wild fishery and the fish farms. They do not involve the same kinds of jobs in similar areas. Fish farms tend to be very isolated areas up the coast in small or big inlets with cold water. They offer the kinds of jobs that are not attractive to many people. Employees are required to go in for so many days and then come back out. By the nature of the industry and the fear of contamination they are quite isolated. If someone sails up in a boat they will practically push the boat off. The employment prospects, while they are good, are not interchangeable with jobs in the other areas.

There is a seasonal compatibility between the wild fishery and the fish farms. In the wintertime when there is no wild fishery, the fish farms crank up production, but in the summertime, traditionally, they phase down because, until recently, there has been a wild fishery. There are areas where there can be cooperation. Where would you see areas of cooperation with the wild fishery?

Your document states that there is conflict between the users on the coast. It is a very jagged coast. If you are sailing a little boat and you need to get into a little bay to tie up, or if you are a tow boat and you are hauling a bundle boomer behind you, the last thing you want is to get there and find the lines of a fish farm over the only anchorage available on the coast. Naturally, the fish farms have gone to the areas which are the safest in terms of weather and accessibility. Thus, there is a conflict with recreational boaters, with the forest ministry, and with other people.

This conflict has resolved itself in part because the fish farms have relocated further north. The original fish farms found a water temperature problem in that they needed colder water. Thus, they have tended to move up the coast.

It would be helpful for the committee if you could supply us with a map of where the fish farms are located so that we have some sense of this issue. This committee should have maps of all three coasts so that we know what we are talking about.

The Government of B.C., which has jurisdiction over a lot of aquaculture, has recently lifted a moratorium on fish farm development. It has done so with very stringent conditions. I suggest that the researcher obtain a copy of the policy from the Province of British Columbia and distribute it to committee members. There is a balance in British Columbia between trying to develop an industry, which has a great deal of potential, under guidelines which involve the environment, disease, the conflict with the wild fishery and the nature of employment that makes it compatible.

Those are some of my thoughts on the issue. I am new to this committee. In fact, this is my first meeting. I know that the industry is mounting a lobby effort in Ottawa to raise the awareness of the potential of this industry. I am identifying the areas of conflict with the wild fishery, with the expectation that they can be resolved in the future so that we can have both.

Mr. Rideout: Senator Carney, I took some notes while you were speaking and I would like to run through some of the points you raised. If you do not mind, I would like to relate some personal experiences.

Senator Carney: You can also send a response to the committee when you have had a chance to think about my questions.

The Chairman: If you feel uncomfortable about certain areas at this time, do not feel that you have to answer immediately, Mr. Rideout.

Mr. Rideout: I do not feel uncomfortable about answering anything, Mr. Chairman. I was the director of operations with the fish inspection branch in the 1980s when a question was raised about what we should do concerning the use of therapeutants in the aquaculture industry. We established some rigorous rules concerning delay times and veterinarian checks. All of that was started in the 1980s and continued on into the 1990s. When I was director general of the fish inspection branch that was one of the issues that was being dealt with. My sense at the time was that we were doing as well or better than other food commodities. If we found any evidence of therapeutant residues, we would taken action. As a result, the product would not have an easy go of it from that perspective.

What I have found in my brief tenure on aquaculture is that, while some drugs are used in the earlier stages, the goal is to try to have good husbandry. The husbandry practices now used by the industry are much more advanced than they were in the 1980s.

You have hit on the key element in this, senator. There is an aura of suspicion. Somehow, we must find a way to resolve that.

If we decide on an aquaculture industry in Canada, then we will have to put some money into research and development to try to resolve issues such as the intermingling of Atlantic salmon with wild Pacific salmon and closed systems. In addition, we will have to do some international coordination work. I believe the Province of British Columbia is doing that in the context of lifting the moratorium. We could do a tremendous job in Canada. South of the border, they may not do as good a job in terms of containment or whatever and escapees will flow into Canadian rivers from the U.S.

We need a well-focused strategy so that we may reach conclusions on those types of issues. Some containment systems are being explored. New ideas are being developed. It is a matter of some focus for the support industries related to aquaculture. We are testing closed containment systems. I believe a B.C. company has developed one that works well in some areas while in others it does not. We need to find solutions to those types of concerns.

Senator Carney: Prince Rupert is very interested in this topic. You might include it on your list of places to visit.

Mr. Rideout: I hope I did not mislead you on the issue of jobs. It is not my view that traditional fishers and those associated with the traditional fishery will be made into aquaculturalists. If that is the impression I left, then it is the wrong one.

In terms of the processing sector, a good symbiosis can exist.

From my perspective the key is that aquaculture provides a different economic activity which allows coastal communities to have some diversification which therefore diminishes dependence on the wild fishery. We have seen some examples of that. There is an employee shortage in Charlotte County, New Brunswick and employees are being imported into the area from as far away as Newfoundland. However, all these people are not necessarily fishers. There may be some who can make the transition.

User/use is another issue that must be resolved. Where there are areas of common interest, such as safe anchorage and aquaculture operations, we must look at how we can find a way to identify one or the other and encourage the users to find some way around the problem. I do not know the answer, and I am not sure I could write to you in a week with the answer.

If I were to give you a theme, it is that we need to talk. We must get people together to find out what is possible. If we find some way to move away from polarized views and advance to a reasonable discussion, then we will be able to find solutions. Even if we agree to disagree, then the regulators and the policy-makers will have to find ways to resolve those issues. I think they can do it.

Senator Perrault: The name Rideout is respected from coast to coast in Canada, in particular, in the Atlantic provinces. We are very pleased that you were able to come here today.

We have a real marketing problem here. During the past two weeks, I went to a couple of restaurants that advertised genuine wild salmon. The suggestion is that it is preferable to artificial or captive salmon, which are deathly sick and must be hauled in with care or they might fall apart. That is happening frequently in the area of marketing, especially in some of the U.S. cities.

The industry probably realizes that there is a massive PR requirement. My colleague from British Columbia eloquently stated some of the problems that exist. As you know, we have had successes in aquaculture and we have had failures. Some people have lost a lot money trying to find the best way to raise these salmon, but we are making progress.

Senator Carney pointed out that there are dangers in the integration of Atlantic salmon and the Pacific coast species. This is a real concern. In the early stages, it was alleged that Atlantic stock were swimming around on the B.C. coast. We were told, however, that this was not true; that it was a myth or propaganda. It is not propaganda. We now have a folio of photographs that illustrate what is happening out there. I understand that Atlantic salmon grow more rapidly than Pacific salmon. However, I cannot believe that anything from British Columbia is inferior. Perhaps something that grows more slowly is better quality.

In some ways, this situation is comparable to the genetic manipulation dialogue we are hearing about today. Has a major study been done which would reassure squeamish consumers of salmon that it is perfectly safe to eat Canadian salmon whether it is caught in the Atlantic or in the Pacific? The genetic manipulation argument has really come to the fore, and it is indicative of a serious communications problem.

We must dismiss the myth that wild salmon are the only healthy salmon and the only real salmon as compared to salmon raised in aquaculture.

Most of my other questions have been asked, so I will spare the committee repetition.

Mr. Rideout: If they grow more rapidly, it is probably because they want to be like B.C. salmon.

I would just point out that the shellfish industry has enjoyed a great deal of acceptance. You can go to most mussel bars across the country and enjoy aquaculture products, for example, shellfish or mussels. Canada is doing very well in the production of shellfish, and equally as well in the production and sale of its aquaculture products.

One of the challenges that I face -- and I am not sure how I will do it -- is the issue of public perception. How do we inform Canadians that genetic manipulation of salmon is not part of the game? It is not part of the aquaculture industry and it is not something that we are considering. Some scientists do want to do some testing. I heard today about scientists who are working with some fish that aquaculturists grow, talapia I believe. They believe a certain species can help diabetics because they may be able to transplant the islets of Langerhans and manipulate them genetically. Success will be a great medical accomplishment. However, if this frightens Canadian because they think that is what is going on in aquaculture production when it actually is not, then that is a misconception that must be rectified. I am not sure how we will be able to find the answer to that.

Senator Perrault: It is a concern.

Mr. Rideout: It is a real challenge. If the headline in the paper is: "Genetic manipulation", no amount of letters to the editor following that will resolve that issue. The perception is there; and the perception becomes reality. That is a real challenge for us. That is why we are quite encouraged, for example, by a review by this committee in that it might clarify some of those issues.

You will hear a fair amount in the discussions you will have when you travel across the country. You will hear differing views. The one that I should like to leave with you is that we want to get to the dialogue stage which will lead to finding a resolution of these issues.

Senator Perrault: Is there any merit in having a rather comprehensive study of every aspect of the industry? Will it allay some of the concern? This may not be the proper time.

Mr. Rideout: It might be the way to go, but you will then move into the area of enhancement. I have trouble differentiating between what is aquaculture and what is enhancement from the point of view of how the fish start. One runs out to sea and we try to harvest it; the other we try to cage and feed and then harvest it. There is no genetic monster out there in the way that we manage the wild fishery or the aquaculture fishery. If there is, then it is the same genetic monster that goes out to sea and comes back for harvesting. By and large, the same hatchery technology is fostering the aquaculture industry today. It is a difficult question.

Senator Carney: While a comprehensive study might be a good idea, I think you would get a negative response. If you look at initiatives such as the B.C. limited policy, the committee could say, "Let us look at it in six months" -- that is, once they get their act together. In the meantime, we know what has happened in Norway and in other areas. It is an excellent idea but at this time, given the atmosphere on the B.C. coast, it would be counter-productive.

I would suggest that you attend the to Coastal Community Network conference. I want to persuade Senator Perrault to attend. The Coastal Community Network conference on May 5 will bring in all the municipalities and districts on the coast. All the mayors will attend. I have Senator Perrault down as a speaker on my panel, which will deal with how to lobby the government. You and I are so good at it. The new executive secretary, Mr. Dale Smith, is a marine biologist. You might be able to make a presentation to that group and reach all the mayors, municipalities, districts and band councils on the coast.

Senator Perrault: That is a good idea.

Senator Carney: Mr. Rideout, I am impressed with the fact that you do not pretend to know all the answers. The biggest problem we have had on the coast is with those aquaculture people who say, "There is no disease. There is lots of employment. It is a net beneficiary which spins off net benefits. Everything is just fine." However, it is not fine. I think that your approach is very helpful to us when you say that we must feel our way and do what works for each area.

Senator Cook: Mr. Rideout, I refer to your book at page 21. I have some limited knowledge about antibiotics for humans. I have questions about the use of antibiotics in fish farming. How complex are the diseases in fish? Are they easily identified? Are they related to parasites and that kind of thing?

Humans are not moving targets when it comes to ingesting antibiotics. Fish are moving targets, so the drug goes into the food stocks. That conjures up all kinds of scenarios. For example, a fish farmer who realizes his fish are not doing too well may have access to antibiotics and can administer them. At what point does he call in an expert? We are putting a lot of trust in the fish farmer to decide when the fish are sick enough to call the vet, rather than just administering a larger dose of antibiotics. How zealous is the fish farmer with his antibiotics?

I see here a shared jurisdiction. The use of antibiotics in an industry raises many unanswered questions. How does the residue of the antibiotics affect the water? There are many issues surrounding the regulation of antibiotics for treating the diseases of fish.

Mr. Rideout: I will have to get back to you with the answers about the diseases that require antibiotic use. I asked the very same questions when I became director general of fish inspection. About four years ago, one director of inspection took me to a site in British Columbia where three employees were working. Two of the employees were veterinarians. They would test the fish. They found there was not much need for antibiotics in older fish. Young fish are more vulnerable.

I was impressed by their use of underwater cameras to monitor the fish as they were feeding to see whether the feed was falling to the bottom. When the feed began to fall to the bottom, they knew the fish were not feeding any more and they would turn off the feeders. It was a relatively sophisticated approach and one in which I had a fair degree of confidence.

To use these drugs, the veterinarian must write a prescription, just as for terrestrial animals or for humans. My understanding is that the drugs are all registered with the food agency and must be approved for use in the industry.

I do not know the answers about the diseases which require antibiotics, but I will obtain a response for you in writing. It is my understanding that, today, drugs are used primarily in the early stages. If a drug is must be used in later stages, closer to slaughter time, then the aquaculturist must wait for a minimum period of 45 days. At least that is my recollection of the time period after which no residue of the drug is expected to be found in the flesh of the animal.

Senator Cook: It would be helpful to know the type of antibiotics that is used.

Mr. Rideout: I can obtain that information. My understanding is that dosages are controlled by veterinarians.

Senator Cook: That does not accord with what I have read. The vet will leave the medicine but will he or she stay on site? Perhaps the prescription is simply left to be administered.

Mr. Rideout: I will check on that. The vets, by and large, work with the feed companies. There is a high level of coordination between them.

Senator Cook: I may be raising something which just does not exist. I do not know enough about the type of diseases, the types of antibiotics, the delivery method, or the water and the residue. This is a whole new environment. A human who gets a shot of Demerol knows it goes into the bloodstream. Where do these antibiotics go if they are poured into water and may settle at the bottom?

Mr. Rideout: As I say, the monitoring techniques are fairly sophisticated. Fish is a food product. It will not be treated differently from any other food product. A good portion is exported, so you know that random testing is done at the border by the Americans, for example. Just because it is a new industry does not mean that it can have a slapdash approach to issues like therapeutant use.

I am not answering your question because I do not know the answer.

Senator Cook: These are concerns, more than questions. I am looking for a comfort level. I realize you cannot give that.

Senator Mahovlich: I am not from the East Coast nor the West Coast, I am kind of centre ice. A few years ago, the Lake Ontario area had a problem with zebra mussels a few years back. Ships brought them in and they grew until they plugged up our sewers and our water mains. Do you know anything about that situation?

Mr. Rideout: If I understand correctly, zebra mussels arrived in the ballast water stored by freighters. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans now has fairly stringent requirements, through the Coast Guard and as part of their ocean strategy, to address issues like ballast water. Some controls now exist which were not in place earlier. I am not sure what all of those controls are.

Senator Mahovlich: The mussels were multiplying like crazy.

Mr. Rideout: A new animal was introduced into a new area and it did, as you say, multiply like crazy.

Senator Mahovlich: They introduced another fish which ate the mussels, but the lake trout were eating those fish, and that resulted in stocking enough fish to eat the mussels. The problem multiplies as you go along. They have not gotten rid of the mussels yet, have they?

Mr. Rideout: I do not think so. I think they are expanding their territory, if I understand correctly.

Senator Mahovlich: It is still a problem.

Mr. Rideout: It is not at all related to aquaculture, but it is a problem. It is a problem that was introduced in the ballast water from foreign freighters.

Senator Mahovlich: We must look at this as a worldwide issue because what we do in our oceans will have an impact on the whole world. We also have to keep on top of what is being done in Europe. The world is not that large.

Mr. Rideout: No, and the issues surrounding the ocean are issues involving the whole world. Canada is fortunate in that it has three oceans, and I think we are the only country with an Oceans Act, although I may be mistaken on that.

Senator Mahovlich: Turkey has four.

Mr. Rideout: Four oceans? I was just trying to impress you with my knowledge of oceans, but I am not doing a very good job of that, so I will stop.

I agree that some of the issues surrounding aquaculture need to be discussed in a world forum. As I understand it, the fisheries committee of the Food and Agricultural Organization is considering whether it needs a subcommittee on aquaculture to begin those discussions, because there is a fair amount of aquaculture production in, for example, Southeast Asia with its shrimp production. It is a major, burgeoning industry and FAO believes that aquaculture is going to meet a big part of the protein demand in the world.

Senator Perry Poirier: I do not come from "centre ice" but rather from the East Coast. I am surrounded on one side by the Northumberland Strait and on the other by the Gulf of St. Lawrence. They have a cod problem, and I was wondering whether the problem is related to seals eating the fish or to the big schooners catching all the fish.

I know we have fish farms which farm finfish such as salmon and trout. Are there any cod farms?

Mr. Rideout: There is some research and development ongoing in terms of ground-fish. With respect to cod, one area in which there is still a conflict but where the economics have been shown to be very good is in the grow-out of trap-caught cod. The value of the cod, in a matter of months, can double through taking them out of the traps, putting them in cages and growing them out over the summer period. The cod trap fishery is a traditional fishery in Newfoundland. I am not sure there was a trap fishery in Prince Edward Island, but that is one area where there is real potential. However, then we have to get through the issue of wild fish versus aquaculturists, and whether this is truly aquaculture.

Senator Perrault: Do they grow larger?

Mr. Rideout: Yes, and they become a much better product for market. I do not want to cast aspersions on the cod trap fishery but I think a fair portion of that, in glut situations, was used to provide the cod block industry for fish sticks, fish portions, that sort of thing. I think that industry is pretty much over now. With the grow-out, you can get to the white-tablecloth trade, as I understand it, with some fairly sizeable and good fish, but you must remember that I am at day seven and I may be wrong on this. I understand that there is some potential there but there are some issues surrounding the conflict between the wild fish and the aquaculturists.

As to your question, I am not sure there are actual cod farms, but I can check that for you. However, I do know that there is a great desire to do research and development on ground-fish. I believe they are doing some significant work on halibut in St. Andrew's. I understand it is your intention to travel there. They are also doing some significant work on sturgeon.

Senator Carney: Is that West Coast halibut?

Mr. Rideout: Yes.

Senator Carney: On the East Coast?

Mr. Rideout: There is a significant halibut fishery on the East Coast, yes, and a number of halibut fishers on the West Coast came from my area of southwest Nova Scotia.

I think sable fish is called "black cod", because the East Coast people called everything "cod". I know there were a fair number of Newfoundlanders and Nova Scotians who went west to fish halibut.

Senator Perry Poirier: We grow scallops, we grow mussels. Why can we not grow lobsters?

Senator Perrault: We cannot grow them in B.C. either.

Senator Perry Poirier: There are no lobster farms. Is it an impossibility?

Mr. Rideout: One of the things that was left out of my biography was the fact that I worked as the executive director of the Fisheries Resource Conservation Council for a period of time, and one of the projects I worked on with the council was with respect to lobster. From the consultations we did on lobster, my sense is that, whatever is happening is working, and no one wants to tinker with it, and if we could get into aquaculture in lobster, there would be a significant number of issues surrounding the wild fish fishery: the collection of spat, the whole issue of whether the North Coast of Prince Edward Island is getting its eggs from the North Coast of New Brunswick, and tidal flows. It is a tremendously difficult issue, and it is a very lucrative fishery.

Senator Perry Poirier: It seems to me that getting the eggs would not be a problem because you can catch them every day.

Mr. Rideout: But you are not permitted to keep a berried lobster.

Senator Perry Poirier: That is true, but could there not be a law stating that, if there were a fish farm, you could sell a few females or a few spawns?

Mr. Rideout: From my perspective, if it a decision were made to help the aquaculture industry to develop new species, such as lobster, then there would have to be some fairly significant discussions of fish management and the conservation of lobsters, to allow for the taking of berried lobsters. This touches on the broodstock issue. Lobster is one stock, but access to brookstock for many other stocks is a very important issue. We have an extremely talented aquaculture industry in this country, and I believe that if you gave them an opportunity to raise lobsters, they would take it, and it would become a very lucrative industry. However, that would require a significant policy switch as it relates to that industry.

Senator Mahovlich: You mentioned sturgeon.

Mr. Rideout: There is some research work going on in St. Andrew's on sturgeon.

Senator Mahovlich: Do we sell a lot of caviar? I do not recall ever seeing Canadian caviar on the market. I do know that we have lots of rivers.

Mr. Rideout: I am afraid I cannot answer that question. I do not know.

Senator Perrault: With regard to lobster production in Canada, we have attempted on at least three occasions to introduce lobster to B.C. waters and, as I understand it, it has been a total failure, unless anyone has evidence to the contrary. However, it was discovered on at least two occasions that the claws of the lobsters were tied when the lobsters were dumped overboard. It was a fisheries scandal on the coast. Has any further effort been made in this area, or is this not your field?

Mr. Rideout: I am afraid that is not my field, and I am a bit nervous about some of the things I have said already. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans may be in touch with me in the morning.

As I understand it, there was an effort to introduce Atlantic salmon in British Columbia in the later part of the 19th century, but it did not work then.

Senator Watt: How long does it take for farmed Atlantic salmon to come to marketable size, one year, two years, three years?

Mr. Rideout: On average, the process takes about 18 months, as I understand it. Some of our competitors can do it in 12 months.

Senator Watt: The natural river stock normally takes about three to four years, with an equivalent amount of time in the ocean; is that not correct?

Mr. Rideout: I cannot answer that. It was my understanding that the salmon spawned, that the small ones grew and left within a year, and that they then came back four years later. However, I may be wrong. It is a four-year cycle. B.C. may be different. Are you talking about the Atlantic salmon?

Senator Watt: I am talking about the Atlantic salmon. I would think it is similar.

Mr. Rideout: The Atlantic spawn. They do not die. They go back to sea the next year. Then they come back four years later and they spend a good deal of their time in the area around Greenland.

Senator Watt: When salmon farming began, we as a people in the North were very much involved in marketing Atlantic salmon. It got to a point where we could no longer compete with the farmed fish. I had to get out of that business in order to survive, because I was very much involved in the commercial fishing of Atlantic salmon.

To your knowledge, have any discussions or thoughts been directed to the idea of doing farmed fishing in the Arctic?

Mr. Rideout: I am afraid I do not know the answer to that. I will not venture to try to answer the question. I will see what I can find out, but I suspect that ice, water temperature and market would be the three factors that would affect success.

Senator Watt: Those are the three major factors.

I have been involved in studying the subject. I have visited various countries, including Norway. Every time we feel that we are advancing, we get very discouraged because of the three elements you just mentioned: the cold water, the thickness of the ice, and the distance of the markets. It is an impossible equation.

Recently, some of us in the North investigated other ways of raising our Arctic char stock, because it is starting to diminish to a certain extent and we must find a way of increasing it. The stock is barely sufficient to handle the growing population in the Arctic today, let alone being adequate to market in the south or in international markets.

We are considering replanting eggs from the stock in our natural river and lake system. We have not yet reached the point where we can say that this will be a success because it is quite a new process. We are only starting to see some results now. This whole endeavour is quite costly.

One of the reasons I was happy to become a member of this committee is because I recognize that we need to have as much information about this as we can before we will find some solutions. As well, we need to consider what the government can do in the area of regulation, assistance and so on.

I do not think that really falls under your jurisdiction, Mr. Rideout, but perhaps you might be able to speak to this subject.

Mr. Rideout: The person who can answer many of your questions is the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development who, I understand, will be appearing here on the February 22. He has spoken to me about issues concerning ocean ranching, which is what you are talking about. He is quite familiar with this subject.

Earlier I talked about shellfish and described how aquaculturalists put spat in an area that the commercial fisher could harvest later. It required a fair degree of coordination, but it has been quite successful in terms of scallops. They are trying it in the Bay of Fundy area, around Digby, if I am not mistaken.

Mr. Bastien is very familiar with the concept of ocean ranching and would probably be best to ask him that question. He could provide a better answer than I could.

Senator Robertson: Mr. Rideout, in your introductory remarks, you referred to competition and you spoke about the better performing stocks. Which countries have the better performing stocks?

Mr. Rideout: There is a stock of salmon used in Europe about which there is a fair degree of concern in regard to its use in aquaculture operations in Canada. The understanding I have is that they can get that stock to market much sooner than we can with our traditional stocks.

Senator Robertson: Is that through genetic modification?

Mr. Rideout: No, it is just the nature of that stock. However, there are issues around containment -- what would happen if the fish escaped, and that sort of thing.

At a minimum, the industry must be able to do the research, not for commercial grow-out at this point, but to see whether that stock would be viable in Canada and whether we could see the same kind of grow-out potential in Canada as they are seeing in Europe. Perhaps we should be working with Canadian strains to see whether there are different strains of salmon from which we would get better grow-out.

We need to focus our attention on the issues of research and development so that we can achieve and provide a level of commercially viable containment where there is a minimal risk of any escapes, and an understanding of what would happen if there were escapes and how we could mitigate against that.

In my view, if we intend to be involved in this industry in a big way, as a part of our government policy we must do something to ensure that we are competitive internationally. The industry is looking to find ways to do that in a fashion that is environmentally sustainable. We do not want to destroy anything.

Senator Robertson: I did not know, and I do not know if the other members of the committee knew, that you have to let sick fish die before compensation is awarded.

Mr. Rideout: That is my understanding of commercial insurance. That is one of the problems we have had with not having a fish disease management program. We believe there must be some very concerted efforts to find a way to resolve that fish disease management issue.

Senator Robertson: Can you suggest a strong recommendation this committee should make that the proper authorities address this issue? This would be devastating for any fish farmer. If a farmer has a sick cow, everyone comes rushing in to protect his herd; but if a fisher has a sick fish, he gets no assistance. I think that is wrong.

Mr. Rideout: I agree with you. My suggestion would be that, when you are in St. Andrews, you speak to some of the industry who are facing that dilemma firsthand and find out how it affects them. The industry is being as creative as possible in trying to find solutions to these problems. However, if we are serious about developing the aquaculture industry in Canada, fish disease management is an issue we must get to fairly quickly.

Senator Robichaud: Mr. Rideout, you just mentioned disease control, but in your earlier remarks you mentioned fish health protection. Are they one and the same?

Mr. Rideout: Yes.

Senator Robichaud: You said the costs would go from $70 million to $4 million if such a program were put in place.

Mr. Rideout: Many people ask where that number comes from. The number of $70 million comes from the industry. The number that I came out with, the $4 million, is my own, and it is based on the concept that there would be a rapid response, that farmers would be required to report, and that we would have a surveillance system in place that would be able to deal with the diseases quickly. We could eradicate those diseases from the pens and be able to provide compensation.

If I have understood it correctly -- and I think it is important for you to talk to farmers directly on this -- in the past some farmers, because they have private insurance, have had to wait for their animals to die. Meanwhile, the disease can spread. The sense of protecting the industry from itself does not exist in terms of fish health management. You have to deal with issues such as whether the disease comes from the wild or whether it caused the disease in the wild. We need to have a rapid and effective response on fish health issues.

Senator Robichaud: Did I understand correctly that your association would work cooperatively with authorities to participate in such a program?

Mr. Rideout: Seven days in, I would say yes. We need to find effective solutions -- solutions that are in the best interests of the industry, of the public, and of the wild fishery.

Senator Robichaud: We would require a study to be done that would try to put together some kind of program so we can estimate the cost to the industry and to government. Has any work been done in that direction?

Mr. Rideout: I believe that the Commissioner for Aquaculture Development is doing some work in that area. I am not sure whether he is doing some costing work. I know that if we look at it not just as a New Brunswick issue -- an ISA issue -- but as a national fish health issue, then we must bring together the appropriate people to consider how we can reach a resolution and begin a dialogue. My own view is that it is urgently needed.

Senator Carney: The issue of insurance, of which I was unaware, is an important one because there is a perception on the West Coast that when fish farmers see their fish starting to die they ship them to the fish plant. The alternative, if you are not covered by insurance, is to ship them to the plant. I have toured plants where there is a high incidence of disease. It is important to address that issue, and I am glad you raised it.

The other issue that bothers people on the West Coast is the catching of wild fish to make fish meal which is fed to the farmed fish. I suppose that would be pinks, would it not, or chums?

Mr. Rideout: I am afraid I do not know.

Senator Carney: It is a lower valued fish, but people do not like the idea of catching fish, making fish meal out of them, and then feeding it to the farm fish. That is another issue. It was the feeding of cattle grains to the cattle in Europe which led to the mad cow problem. That is another perception on the West Coast. If you do not want to feed farm fish chemical or synthetic food, and people resent them being fed meal made from wild fish, then you are on the horns of a dilemma.Do have you any comments on that?

Mr. Rideout: My understanding was that a good portion of fish feed comes from under-utilized stocks and in particular from pelagic fish.

Senator Carney: What is considered to be a pelagic fish now? On the West Coast, herring are now scarce, and there are no under-utilized species. In fact, the industry is developing ways to use species which have not been used before.

Mr. Rideout: I understand that. I will have to get back to you on that, but my understanding is that the fish being used or processed for feed are not coming from British Columbia. I may be wrong on that.

Senator Carney: I would leave that with you. I have heard that it is the lower-valued salmon, but even the dog fish on the West Coast are being marketed as Pacific shark in Japan or somewhere because we would not touch a dog fish.

Mr. Rideout: I will get back to you. I apologize for not having an answer on that.

Senator Perrault: I have a very short, true story on the marketing of fish. Many years ago in British Columbia two species were used for consumption, the keta and the sockeye. The keta people were taking a terrible beating, so they put on the outside of their cans, "Guaranteed not to turn pink in the can". That made a difference in its marketing success. It is a true story.

This has been a very useful meeting. You have provided some valuable testimony.

The Chairman: I have a very brief question before we wrap it up, Mr. Rideout.

Earlier we talked about the Atlantic salmon being introduced on the West Coast and the reasons why this was done. My understanding is that the East Coast salmon, Atlantic salmon, is a domesticated animal, much more domesticated than the West Coast salmon, and therefore it is less prone to shock diseases or stress diseases that can cause all kinds of chemical reactions within the fish. Was that the reason the Atlantic salmon was introduced on the West Coast? Are the species on the West Coast in fact more susceptible to stress-related diseases?

Mr. Rideout: Logic says that you are probably right there, but I really do not know the answer to that. I suspect that the Atlantic salmon are easier to farm. As well, there is a great deal of market acceptance of them, not that there is not for the B.C. salmon of course, but I suspect that that is part of the problem or the issue.

I will get back to you on that.

The Chairman: I will be giving you a copy of the questions to which Senator Carney referred and a list of questions that were prepared by the researcher. You may want to respond to some of the questions that were not posed this evening. Please feel free to respond in detail.

For a man who has only been on the job for seven days, your testimony shows that you have done a huge amount of homework. Obviously your career at DFO has helped you a great deal. I am quite sure your membership will be very well served by you. Your testimony was most impressive and it will be very helpful to us. We look forward to working with you in the future.

The committee adjourned.

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