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Fisheries and Aquaculture
June 11, 2009

Site Clearing to Begin for Aquaculture Facility at St. Alban�s

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is moving forward with building an aquatic animal health laboratory and aquaculture administration facility at St. Alban�s, on the province�s south coast. It is estimated that the cost of the facility will be $7.2 million. The facility is expected to house 10 staff, including development and inspection personnel, as well as aquatic health staff and veterinarians. Construction will begin in the fall of 2009.

�We are pleased to report that tenders for site preparation have been called and a tender for construction of the building will be published in August,� said the Honourable Tom Hedderson. �A modern aquatic health laboratory is required to support our province�s growing aquaculture industry and meet the need created by increasing levels of production.�

The province�s aquaculture industry has experienced rapid growth in response to the high level of investment by the Williams Government. The total value of the province�s aquaculture industry almost doubled from $33.6 million in 2005 to $63.3 million in 2008. The production value has increased from 8,200 metric tonnes in 2005 to 11,600 metric tonnes in 2008. The industry is expected to reach 50,000 metric tones of production.

�The rapid pace of industry growth increases the requirement for laboratory testing right here in the province,� said Minister Hedderson. �As well, federal and provincial regulation and academic testing requirements all mean there is a need for enhanced aquaculture health services in the province.�

At present, the Provincial Government does not have in-house capacity for various testing procedures. This makes it more difficult to get test results in a timely manner. This facility will support the development of a more competitive and viable aquaculture industry in the province.

�I am absolutely thrilled with the commencement of this new aquaculture facility at St. Alban�s,� said Tracey Perry, MHA for Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune. �It will generate new economic and employment growth in the area, while helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of our aquaculture industry.�

AE Consultants were awarded a contract by the Department of Transportation and Works after a request for Expressions of Interest (EOI). They produced a design and development report that was submitted to government. CBCL has been hired as the mechanical and electrical subcontractor. As well, laboratory design and biosecurity specialists were engaged by the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture to enable the department to meet International Standards Organization and Canadian Food Inspection Agency accreditation standards.

The site has been selected and the land surveyed by the St. Alban�s municipal council. It will cover 1.2 hectares in total. The facility will be 1,100 square metres.

�This new aquaculture infrastructure will ensure increased expansion of the province�s growing industry and enable it to become more competitive in attracting international investment,� said Minister Hedderson. �This facility will enable us to ensure that farmed seafood from the province remains in the healthiest state possible, while protecting our marine environment.�

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Media contacts:

Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 690-8403
Donna Ivey
Communications Manager
Government Members' Office
709-729-0898, 697-1424

2009 06 11                              9:50 a.m.

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