Minister Provides Update on Fishing Industry
Memorandum of Understanding
The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries
and Aquaculture, today provided an update on the Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU) process. The MOU was signed on July 11, 2009, by the
Fish, Food and Allied Workers, Association of Seafood Producers and
Provincial Government. The Federal Government has been participating in
the process in an ex-officio capacity.
"Our province's fishing industry is overcapitalized
and having great difficulty in light of the global economic challenges
of the last two years," said Minister Jackman. "However, there are
structural issues within the industry and we can see the impact of those
annually. We will continue to have them until there is a new industry
structure in place. The MOU process was designed to provide proposals
from the participants for addressing these issues. It is important that
the parties develop joint proposals that offer reasonable and practical
solutions which will encourage Federal Government support of the
The parties to the MOU have been working together to
develop proposals through working groups and a steering committee that
is chaired by Professor Tom Clift of Memorial University's School of
Business. There are working groups on harvesting, processing and seafood
Financial assessments of the harvesting and processing
sectors have been carried out. This information is being used to assist
the harvesting and processing sector working groups in considering
options for restructuring of the industry. The working groups have been
extremely active in recent weeks to ensure timely completion of their
The marketing working group is exploring options for
more collaborative sales and marketing efforts. A workshop is planned to
help the working group identify key issues, requirements and criteria to
establish seafood marketing entities in the province's fishing industry.
International seafood marketing experts from other jurisdictions will be
invited to share their experiences and perspectives on seafood sales
consortiums. This will include representatives from Iceland, Norway and
The working groups will finalize their analysis over
the next month. Their work will then be presented to the steering
committee. The committee will develop recommendations to submit to the
minister through a report that will be completed by Professor Clift, and
submitted in September.
"I look forward to receiving the report from the
steering committee," said Minister Jackman. "The report should reflect a
collective, unified response on behalf of the participants in the MOU
process. We are seeking a series of recommendations that the Federal
Government will seriously consider and support. It is extremely
important that we now start working toward achieving appropriate
solutions for the 2011 fishery."
The recommendations of the steering committee will be
used to provide recommendations to the Federal Government for addressing
areas of restructuring that fall within federal jurisdiction.
The MOU was developed to provide a plan to address the
long-term structural issues in the province's fishing industry. It has
been building on the work of the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy
(FIRS) that was developed jointly with the Government of Canada and
announced in 2007. The Provincial Government committed $800,000 toward
the cost of the MOU process. As well, $140 million has been committed to
the implementation of FIRS.
"A great deal of work has been done through the MOU
process and the Fishing Industry Renewal Strategy," said Minister
Jackman. "Our government has invested a lot in the fishing industry and
a number of new policies have been put in place to improve and support
the industry. We will continue to work with the MOU partners to achieve
solutions for appropriate restructuring of the fishery in this province.
Our government will also continue to press the Federal Government for
appropriate investment to address structural issues that fall within
their area of jurisdiction."
Minister Jackman will meet with the
Honourable Gail Shea, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, in
Prince Edward Island on Friday, July 16. The ministers will discuss a
number of items including the province's recent announcement on
fisheries science and the restructuring of the Newfoundland and Labrador
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Lori Lee Oates
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
2010 07 15 9:15 a.m.