Engaging on Canada's Blue Economy Strategy: What We Heart report
In December 2019, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard was mandated to lead the development of a comprehensive blue economy strategy to enable Canada to grow its ocean economy in order to create jobs and opportunities for coastal communities, while advancing our conservation objectives. From February to June 2021, Fisheries and Oceans engaged with Canadians who make their living from the ocean from coast to coast to coast to hear how this strategy could best support coastal communities. An overview of the input received through the consultation process is summarized below.
The report covered three key themes: Opportunities & Barriers to position our blue economy for growth and success; Inclusion & Diversity to ensure growth and prosperity for all; and Sustainable & Prosperous blue economy sectors today and in the future.
Positioning our blue economy for growth and success
There is consensus that our oceans and marine resources must be healthy to be able to support a blue economy. To achieve this objective, it was recommended that we value the natural environment by taking action to protect, conserve, restore and rebuild our marine and coastal resources—and then maintain healthy oceans to ensure sustainable growth.
Ensuring growth and prosperity for all
There is consensus that increasing inclusion and diversity in ocean sectors is an essential part of building a resilient and sustainable blue economy. Further, the development of our blue economy strategy is an important opportunity to advance reconciliation between Canada and Indigenous peoples.
Enabling sustainable and prosperous blue economy sectors today and in the future
There is consensus that ocean sectors and industries are enormously valuable to our coastal communities, our regions (including Indigenous and inland regions), and our nation as a whole. There is also agreement that the true value of our oceans is much more than employment and gross domestic product statistics.