Adapted from a keynote address to the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia Sea Farmer’s 2012 Conference, AIMS Director of Research Don McIver shares his optimism on the future of aquaculture in Nova Scotia, from the perspective of a macroeconomist. He addresses the public awareness challenges surrounding the industry, and explains that in Canada – and particularly in Nova Scotia – there is much untapped opportunity for expansion. This is baffling when characterized by the economic circumstances Nova Scotia.

There is potential for the aquaculture industry in Nova Scotia to not only improve employment and economic growth, but to do so in areas where it’s needed most, such as in depopulating rural parts of the province and in helping attract and retain immigrants to the province. Improving the public perception of the aquaculture industry, and government support for the environment necessary for the industry to thrive, are the keys to the bright future of aquaculture in this province, according to McIver.

In Perspectives, Perceptions and Priorities, McIver emphasizes the need for government agencies to recognize and allow for the exciting possibility of a dramatic industrial shift. Government agencies will have to invent new financing models if they wish to provide support to the aquaculture industry.  The funds are available—in the form of largely-wasted subsidies and bailouts of traditional and all-too-often-fruitless industrial support.  To tap into this potential, some “new-thinking” is required.

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