Minister calls for symposium on the impact of marine oil spills (10/06/08)

NB 921

June 8, 2010

FREDERICTON (CNB) - The fisheries ministers of the other Atlantic provinces and the federal minister of Fisheries and Oceans were invited today by Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet to support his call for a symposium on the impact of marine oil spills on the fish and seafood industry.

"In my role to promote and protect the fish and seafood industry, I have proposed hosting a symposium to discuss how we can protect our marine environment from the impact of possible oil spills," said Doucet. "The current ecological and financial disaster in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates the potential vulnerability of the fish and seafood sector that co-exists with the oil and gas industries. It reinforces the importance of properly managing our marine and coastal environments such as the Bay of Fundy and the Gulf of Maine."

A symposium would provide an opportunity to consider the lessons learned from the Gulf of Mexico disaster and to discuss the region's preparedness to protect the Atlantic fishing industry in the event of a spill.

Doucet will also seek the support of the Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment. The mission of this group is to maintain and enhance environmental quality in the Gulf of Maine to allow for sustainable resource use by existing and future generations.

"As minister of fisheries, I want to work towards a sustainable, self-sufficient fishery that provides the people on our coasts with good livelihoods," said Doucet, "To me, that is a very important part of my job.

"On World Oceans Day, it is a good time to think about the sea and about our seafaring way of life. We all have a part to play in protecting our own part of the ocean."

The fish and seafood industry in the Atlantic region is responsible for more than $2.3 billion in exports.


MEDIA CONTACT: Katharine Sidenius, communications, Department of Fisheries, 506-457-3549.