Aquaculture Canada and WAS North America 2022

August 15 - 18, 2022

St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada


 Kerry-Leigh Burchill and Nadine Dagenais Dessaint

 Canada Agriculture and Food Museum

 Central Experimental Farm, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K1G 5A3 /


 The Canada Agriculture and Food Museum is one of three national museums of science and innovation. With a mandate to foster scientific literacy and a mission to be a catalyst for curiosity, the museum has an ongoing commitment to exploring

 one of the key issues of our time: food security. With the Decade of Ocean Science underway and with the United Nations General Assembly declaring 2022 as the International Year of Artisanal Fisheries and Aquaculture, the museum has recently undertaken a six-year initiative to bring greater awareness and understanding to a branch of agriculture that is often overlooked and misunderstood by consumers – Aquaculture.

With support from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a national advisory council, and producers, researchers, and communities throughout the country, this topic will be in the spotlight for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Engaging consumers in conversations about a topic as complex and important as aquaculture could be a challenge given the diversity of opinions surrounding protein sources, environmental impacts, and cultural connections. To this end, the museum and its partners have agreed that the guiding principle for this initiative will be that innovation (past, present and future) will help secure a sustainable future for aquaculture in Canada.

 In addition, the Aquaculture Initiative will use the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals to ensure that the content is both inclusive for and relevant to all visitors.  To this end, the museum and partners will explore this theme through a long-term exhibition at the national museum, a travelling exhibition that will be on loan to communities from coast to coast to coast and public programming to reach local, domestic and international audiences.

 Farming the Waters  will  take visitors  on a journey to learn  how aquaculture  grows a variety of organisms for food and products in Canada – fish, shellfish, and seaweed. From Indigenous clam gardens to the latest recirculating water systems, visitors will appreciate that aquaculture is a pursuit that requires deep knowledge about our waters and the life within them. V isitors will also learn that scientists, Indigenous communities, and other aquaculture operators are leading Canadian innovation in this global industry, providing livelihoods and income for communities throughout the country. Innovation is making this industry  even more sustainable as consumer demand for healthy seafood, grown in environmentally sound ways, increases.

 This presentation will include results from formative surveys, consultations, and testing with a broad-spectrum audience and will share an informal science learning approach that is already resonating with visitors and sparking dialogue about an industry that is both centuries-old and constantly evolving.