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Fisheries and Aquaculture
June 16, 2009

Aquaculture Week 2009 Celebrates Fast-Paced Growth of Industry

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador and Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) are pleased to celebrate Aquaculture Week 2009, which runs from June 14 to 20. The week includes a number of events such as the Second Annual Blue Mussel Showcase in Green Bay.

"Our government has been very pleased to support the growth of the province�s aquaculture industry through programs such as the Aquaculture Working Capital Loan Guarantee Initiative and Aquaculture Capital Equity Program," said the Honourable Tom Hedderson. "We�ve also been pleased to work with NAIA as a partner in growing the industry and on behalf of our government, I congratulate all the NAIA members on another successful program of events for Aquaculture Week 2009."

The province�s aquaculture industry has experienced rapid growth in response to the high level of investment by the Williams Government since 2003. 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 in excess of 50,000 metric tones of production.

"The aquaculture industry is having a tremendous impact on many rural communities throughout the province and this government continues to demonstrate its commitment to the successful development of our industry," said Jennifer Caines, President of NAIA. "We have a common goal for Newfoundland and Labrador to be considered a world leader in producing environmentally sustainable seafood of the highest quality."

Aquaculture farms and production facilities in the province employ more than 1,000 people and produce Atlantic salmon, steelhead trout and blue mussels for markets throughout the world. The number of people employed in the industry has almost doubled since 2005 and multiple spin-off benefits are being created everyday in relation to aquaculture projects throughout the province.

"Our government has been pleased to fund a number of projects that will develop the growing aquaculture industry," said Minister Hedderson. "These include the new aquaculture facility and animal health laboratory at St. Alban�s, dedicated aquaculture wharves on the province�s south coast and the construction of waste-water treatment facilities that are associated with seafood processing in the province. This infrastructure will make it possible for the aquaculture industry to continue growing and provide new opportunities in rural areas of the province."

"My department is very pleased to have such a strong aquaculture industry association in the province and very pleased to be able to work so well with NAIA and its members," said the minister. "I encourage everyone to get out for the Aquaculture Week events and again I congratulate NAIA on another successful year."

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Media contacts:

Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 690-8403
Miranda Pryor
Executive Director
709-754-2854, ext. 1

2009 06 16                                                     10:45 a.m.

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