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January 28, 1997

Dildo history renewed

Dildo and Area Community Economic Development Inc. will complete the final phase of the Dildo Island Fish Hatchery Visitors Centre, which will interpret the activities and lifestyles of the people working at North America's first fish hatchery around the turn of the century.

The Dildo Island fish hatchery was established in 1889 by a Norwegian, Adolph Nielson, who was invited by the government of the day to begin the operation. At the time, Newfoundland was a world leader in hatchery technology and production. The hatchery operated from 1889 to 1896, and the original log and details of Mr. Nielson's work will be displayed at the interpretation centre.

Funding towards the project of $45,000, which will create three construction and two seasonal jobs, was announced today by the Fred Mifflin, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of Lawrence MacAulay, Secretary of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (Veterans Affairs), and Judy Foote, Minister of Development and Rural Renewal for Newfoundland and Labrador. "This is a good example of regional economic development that builds on our history," said Minister Mifflin. "This facility is expected to generate increased tourist visitation and expenditures in the region, thereby creating indirect employment and spin off benefits throughout the area. It will also complement boat tour operations to the original hatchery, as well as the Whaling and Sealing Museum in the community."

This initiative focuses on enhancing the tourist interpretative experience of the 19th century fish hatchery which was located on nearby Dildo Island. The new facility will offer a rare opportunity for tourists to view local fish species such as ocean perch, codfish and flounder. The species will be displayed in special tanks from May to October and at the end of the season the fish will be released back into their natural habitat.

"This is an exciting and unique way to contribute to the diversification of a traditionally fishery-related economy," said Minister Foote. "Dildo and Area Community Economic Development Inc. should be proud of the dedication displayed by the people in the region, who have put a tremendous amount of volunteer effort into the development of this historic site. Their efforts exhibit enthusiasm and pride in their history, as well as the future of Newfoundland and Labrador. Not only will visitors and residents learn from the history of the region, but this facility will enhance other heritage attractions in the area, which have become popular contributors to the tourism industry in the Dildo area in recent years."

Funding for today's announcement came from the Canada/Newfoundland Strategic Regional Diversification COOPERATION Agreement. The agreement is cost-shared between the federal and provincial governments and is administered federally by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and provincially by the Department of Development and Rural Renewal.

Contact: Paul Murphy, COOPERATION Communications, (709) 772-0219 or Bonnie Mewdell, Office of the Minister, Fisheries and Oceans, (613) 992- 4133 or Susan Laite, Department of Development and Rural Renewal, (709) 729-4570.

1997 01 28 1:40 p.m.

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