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Executive Council
Fisheries and Aquaculture
Innovation, Business and Rural Development
October 29, 2013

Fishing Industry Enters New Era of Opportunity with $400 Million Fund

The provincial fishery is now ideally positioned to capitalize on unrestricted access to European seafood markets and become more globally competitive with the creation of a $400 million Federal-Provincial fund to support industry enhancements. The Honourable Kathy Dunderdale, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador, today announced the new 70-30 cost-shared fund, which will play a key role in assuring the success of provincial harvesters and processors as they deliver products to tables in the European Union, and throughout the world.

“This unprecedented level of investment in the provincial fishery will help us achieve previously unimagined economic gains from our renewable fish resources, which will support economic prosperity in rural communities for generations to come,” said Premier Dunderdale. “The Provincial Government strongly advocated for the beneficial terms achieved through the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement between Canada and the European Union, and through collaboration with the Federal Government, we have now created significant financial resources to take full advantage and continue our success as one of the most vibrant economies in the nation.”

The fund will be used to invest in research and development, new marketing initiatives, fisheries research, and enhancements to provincial fisheries infrastructure, all with the goal of improving the industry’s capacity to compete globally.

“The Provincial Government has long been a partner to industry with respect to supporting innovation, promotional activity, and scientific initiatives, and that relationship puts us in an excellent position to achieve great things with this $400 million fund when CETA comes into force,” said the Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. “Newfoundland and Labrador already has a strong reputation as one of the finest seafood providers in the world. With this fund we will build on our strengths and extend our reputation and our products to new markets around the world, particularly to those now accessible in Europe.”

Achieving unrestricted access to European Union seafood markets required the Provincial Government to provide an exemption to minimum processing requirements for these markets, a decision which was not entered into lightly. While the Provincial Government and industry agree that the economic gains achieved justify the exemption, minimum processing requirements have played an important role in how the province has maximized value from fish resources. In recognition of the Provincial Government’s decision to forgo its minimum processing requirements for European markets, the Federal Government will provide $280 million towards a $400 million fund to significantly enhance the industry’s capacity to compete globally, which will promote economic prosperity for the people and communities of Newfoundland and Labrador. The remaining $120 million will be provided by the Provincial Government.

“Through these CETA negotiations we have achieved many economic gains for the province, but the positive impacts on our fishing sector will be greatest, as there is now tremendous potential to grow the industry beyond the $1 billion of production value it currently generates annually,” said the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Innovation, Business, and Rural Development. “I want to thank the Honourable Edward Fast, Minister for International Trade, for his role in achieving a tremendous fish and seafood package for Canada, and I look forward to building on our positive relationship in the future.”

More than 19,000 Newfoundlanders and Labradorians currently employed in the provincial fishing and aquaculture industry, primarily in rural areas of the province, will benefit directly from the new opportunities created with this funding.

“Gaining unrestricted access to European markets leveled the playing field for Newfoundland and Labrador in the European Union,” said Earle McCurdy, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers. “Gaining this funding puts us in position to get established quickly in this market and build a strong brand based on our high quality products. I commend the Provincial and Federal Governments for the significant gains that have been made for the provincial fishery, and look forward to working with government to make sure harvesters and plant workers enjoy the full benefit.”

Approximately 90 processing facilities throughout the province will also be better able to capitalize on opportunities in foreign markets with assistance from this fund.

“Tariff free access to European markets was a game changing development for the industry; gaining access to this fund secures the win,” said Derek Butler, Executive Director of the Association of Seafood Producers. “The Federal and Provincial Governments have collaborated with great success, as evident in both CETA and this fund. We extend our congratulations to both levels of government, and look forward to seizing the opportunities available to us in the days ahead.”

More information about the economic gains achieved for the fishery through the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) is provided in the backgrounders below.

When CETA is implemented, it will immediately save industry roughly $25 million spent in EU fish and seafood tariffs and establish new opportunities that could add over $100 million to the sector annually. In the next decade alone, this will add over a billion dollars of value to the fishery.

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Media contacts:

Jennifer Tulk
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
Tracey Boland
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 697-3128
Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 699-0470
Heather MacLean
Director of Communications
Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development
709-729-4570, 697-4137
Earle McCurdy
Fish, Food and Allied Workers
Derek Butler
Executive Director
Association of Seafood Producers

Economic Gains Achieved for the Newfoundland and Labrador Fishery Through
the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement

The Comprehensive Economic Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union (EU) will provide duty-free access to European markets for provincial seafood products, which will create tremendous benefits for the provincial fishing industry, and the rural communities that rely upon it.

The EU is the world’s most lucrative market for fish and seafood products. For years, Newfoundland and Labrador’s fishing industry has been at a competitive disadvantage in this market because of tariffs placed on provincial fish and seafood that ranged from 7.5 per cent to 20 per cent. As a specific example, the tariff on one of the province’s most lucrative products – cooked and peeled shrimp, was 20 per cent.

CETA eliminates these trade barriers, and includes terms that will add an estimated 25 to 30 million dollars back into the fishing industry through immediate tariff relief each year, in addition to establishing new opportunities that could add over 100 million dollars annually to the industry.

Another way to describe what has been achieved through CETA is to discuss tariff lines. Tariff lines define how specific products get taxed according to a country’s tariff schedule. With respect to tariff lines that are important to Newfoundland and Labrador, 99.1 per cent of European Union fish and seafood tariff lines on Newfoundland and Labrador’s key exports will be eliminated as soon as the agreement comes into force, which is anticipated in 2015. Other tariffs will be eliminated over a maximum of seven years.

It is important to note that the two most important species for the provincial fishery – shrimp and crab, will be duty-free immediately upon CETA coming into effect.

In addition to achieving tariff relief, CETA will eliminate end use restrictions on provincial seafood products in the EU, and will create the opportunity for provincial exporters to engage in marketing that differentiates their high quality products in EU markets.

The new opportunities presented through CETA are expected to grow the provincial fishing and aquaculture industry beyond the $1 billion of production value it already produces annually.

2013 10 29                          2:45 p.m.

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