Fisheries / Agriculture and Aquaculture

Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers meets (09/02/27)

NB 249

Feb. 27, 2009

MONCTON (CNB) - Fisheries and aquaculture ministers from Atlantic Canada and the federal government agreed today to implement a new Canada East Network to improve co-ordination, planning and communication; to combine efforts on market intelligence; and to explore new markets for fish and fish products originating in this region.

They reached these agreements during a meeting of the Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers (ACFAM).

The ministers received a report from the council's marketing working group, which brought together fisheries management and government marketing experts to explore opportunities for strategic marketing of seafood products. The ministers accepted the report's recommendations to establish the Canada East Network.

"The global economic downturn is having a major impact on sales of seafood, particularly products considered as a luxury," said Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. "Provincial governments and the industry as well as the federal government must work closely together to come up with practical measures to redefine this vital industry."

Doucet co-chaired the meeting with Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ron Ouellette and Gail Shea, federal minister of fisheries and oceans.

"Aquaculture is an important sector to New Brunswick and has been identified as one of the areas that contribute to the government's self-sufficiency agenda," said Ouellette. "The discussions today re-enforced the commitment of both levels of government to work together in fostering sustainable growth in aquaculture."

The ministers thanked Quebec for its leadership on this initiative.

"I was pleased to meet with my provincial and territorial colleagues, and I look forward to continued work with them to address the serious challenges facing our fisheries," said Shea. "The federal government is making strategic investments, including through our Economic Action Plan, to support the fisheries and aquaculture sectors through the global economic crisis."

Other developments at the meeting included:

The ACFAM is made up of fisheries and aquaculture ministers from the Atlantic provinces, Quebec, Nunavut and the federal government. The next ACFAM meeting will take place in Prince Edward Island in September 2009.

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MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Harpelle, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218; Angélique Binet, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-457-3549; Phil Jenkins, media relations, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-993-5413, Ann Matejicka, communications, Office of the Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, 613-992-3474.

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