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Provincial Government Recognises World Fisheries Day

26 November 2012

CANADA - The Provincial Government joined with fishing communities throughout Canada and around the world to celebrate World Fisheries Day, a celebration highlighting the importance of global fisheries held annually on 21 November.

Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, encouraged all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to consider what the fishery means to their community, and also outlined some of the ways in which the Provincial Government has worked to manage and protect this very important industry and resource.

“Fishing communities throughout the world celebrate November 21 as World Fisheries Day to highlight the importance of maintaining and preserving the world's fisheries,” said Minister Dalley. “This day provides a great opportunity for all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians to reflect on what the fishery means to them, and to recognize the importance the fishery has played in our own province’s history. There is no question that it will remain an integral part of our future, and it is important that we protect and develop the fishing industry as the future conduit to the social, cultural and economic wellbeing of our coastal communities.”

World Fisheries Day celebrations serve as an important reminder that the world must focus on modernizing the way it manages the fishery. As a global community, the world must ensure fish stocks remain sustainable and work together to protect the valuable marine ecosystems throughout the world.

Fisheries and aquaculture employ more than 43 million individuals worldwide, and over 20,000 people throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. More than 25 per cent of the world’s dietary protein is provided by fish. Each year the Canadian fishery lands approximately one million metric tonnes of fish, with a landed value of some $2 billion and a total value approaching $4 billion. The total value of the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador is approximately $1 billion.

“Our natural resources must be used for the benefit of the people of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Dalley. “For this reason, our government has worked carefully to support the fishing industry by developing new and innovative, publicly-funded initiatives that aim to protect it for many years to come.”

Recognizing the need to protect the fishery for the future, the Provincial Government has invested in excess of $92 million since 2003. The current annual operating budget of the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture is upwards of $50 million, more than the investment of all other Atlantic provinces combined.

In particular, significant investment has been made in fisheries science and research, and coastal and oceans management. For example, the Provincial Government established the Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research at Memorial University’s Marine Institute. The centre is led by renowned fisheries scientist Dr. George Rose, and focuses on various aspects of the fishery, including the recovery of the Northern cod.

Also, Newfoundland and Labrador was one of the first jurisdictions in Canada to develop a Coastal and Oceans Management Strategy and Policy Framework, which guides the province and provides for specific investments in initiatives that protect the ocean and coastal communities where the fishery is most important and has the most impact.

“Our government recognizes the importance the fishery continues to play in sustaining rural and coastal communities throughout Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Dalley. “We will continue to work with all of our partners to promote, develop, protect, conserve and regulate fisheries and aquaculture, to ensure both continue to provide an economic and social benefit to our people. Our vision of the fishery is one that is vibrant, sustainable and will remain strong in all aspects for generations to come.”

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