Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

July 12, 2005 10:23 ET

DFO: Federal Government Delivers on Aquaculture Investment

SAINT-GEORGE, NEW BRUNSWICK--(CCNMatthews - July 12, 2005) - Andy Scott, Regional Minister for New Brunswick and MP for Fredericton, on behalf of Geoff Regan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO), today announced a one-time federal investment of up to $20-million in the New Brunswick salmon aquaculture industry. The funds are to assist the industry in the short term, while long-term strategic solutions are considered.

The investment will assist salmon farm operators in New Brunswick, the only segment of the aquaculture industry to experience significant uncompensated losses due to eradication orders aimed at disease control. The funds will help salmon growers to refinance and secure working capital that will permit them to place juvenile salmon in pens this season.

"I am pleased the federal government has been able to provide this one-time investment of up to $20 million in the New Brunswick salmon aquaculture industry," said Minister Scott. "These funds will assist the industry's short-term funding needs while longer term solutions are being considered. Although a relatively new industry, the salmon aquaculture industry has grown in to be a key agri-food industry for both New Brunswick and the region. In New Brunswick, the salmon aquaculture generated a farm gate value of $179 million and 1,600 direct jobs in 2003 to the benefit of many of our coastal communities. In Charlotte County, aquaculture is the backbone of the local economy, providing jobs in hatcheries, grow-out operations, and supply and service industries that provide feed, cages, and boats to aquaculturalists."

There are two conditions on this funding assistance. First, the funding is contingent on federal government and the Province of New Brunswick negotiating the details of a bilateral agreement that will outline federal-provincial accountabilities and cost-sharing methods. Second, long-term, strategic restructuring solutions will be addressed through a three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the federal government, the province of New Brunswick and the province's salmon aquaculture industry.

A key element of the MOU will be to strategically restructure New Brunswick's salmon farming industry via a combination of initiatives including: the consolidation, re-location and fallowing of salmon sites in the Bay of Fundy over the next three years. These changes will be implemented in order to achieve long-term benefits to the industry regarding improved economic, environmental and fish health performance. There have been discussions with the industry on this issue, and action will be taken in a way that is consistent with restructuring already underway in response to market forces and with the industry's own long-term Sustainability Plan.

The announcement comes in response, in part, to a recommendation made by the Task Force on Fostering a Sustainable Salmon Farming Industry in Atlantic Canada to provide immediate financial assistance to Atlantic Canada's aquaculture industry. The Task Force was established in December 2004 jointly by the federal government, the provinces of New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and the New Brunswick Salmon Growers Association to examine the state of the industry and make recommendations to address the longer term challenges facing Atlantic Canada's salmon aquaculture industry.

The Task Force report recommends that the federal and provincial governments work towards reaching an Aquaculture Framework Agreement. It also suggests that governments and industry collaborate on establishing a market-driven harvest that takes into account environmental and socio-economic factors. The report is available on both the DFO and NB DAFA websites. (http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/home-accueil_e.htm & http://www.gnb.ca/0027/Index-e.asp)

http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Phil Jenkins
    Media Relations
    (613) 990-7537
    or
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Ottawa
    Office of the Minister
    Sujata Raisinghani
    Press Secretary
    (613) 992-3474