March 21, 2005
(Fisheries and Aquaculture)
provide more global outlook on seafood
The Department of Fisheries and
Aquaculture is undergoing further renewal following a year of
modernizing the province�s fish processing policies.
"We must continue to refocus our resources as we act to strengthen
our seafood industry," says Trevor Taylor, Minister of Fisheries and
Aquaculture. "In doing so, we are following the principles of
resource sustainability, adjacency, quality assurance, and economic
viability. Over the past year, we have strengthened our quality
assurance program and hired new inspection officers. We have
established an arms-length licensing board. We have updated
fisheries legislation and regulations. We have announced raw
material sharing systems for the shrimp and crab fisheries. We have
introduced a loan guarantee initiative for qualified aquaculture
operations. And now we are acting to modernize the Department of
Fisheries and Aquaculture itself."
As indicated in the Speech from the Throne, the department�s
Resource Policy and Development Division is being reorganized into a
new Sustainable Fisheries and Oceans Policy Division. This
reassignment of staff will increase the province�s emphasis on
fisheries management and foreign overfishing. It will improve
monitoring of regulatory issues such as the Species at Risk Act
(SARA), the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
(COSEWIC), and the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).
A new Seafood Diversification and Development Division will house
fisheries development responsibilities. This will see a greater
emphasis on public and private sector partnerships to develop the
harvesting, processing, and marketing sectors. This change will
improve the use of existing resources in light of the expiry of a
number of cost-shared agreements.
A dedicated seafood trade analysis capacity is also being added.
This will improve the province�s ability to address global trade
barriers such as the European Union�s 20 per cent tariff on cooked
and peeled shrimp. The trade specialist will monitor federal trade
negotiations and will assist the seafood industry in areas such as
new bio-terrorism rules for exporters.
"Our province�s fisheries policies were badly outdated after years
of short-term decision-making that risked long-term damage,"
explains the minister. "These budget changes will increase our
involvement with fisheries and ecosystem management decisions. They
will help ensure that our interests can be protected on the national
and international stage."
The improvements reflect views expressed in discussions with staff,
industry, other provincial departments, and the federal Department
of Fisheries and Oceans.
Media contact: Alex Marland, Communications, (709) 729-3733,
2005 03 21