Jan. 16, 2003
FREDERICTON (CNB) - The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture will be increasing its compliance and enforcement efforts to better administer the Aquaculture Act and the Fish Processing Act, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture Rodney Weston announced today.
"The New Brunswick aquaculture and fishing industries have asked us to review our compliance and enforcement strategies; and to increase our efforts in those sectors," Weston said. "This is why as of today, the Department has established a Licensing and Compliance Branch."
Responsibilities of this new branch will include administration of the Aquaculture Act and the Fish Processing Act, as well as site allocation policies, compliance, inspection and enforcement under these two acts.
"The general public is counting on us to do more to foster an environmentally sustainable aquaculture industry," Weston said. "These changes are important to ensure orderly fisheries and aquaculture development in this sector. By reorganizing current functions and strengthening compliance and enforcement, we will ensure that the department will play a key role in maintaining the stability and sustainability of this important industry in our province."
As part of the changes, four enforcement officers will be contracted to assist current departmental staff. "Through the assistance of the Department of Natural Resources and Energy, we are looking at the services of experienced enforcement personnel to help us implement this initiative," Weston added.
The creation of the new branch will be accomplished by reallocating funds within the Fisheries and Aquaculture Division and this funding will be implemented within the budget allocation for the department as approved by the Legislature. A total of 22 positions are being allocated to this unit.
MEDIA CONTACT: Marie-Josée Groulx, communications, Agriculture, Fisheries and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.