Newfoundland celebrates Aquaculture Week
THE Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador celebrated Aquaculture Week in September, with a ringing endorsement of the sector from the province’s fisheries minister, Gerry Bryne.
The provincial government has backed the industry in a ‘Way Forward’ plan that aims to remove barriers to growth in the industry, which is now worth more than CAD $200 million (about £118 million) annually to the local economy.
As part of the scheme, the province has a target of increasing salmon production to 50,000 tonnes (up from around 25,000 tonnes in 2016) and mussels to 10,750 tonnes (3,211 tonnes in 2016).
Byrne said: ‘In partnership with the aquaculture industry, we are pursuing opportunities and removing barriers to support sector growth and cultivate conditions that will foster new and expanding business activity and stimulate private sector employment.
‘The growth of this industry translates into real socio-economic benefits for our rural, coastal and inland communities. This is indeed a year to celebrate.’
The government recently gave Grieg NL the go ahead to expand its farming operations in Placentia Bay as part of its commitment to growth (see opposite).
Aquaculture Week was held in conjunction with the 25th anniversary of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA) Cold Harvest conference and trade show.
Alongside speakers from academia and indus- try in Canada, Scotland’s Stewart Graham, managing director of Gael Force Group, addressed delegates, in a session titled Aquaculture Social Licence and Public Trust.
The conference brought research updates on lumpfish vaccination, genomics, and novel feed ingredients, plus talks on technology advances, exposed aquaculture, certification, and interactions with wild salmon.
There was also a session with community leaders, including local mayors and a First Nation chief, who have each been given 20-minute slots to talk about aquaculture in their areas.
Mark Lane, executive director of the NAIA, said Aquaculture Week was ‘symbolic of the close collaboration between industry and the government of Newfoundland and Labrador to grow the farming of our oceans in a sustainable and environmental responsible manner’.
As part of the Way Forward plan, the industry and provincial government are working to support economic growth and foster private sector job creation.
The government and NAIA have also jointly developed the Aquaculture Sector Work Plan, which includes actions that each of the partners will take to achieve the collective goal of growing the industry.
Above: Newfoundland fisheries minister Gerry Byrne (right)