The Results Are In: Nova Scotians View Aquaculture Positively

Nova Scotians View Aquaculture Positively

HALIFAX, N.S.: Public opinion polling conducted for the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANS) suggests
that Nova Scotians consider aquaculture as a sector that positively impacts the economy, employment, and
sustainability of a local food source.

“This polling shows the need to make Nova Scotians aware of just how well this industry is governed and that it is
full of opportunities for the whole province,” said Tom Smith, Executive Director of the AANS. The AANS worked
with Narrative Research on public opinion polling in November and December 2021. “Seafood farming needs to
continue to expand if we want to realize our full potential. That includes finding new ways to work with our
members and the public to build awareness of, and confidence in, how local seafood is grown in Nova Scotia.”

The polling was conducted during a time when awareness around aquaculture was heightened, as the Nova Scotia
Aquaculture Review Board (ARB) conducted its first finfish hearing last November. “The ARB was established after
significant engagement with the industry, environmental organizations, research and academic institutions, and
the public,” says Smith. “We were pleased to see Nova Scotia’s strong regulatory framework brought to life in such
a thorough, rigorous way by the ARB, and assured by our poll results that the environmental activists who use
outdated and misleading information represent a small minority of Nova Scotians.”

In June 2021, the four Atlantic Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers affirmed their support of aquaculture
development at the highest level by renewing the Aquaculture MOU for Atlantic Canada, demonstrating that
government recognizes the importance of using science-based evidence to make management decisions in the
aquaculture sector. The renewal of this MOU will also help to ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector
through technological advancements and the many rural, coastal, and Indigenous communities it supports.

“Shedding more light on both the significant environmental and scientific review by government regulators and
the socioeconomic opportunities for rural, coastal communities will result in even more Nova Scotians becoming
champions of our sector,” say Smith. The AANS shares industry news and member updates with the public on
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn.

Poll Highlights:
Public opinion polling was conducted between November and December of 2021 by Narrative Research on behalf
of, the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANS). The telephone survey of 400 Nova Scotians aged 18+ across
the province asked a variety of questions based on themes of economic impact, career opportunities for young
people and industry regulations, and found that:

  • Most Nova Scotians have heard of aquaculture in Nova Scotia and describe it as year-round seafood
    farming industry
  •  In terms of what kinds of fish, shellfish, and marine plants are farmed, Nova Scotians know that salmon,
    mussels, oysters, and trout are farmed in our Province
  •  Nova Scotians want to have confidence that appropriate legislation is in place to safely regulate the
    aquaculture industry in Nova Scotia.
  • Nova Scotians are looking for more information, identifying the farmed seafood that is sold at retail
    throughout the province.
  • Aquaculture in Nova Scotia is considered to have positive impacts on the economy, employment, and
    sustainability of a food source. There is strong support for the provincial government to help the
    aquaculture industry grow, reflecting the importance Nova Scotians place on the industry.
  • While the general perception of aquaculture as a viable career path for young people is positive, the
    majority of people don’t realize the diversity of career options available.

You can view the results of the survey here.

[Full Press Release]

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