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September 6, 2006
(Fisheries and Aquaculture)

Province can learn many lessons from Icelandic fishery

�There are many lessons the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador can learn from the Icelandic fishery,� said Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture. Minister Rideout just returned from accompanying Premier Danny Williams to Iceland. While there, they attended meetings with a number of stakeholders in Iceland�s very successful fishing industry.

�I had the honour of visiting Iceland during my last tenure as fisheries minister and it was a pleasure to return after 20 years,� said Minister Rideout. �One of the major differences I observed between this visit and my last was that the Icelandic fishery has consolidated and rationalized. Given the issues that we are addressing in our own provincial fishery right now, this was a valuable opportunity for us to learn about how to accomplish our goals in a manner that will benefit the industry and our province as a whole.�

The minister noted that there has been incredible diversification in the Iceland economy that is coming out of their fishery. Many companies that started out servicing the fishing industry have actually grown to service other industries on a global basis. Minister Rideout said, �This provides important lessons on the economic contribution that our fishery can make to the province and the role that it can play in the further development of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.�

Iceland has been able to achieve great efficiency in its fishery. �We met with their Marine Research Institute which carries out an incredible volume of work in the areas of stock assessment and resource management. They make excellent use of technology to collect timely and comprehensive information on the status of industry activity. They also work in a very collaborative manner with the university and industry,� said Minister Rideout.

The minister says this demonstrates the need for greater research and science in our own jurisdiction. �Clearly, good research and science provide for very efficient and effective management of fish stocks. It also provides the opportunity for greater collaboration with industry and academia. Our government will pursue opportunities for exchanges within our respective scientific communities to assist with shaping a better model for scientific management of our own fish stocks.�

Minister Rideout said Iceland is an excellent model for achieving an integrated approach to the fishery, with many quota holders in Iceland having grown to be involved in harvesting, processing and marketing activities. �Large successful companies have been built by people who started out as fisherpersons. These companies have been able to grow and become staples of the rural economy. This is an important lesson for our province where the harvesting and processing sectors have been characterized by instability,� said the minister.

�As we move forward in finding long term solutions for our fishery, we will look at other jurisdictions internationally for appropriate models of how to make our industry work for the benefit of the people of the province,� said the minister. �We live in a global marketplace and our industry must be able to compete in that environment.�

Minister Rideout said, �Our government will take the lessons learned from Iceland very seriously as we move forward with addressing the issues in our own fishery with our partners in industry and the federal government. Newfoundland and Labrador is a province while Iceland is a sovereign nation. They have more control over their fisheries resources. That is why the Williams government will continue to work to build greater levels of cooperation with the federal government on fisheries matters.�

Media contact: Lori Lee Oates, ABC, Communications, (709) 729-3733, 690-8403,

2006 09 06                            2:50 p.m.

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