In Canada, aquaculture sites are marked using buoys on the water surface. The placement of these buoys are regulated federally by Transport Canada and in some cases, also regulated by Provinces and Territories.
The federal site marking requirements ensure the safety of waterway users. Federal approval is required to operate an aquaculture site in navigable waters and the site marking requirements are managed by Transport Canada through the Navigation Protection Program, that is responsible for administering the Canadian Navigable Waters Act.
Provinces and Territories issue licenses or leases for the placement and location of aquaculture sites and specify how perimeters must be marked and labelled. While most provinces and territories follow the federal rules for site markings, Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia currently have their own frameworks in place for site marking requirements which provide them with the ability to impose their own site marking requirements. These requirements differ from federal requirements resulting in overlapping site marking requirements, which may result in unnecessary complexity and burden for aquaculturists in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador.
The Governments of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and the Government of Canada have reached a reconciliation agreement on site marking requirements. This agreement outlines the provinces’ intent to align their site marking requirements with the federal requirements. This will reduce the variance between, and duplication of, regulations and procedures and make compliance easier for aquaculturists in those provinces.
Once the agreement is signed, it will be posted in its entirety on the Canadian Free Trade Agreements (CFTA) website. Implementation is expected to be complete by March 31, 2022.