||September 21, 1999
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Great Lakes Fishery Commission's
Habitat Advisory Board (705) 755-1805
||Margaret Dochoda, Great Lakes
Fishery Commission's Habitat Advisory Board (734) 662-3209
||John Hartig, International Joint Commission's Great Lakes Water Quality Board (313) 568-9594
||Lisa Tulen, International
Joint Commission (519) 257-6705
Public meeting provides report and recommendations on Great Lakes Aquaculture
In a report released today, the Great Lakes Fishery Commission's Habitat Advisory Board (HAB) and the International Joint
Commission's Water Quality Board (WQB) detailed a number of recommendations and research needs in the report titled "Addressing
Concerns for Water Quality Impacts of Large-scale Great Lakes Aquaculture." The recommendations were the result of a roundtable
held on January 27-28, 1999 in Windsor, Ontario.
More than 50 people attended including representatives from government, academia, industry, First Nations and environmental
nongovernmental organizations. A number of case studies were presented followed by breakout sessions to develop management
advice and insight on addressing water quality concerns from large-scale aquaculture.
"This report underscores the importance of environmental impact analysis prior to the siting of new or expanded pen culture facilities.
If properly designed in suitable locations, they can be an asset. But they can also have significant negative impacts on water quality if
proper analysis is
not done. We hope all agencies in the Great Lakes basin will continue to address the water quality and habitat issues associated with
these facilities," stated Commissioner David Dempsey of the Great Lakes Fishery Commission.
Aquaculture is an emerging Great Lakes issue due to the recent increase in the number of large-scale operations. Some negative water
quality impacts have been observed in the Great Lakes basin due to increased phosphorous loadings associated with fish and feed
wastes. However, as roundtable attendees confirmed, proper siting and management of large-scale aquaculture operations will
minimize water quality impacts. The majority of aquaculture operations in the Great Lakes are properly sited and well managed to
ensure a minimal water quality impacts. Aquaculture currently provides 21% of the worldwide seafood production.
The report is available on the IJC website at http://www.ijc.org/php/publications/html/aquaculture(.) Limited printed copies of the report can be
obtained from IJC's Information Services at (519) 257-6734 (e-mail at email@example.com).
The International Joint Commission is a binational Canada-United States organization established by the Boundary Waters Treaty of
1909 to help the two governments prevent and resolve disputes over use of waters along the Canada-U.S. border. Under the 1978
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, the Commission assesses progress by the two countries to restore and maintain the chemical,
physical and biological integrity of the two waters of the Great Lakes basin. Additional information about IJC's Water Quality Board
can be found at http://www.ijc.org/rel/boards/wqb.
The Great Lakes Fishery Commission is a binational organization established in 1955 by treaty between the United States and Canada.
This bilateral agreement affirms the need for the two nations to collaborate on the protection and the perpetuation of the Great Lakes'
fisheries resources. The Great Lakes aquaculture industry is relevant to the Commissions' vision of healthy Great Lakes
ecosystems and increasing institutional and stakeholder partnerships. Additional information about the HAB can be found at
http://www.glfc.org/staff/hab.htm. The aquaculture roundtable and subsequent report provide an excellent opportunity for both
Commissions to partner on a Great Lakes issue relevant to both agencies. Both Commissions look forward to the opportunity to build
on this partnership in the future.