June 18, 2010
FREDERICTON (CNB) - Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet will meet with his counterpart in Louisiana, Secretary of Wildlife and Fisheries Robert Barham, to learn how that state is dealing with fish and seafood industry challenges caused by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
"Secretary Barham graciously invited me to tour the area," said Doucet. "This is an opportunity to meet with the local harvester and processor organizations to learn from their experiences."
Doucet will be meeting with Barham during a trip to Louisiana from Monday, June 21, to Wednesday, June 23. He will be joined by Prince Edward Island's Environment Minister, Richard Brown.
Doucet recently called on the other Atlantic provinces and the federal minister of fisheries and oceans to support plans for a symposium on the impact of marine oil spills.
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 fishery industry in the event of a spill.
"It is important and timely to learn first-hand how these gulf fishing communities are dealing with the spill," said Doucet. "As minister of fisheries, I want to ensure our fish and seafood industry is prepared, protected, and promoted. And I know my colleague, Minister Brown, will be viewing the situation from an environmental perspective. I am pleased we are already coming together as a region to arm ourselves with the right information to protect the Atlantic fishing industry and way of life."
Brown said, "I appreciate joining my colleague to see and hear first-hand the impacts of this environmental devastation. The department is not only responsible for issuing permits for offshore drilling, but for also taking steps to prevent an environmental disaster like this from ever occurring on our coastline."
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.