Jan. 16, 2009
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. (CNB) - Fisheries ministers from the three Maritime provinces agreed at a meeting in Charlottetown today that formal discussions with industry stakeholders from across the region will be the next step in their efforts to address challenges facing the region's lobster fishery.
"We will sit with industry in the near future to discuss the concrete actions that need to be taken as we work collaboratively developing a regional plan that offers long-term marketing and promotional strategies," said Fisheries Minister, Rick Doucet. "It is essential that industry from across the region sit at the table with us and bring forward its ideas."
The meeting was a followup to a meeting held in Halifax in December, when the ministers met with Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea.
Neil LeClair, P.E.I. minister of fisheries, aquaculture and rural development, is encouraged by the commitment of the regional ministers to work together.
"We recognize that there are instances where it makes sense to join forces to market and promote the high-quality seafood this region of the country has to offer the world," said LeClair. "The present challenges in the lobster industry serve as an example of where we need to work together to identify opportunities."
The ministers have agreed to engage industry representatives to obtain their feedback on the various ideas discussed at today's meeting.
"I am very pleased with the commitment and co-operation shown by everyone involved in addressing the issues facing the fisheries," said Ron Chisholm, Nova Scotia minister of fisheries and aquaculture. "We will keep working with the fishing and seafood processing sectors to devise strategies to ensure prosperous and sustainable fisheries in the region."
The ministers said that the full participation of federal agencies will be necessary to address the immediate and long-term market challenges facing the industry. They also hope that investments in primary industries, including the fishery, will be part of the budget to be tabled later this month by the federal government..
MEDIA CONTACT: Angélique Binet, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-457-3549, or email@example.com.