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Newfoundland Government Consulting on Aquaculture

THE TELEGRAM

Newfoundland government to start consultations, seek input to update aquaculture strategy

Published on November 18, 2013

The provincial government announced today it will begin consultations with those interested in the aquaculture industry in the province to gather information to update government’s aquaculture strategic plan.

The plan was last revised in 2005.

Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said the consultations will begin Monday, Nov. 25 and run to Dec. 13.

A news release notes that aquaculture operators, wild fishery stakeholders, scientists and municipal leaders will be contacted directly during the consultation period.

As well, when the consultations commence, interested parties will be able to submit feedback through the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture website: www.fishaq.gov.nl.ca. The consultation web page will provide information about the consultation process and feature a background document about the industry and a questionnaire comprised of multiple-choice and open-ended questions.

All feedback will be reviewed and summarized into a “What We Heard” document that will be placed on the department’s website, and then used to inform the development of strategy that will guide future provincial government initiatives to assist the industry.

“Aquaculture has grown rapidly since the provincial government’s strategic plan for the industry was last updated in 2005, with the number of finfish sites in the province almost doubling, mussel production reaching a record high, and rural communities enjoying long-term economic prosperity as a result,” Hutchings said.

The province’s aquaculture industry is expected to generate more than $180 million in production value this year while employing approximately 1,000 people.

“The Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association is pleased to participate in this consultation process, as we are eager to support long-term planning that will ensure our industry continues to support prosperity in rural areas, while continuing to grow into an even stronger player in the international marketplace,” said Dr. Laura Halfyard, board member of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, and General Manager of Sunrise and Connaigre Fish Farms.