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Fisheries and Aquaculture
Environment and Conservation
February 19, 2008

Provincial Government Moving Forward With Coastal and Ocean Management

The Provincial Government continues to move forward with the development of a provincial coastal and ocean management strategy and policy framework.

The Honourable Tom Rideout, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and the Honourable Charlene Johnson, Minister of Environment and Conservation, today released the final report entitled Issues Scan of Selected Coastal and Ocean Areas of Newfoundland and Labrador. It reports on the initial project to support policy development in relation to coastal and ocean issues in the western and southern regions of the province. The ministers also announced that the Provincial Government is now moving forward with an issues scan in Labrador and Northeastern Newfoundland to complete the scoping exercise.

"Prior to moving forward with the development of a complete and final coastal and ocean strategy, it is vital that all issues and priorities throughout the province be identified and that all stakeholders be consulted," said Minister Rideout. "We are pleased that the first report has been completed and that we are ready to proceed with the next project. Government is committed to developing a rational and strategic approach to managing our coastal and ocean areas and this is another important step in that direction."

"Our marine environment, including the ocean and adjacent coastal areas, is an important element in our overall ecosystem management," said Minister Johnson. "It is vital that we have an accurate assessment of our coastal and ocean areas which, in turn, contributes toward a better understanding of our environment in general. The information we garner through these projects is integral to the development of a strategy that will help sustain these areas."

The project involved western and southern regions of Newfoundland and Labrador was completed throughout 2007 and is the result of a collaborative effort between the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Government of Canada. Both governments shared in the $51,000 cost of the project, with the Federal Government contributing $41,000 and the Provincial Government contributing $10,000.

The Provincial Government is moving forward with the second issues scan and will fund all costs associated with the $75,000 project.

"Our government is currently reviewing the report and the recommendations associated with the first project," said Minister Rideout. "When the second scan has been completed, that report will also be released, and we will then analyze both reports collectively and make decisions on how to proceed. This is a very important initiative and we continue to encourage all stakeholders to contribute to this process."

In the last two provincial budgets, a total of $350,000 was allocated for the preparation of a coastal and ocean policy framework and strategy. In addition to the coastal oceans issues scan work, this funding has been used to support coastal management committees and groups in developing integrated coastal management plans and also for educational initiatives.

A copy of the phase one report is available online at //www.fishaq.gov.nl.ca/publications. Hard copies can be requested at coastsandoceans@gov.nl.ca.

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Media contacts:

Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Communications
709-729-3733, 690-8403
oatesll@gov.nl.ca
Melony O´┐ŻNeill
Director of Communications (Acting)
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-0928
moneill@gov.nl.ca

2008 02 19                                                       10:15 a.m.


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