Supporting a vibrant economy
The Honourbale Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, had some good news to deliver during his keynote address at the annual Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association’s conference that was held in Gander from February 11 to 13.
The Honourable Keith Hutchings, the Provincial Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture speaking at the annual Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association’s annual Conference and Trade Show that was held in Gander from February 11 to 13.
In the ongoing efforts to enhance biosecurity, best practices and improving the overall approach to the province’s aquaculture industry, Hutchings announced a $2 million contribution to help build a new facility for cleaning and repairing nets.
The land-based net washing facility will be located in Milltown and will play a key role in protecting fish health, as it will ensure nets are sanitized and in good condition.
Hutchings also announced that $200,000 will be used to help the industry undertake a bay management plan. This is very important, as it will help industry players place new sites and schedule fallowing more effectively.
In his address, Minister Hutchings also noted a recent contribution of $4.8 million for a newly opened biosecure wharf in Harbour Breton.
This structure will be used exclusively by the aquaculture industry to reduce the possibility of cross contamination by other vessels.
Hutchings said, “This $7 million investment demonstrates the government’s commitment to developing an environmentally-friendly, sustainable aquaculture industry that adheres to global best practices.
“Feedback received during recent aquaculture consultations made it clear that biosecurity was a foremost priority for consultation participants, so this will be a focus of this government’s future efforts to support aquaculture activity.
The consultation process referred to by Minister Hutchings will be released in a document entitled “What We Heard” in the very near future. All feedback received through the consultation process will be used to update the government’s aquaculture strategic plan that will guide future policy and investment decisions aimed at fostering the success of the industry.
According to government sources, the Provincial Government has invested more than $25 million since 2006 to support the growth and development of the aquaculture industry, which has leveraged about $400 million in investment from the private sector.