Fisheries and Aquaculture
July 6, 2010
High Level of Commitment to Province's
Fishing Industry Ongoing
On the heels of the announcement of significant investment by the
Provincial Government for fisheries science research, the Honourable
Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, today outlined
multiple investments and initiatives which demonstrate the high level of
commitment of the Williams Government to the province's fishing
industry, including the fact that the budget for the Department of
Fisheries and Aquaculture has increased by approximately 360 per cent
"Our government believes that the fishery has a future in
Newfoundland and Labrador and we have made the investments necessary to
ensure that this will be the case," said Minister Jackman. "We have
taken a long-term approach to addressing the underlying issues in the
fishing industry. Especially in the midst of global economic crisis, the
industry has faced a number of challenges in dealing with international
seafood markets. However, our government has responded with solutions
that will mitigate similar situations from occurring in the future."
Budget 2010: The Right Investments − For Our Children and Our
Future includes $44.1 million for the Department of Fisheries and
Aquaculture in total. Of this budget, $14.4 million was allocated for
new programs and initiatives.
"Not only is it worthy of note that our budget for fisheries and
aquaculture has increased by some 360 per cent since 2003, but also that
it exceeds the total budget for these industries in the other three
Atlantic Provinces combined," said Minister Jackman.
Most recently, the Provincial Government has invested $14 million in
fisheries science research. This includes $11.75 million for a Centre
for Fisheries Ecosystem Research at Memorial University's Fisheries and
Marine Institute and also for the charter of the RV Celtic Explorer to
conduct sophisticated offshore fisheries research. Another $2 million
has been allocated for the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, for
its operations and to carryout applied fisheries and aquaculture
research. As well, $200,000 has been allocated for the RV GECHO II
inshore research vessel.
A summit with fishing industry stakeholders was held by the
Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2006.
Coming out of this summit, the Provincial Government committed $140
million for a Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy. This includes funding
for the financing of licence combining, occupational health and safety,
and capital gains exemptions. By the end of the current fiscal year, a
total of $6 million dollars will have been expended on fisheries
research and development through the Fisheries Technology and New
Opportunities Program. The Provincial Government is working with the
Federal Government and chartered banks to make revisions to the existing
Fisheries Loan Guarantee Program which will result in the assumption of
risks of up to $100 million, as part of this strategy.
There has been an investment of $800,000 in a joint Memorandum of
Understanding process with the Fish, Food and Allied Workers and
Association of Seafood Producers. As part of this process, a steering
committee and working groups have been established to provide
industry-driven recommendations to the Provincial Government regarding
solutions to the long-term structural issues facing the fishing
industry. The Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture will continue to
provide support and advice to this process.
Fishery Products International (FPI) Limited was restructured in
2007, with a number of plants and equipment being sold to Ocean Choice
International. The marketing arm, including the Burin secondary plant,
was sold to High Liner Foods. This saw the reopening of plants in
Marystown and Fortune. The agreement provided benefits for workers and
communities, and provided an unprecedented agreement with the Federal
Government and industry so that adjacent fish would be brought ashore
for the benefit of provincial fishing industry participants.
In 2007, Premier Williams appeared on Larry King Live to address
false information on the province's sealing industry. Since that year,
the Provincial Government has invested $500,000 in sealing industry
communications. This funding has supported partnerships with the
Canadian Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers, the Canadian
Sealers Association and the Fur Institute of Canada.
In Budget 2010, $6.6 million was allocated for the Aquaculture
Capital Equity Program which assists in increasing production of
commercial aquaculture products. These funds are in addition to the
$9.25 million paid out in previous years to support new salmon
aquaculture production on the province's South coast. This program was
used to attract world-class experienced aquaculture producers, including
Cooke Aquaculture and Gray Aquaculture. As well, Cooke Aquaculture is
now the operator at the Harbour Breton seafood processing plant,
providing a higher level of production than the plant has ever seen.
In April 2010, the Provincial Government announced that annual
processing licensing fees would be reduced from $1.7 million to $300,000
in total, annually. This represents a move to level the playing field
for processors in this province with the fees that other seafood
processors are paying throughout the Maritimes.
In 2010, the Autonomous Tariff Reduction Quota (ATRQ) was reduced to
no tariffs on the first 20,000 metric tonnes of shrimp entering the
European Union (EU). This followed an extensive lobby of the European
Union on the part of the Williams Government which included several
trips to the EU and Ottawa by Premier Williams. This change in the ATRQ
opened up more opportunity to build markets for Canadian shrimp in the
The aquaculture industry reached record levels of production in 2009.
The market value of the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and
Labrador has increased to $92 million in 2009, which represented a rise
of 45.9 per cent over the previous year. The continued growth and
development in this sector has been largely in response to the high
level of investment on the part of the Williams Government.
A total of $8.8 million has been allocated for the Centre for Aquatic
Animal Health and Development in St. Alban's. Another $500,000 will be
spent this year on laboratory equipment for the facility. As well, $10
million has been allocated for aquaculture wharf infrastructure, as part
of the biosecure wharves initiative, over a two-year period.
The Provincial Government has allocated $500,000 annually since
Budget 2006 for participation in trade shows in developing seafood
markets, including Russia and China. Provincial seafood companies have
participated in these shows and have been successful in identifying new
market opportunities and increasing product sales.
In 2004, the Provincial Government announced the implementation of
all the recommendations in the Dunne Report on Fish Processing Licensing
Policy, at an annual cost of $1.25 million. This included establishing a
new transparent framework for licensing of processing facilities and the
Fish Processing Licensing Board, as well as the expansion of the Quality
Assurance and Inspection Program, and a new Compliance and Enforcement
Division within the department.
"Clearly, the province's fishing industry is an area that continues
to receive a high level of investment from our government," said
Minister Jackman. "Our vision is one of an appropriately rationalized
industry with people working for longer periods of time throughout the
year. We must create a fishing industry that will provide attractive
incomes and employment opportunities for young people in rural
Newfoundland and Labrador. We look forward to continuing to work with
the industry toward meeting these goals."
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Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
2010 07 06 8:45 a.m.