Fisheries and Aquaculture
September 5, 2008
Provincial Government Releases Report on Seafood Marketing
In delivering on its commitments under the Fishing Industry Renewal (FIR) Strategy, the Provincial Government commissioned a study to review the marketing issues and challenges facing the province�s fishing industry. Today, the Honourable Trevor Taylor, acting Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, released the study which focuses on the options and requirements to establish a seafood marketing council in the province. Entitled Seafood Marketing Review Panel: Report of the Chairman, the report was prepared by Alexander (Sandy) Roche, a former Executive Vice-President of Marketing with Fishery Products International (FPI) Limited.
"Our government is pleased to release this report on the merits of establishing a seafood marketing council in the province," said Minister Taylor. "Seafood marketing was clearly an important issue raised during the Fishing Industry Renewal consultations and we plan to meet with industry on the contents of this report in the near future. It is important to have the support of industry if government is going to move forward with implementing the recommendations in the report."
This report concluded that the province�s fishing industry needs to change in order to successfully keep pace with competitors who have already advanced their fisheries or are going through a process of doing so right now. The report also notes that the formation of a seafood marketing council could be a very worthwhile initiative in terms of the industry remaining competitive in global seafood markets. Similar councils have been successful in Alaska and Norway.
"A seafood marketing council could be a vehicle to better promote the province�s competitive strengths including resource supply, cold clean Atlantic waters, the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification of the Canadian trawl shrimp fishery and single-frozen products," said Minister Taylor.
The report recommends establishing the council in partnership with the provincial industry and Federal Government, on a three-year trial basis, provided that this is agreeable to the fishing industry. It also recommends that the council be industry-led and have a high level of industry participation in all aspects of its work.
Should the fishing industry be prepared to proceed with a provincial seafood marketing council, the Provincial Government is prepared to commit up to $2 million toward the estimated costs of running the council in its first year. It is also proposed that an industry contribution toward the cost of running the council would be increased in years two and three, with industry, and the Provincial and Federal Governments sharing costs equally after the initial start-up phase of three years.
After meeting with industry, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture will organize an industry vote, as recommended in the Roche report. This will determine if there is sufficient support to establish a seafood marketing council in the province.
A provincial seafood marketing council would be part of a comprehensive and holistic approach to the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy in this province. This strategy includes government action and investment in harvesting and processing renewal, fisheries research and development, and workforce transition assistance.
"When we developed the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy with the Federal Government, we envisioned an industry that was self-sustaining and stable," said Minister Taylor. "Further exploring the opportunities for enhanced seafood marketing will enable us to meet that goal."
The Provincial Government allocated $3 million over three years to enhance market research and promotion. The total provincial undertaking in relation to the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy is $140 million.
A copy of the report may be found at //www.fishaq.gov.nl.ca/publications.
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2008 09 05 9:45 a.m.
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