Canada Economic Development

Canada Economic Development

January 13, 2011 15:30 ET

Government of Canada Grants $503,243 in Funding to the Regroupement des pecheurs professionnels du Sud de la Gaspesie

Substantial support for development of the lobster industry in Gaspesie

CHANDLER, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 13, 2011) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, took the opportunity of the Atelier 2011 sur le homard, a lobster fishery workshop organized by the Regroupement des pêcheurs professionnels du Sud de la Gaspésie (RPPSG) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada, to announce three contributions totalling $503,243 in non-repayable funding to this organization. Canada Economic Development's intervention aims to assist lobster industry representatives in their mobilization, search for innovative solutions and new market development initiatives.

"With this assistance for these three projects, the Government of Canada is demonstrating its commitment to supporting the development of a sustainable lobster fishery that promotes the viability of this important sector of the region's economy," explained the Minister of State.

Launch of lobster larvae hatchery

A contribution of $206,641 was granted for the implementation of a lobster hatchery in Chandler. The decrease in fishery landings and changes in ocean currents in Gaspésie have convinced the Regroupement's fishermen of the relevance of lobster larvae stocking, an activity complementary to the various conservation measures already in place. This approach aims to ensure a constant supply of the resource and the sustainability of this major industry. Two stockings were conducted in 2010.

Showcasing the culture and heritage of the coastal fishery

Funding of $239,000 was awarded to implement a pilot project on tourist commercial fishing in summer 2011. A feasibility study has already confirmed the interest of vacationers for a recreational activity of this kind, which would both improve the tourism offering and diversify fishers' revenue streams.

Study on new control procedures for monitoring dockside weighing

A third contribution, of $57,600, was granted to conduct a technical and financial feasibility study to compare the conventional dockside weighing system with other alternatives: the goal being to obtain reliable catch data related to management of the resource and the scientific process.

The Canadian lobster industry is experiencing challenging economic times. The decrease in profitability due to the constant rise in operating costs, combined with declining U.S. market prices, has resulted in significant financial losses for many fishers. "The diversity of the projects is indicative of progress in development and innovation in the lobster industry. Canada Economic Development is proud to partner in these initiatives which will generate a host of economic benefits for the region," concluded Mr. Lebel.

These projects have been funded through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) – Lobster component announced in May 2009 and established under Canada's Economic Action Plan. With an allocation of $2 million for Quebec, CAF – Lobster component supports projects that help to maintain jobs related to lobster fishing; it is estimated that there are nearly 350 such jobs in Gaspésie.

The three financial contributions granted by Canada Economic Development are in addition to the amount already announced by Fisheries and Oceans Canada for the implementation of the the RPPSG's sustainability plan under the Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures (ALSM) program.

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