Newfoundland and Labrador to Embark Upon New Coastal and Oceans Strategy
The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador today released a Coastal and Oceans Management Strategy and Policy Framework, with an investment of approximately $900,000 over three years as announced in Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador. The province is the first jurisdiction in Canada to implement such a strategy, which provides a long-term vision for planning and management, conservation and sustainable use of the province’s coastal and ocean areas and resources.
“Our province is leading the way in coastal and ocean management within Canada,” said the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “My department will now take the lead in collaborating with other government departments and agencies, industry stakeholders and user groups to ensure that all parties are working together for optimal use of our coastal and ocean resources. Due to increasing demands, it has become increasingly important that a coordinated approach be taken by all stakeholders and our government will provide leadership in ensuring this happens.”
The economy of Newfoundland and Labrador has diversified over recent decades with the development of industries such as oil and gas and aquaculture. The fishing industry has evolved and ocean sciences are an increasingly important component of the economy. The strategy is designed to recognize the diversity of these various stakeholders who rely on healthy and productive coastal and ocean areas and resources.
“This strategy will allow the Provincial Government and stakeholders to work together to provide long-term direction, as we move forward with the sustainable use of our coastal and ocean resources,” said the Honourable Ross Wiseman, Minister of Environment and Conservation. “A coordinated approach will provide a balance of coastal development with conservation of natural areas in Newfoundland and Labrador.”
In developing the strategy, a two-phase study was carried out to identify coastal and ocean issues across the province. This was followed by an extensive consultation process in 2010 with stakeholders and the public. As well, a Provincial Coastal and Ocean Network was created to establish communication and coordination on ocean matters within the Provincial Government. The network will now help guide the implementation of the strategy.
“Since the Provincial Government announced its intentions to develop a coastal and ocean strategy, we have approached it from the perspective that it was critical that all issues and priorities throughout the province be identified and that all stakeholders be consulted,” said Minister Jackman.
Three over-arching strategic approaches to integrated coastal and ocean management are recommended in the strategy and will be guiding principles in moving forward: coordination of all stakeholders; decisions based on information and research; and education and awareness of all stakeholders. As part of the strategy, mechanisms are provided to facilitate communication between all levels of government and stakeholders. The strategy will also provide guidance for coastal and ocean policy development.
The strategy will address six coastal and ocean issues that were raised during the consultation process including:
The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture has also worked closely with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to advance coastal and oceans management in the province. The strategy sets out provincial priorities and objectives and allows for a coordinated approach to provide provincial input into federal initiatives for integrated oceans management. As well, there will now be a Federal-Provincial Regional Ocean Management Committee to provide a coordinated approach in areas of federal jurisdiction.
“As Newfoundland and Labradorians, we are tied to the ocean and our coastal areas through our history and our culture,” said Minister Jackman. “Protection and sustainable development of these areas is a priority for our government and will continue to be so.”
For a copy of the Coastal and Oceans Management Strategy and Policy Framework please visit www.gov.nl.ca/fishaq/publications/CoastalStrategy_2011.pdf.
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|Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
2011 06 16 3:15 p.m.