Fisheries and Aquaculture
December 3, 2008

The following statement was issued by the Honourable Tom Hedderson, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. It was also read in the House of Assembly:

Support for Green Crab Mitigation Pilot Project

I rise in this honourable house today to report on a very positive project for the fishing industry in this province. I am pleased to tell the honourable members and public that my department has provided both financial and in-kind support to a green crab mitigation pilot project. This included $12,000 in funding from the Division of Sustainable Fisheries and Ocean Policy Division. As well, staff from my department worked directly with students in both field laboratory and classroom exercises to support this initiative.

The issue of green crab is certainly one my department takes very seriously. We were very pleased to be able to support this pilot project of the FFAW and work with the students of Swift Current Academy to carry it out.

The FFAW has led the pilot project in North Harbour, Placentia Bay. As part of the project a directed fishery was implemented with a goal of capturing adult species. As well, a green crab education program was implemented to target juvenile species in inter-tidal regions. Junior high school students from Swift Current participated in a two-day event in which they learned how to collect samples and analyze biological data in order to further the study of green crab in the area. The purpose of the study was to gather information to assist both the Federal and Provincial Governments, and the industry, to prevent the spread of green crab to other areas.

I understand the students were highly motivated and engaged in the project. Our department officials were impressed by their understanding of biology and their ability to apply biological concepts when analyzing data. For that, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the teachers and students for the excellent work they have done on this important project.

This study will provide additional information on the extent and size of the green crab population in this part of Placentia Bay. Some additional work on the impacts of the crab on the habitat is being considered as a follow-up study.

There will be a results presentation on the green crab mitigation project in Swift Current tonight. I am pleased to say that I will attend the event on behalf of the Provincial Government and I will be accompanied by the Member of the House of Assembly for Belleview District. It will take place this evening at Swift Current Academy gymnasium at 7:00 p.m. Along with a representative from the FFAW I will also make a funding presentation to the school to help with science and technology initiatives.

2008 12 03                                               2:20 p.m.

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