Concerns of region's lobster fishermen raised in Ottawa meetings (09/06/18)

NB 868

June 18, 2009

OTTAWA (CNB) - Fisheries ministers and officials from Atlantic Canada and Quebec concluded meetings today in Ottawa to highlight the importance of the Atlantic Canada lobster industry and the willingness to work with the federal government toward the long-term sustainability of the sector.

Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet; Prince Edward Island Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Neil LeClair; and Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries Minister Tom Hedderson were joined on the mission by deputy ministers from Nova Scotia and Quebec.

"Our lobster industry is very valuable to our rural coastal communities, and we must take steps together to ensure its long-term viability and presence in world markets," said Doucet.

Key meetings were held with the Atlantic caucus and Senate representatives, Minister of International Trade Stockwell Day, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea, and the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans.

"We made a commitment to the Atlantic Canadian lobster industry to go to Ottawa and discuss the importance of the lobster industry and the current challenges," said LeClair. "I was pleased that there appears to be a good understanding among federal officials on the Atlantic lobster industry, and a willingness to work together on the initiatives that were recently announced."

"I wanted to stress in our meetings that the federal programming must take into consideration regional differences," said Hedderson.

The mission included a brief meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The Prince Edward Island Seafood Processors Association hosted a reception during which plans to conduct lobster promotions in several Canadian cities were launched.


MEDIA CONTACTS: Paul Harpelle, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444- 4218; Ashley Bursey, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-457- 3549.