July 28, 2009
ST. GEORGE (CNB) - The provincial government today officially opened the New Brunswick Fish Health Laboratory in St. George.
Participating at the opening were Agriculture and Aquaculture Minister Ronald Ouellette, Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet, St. George Mayor Sharon Tucker and Donald L. Reynolds, dean of the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC) at the University of Prince Edward Island.
"With this laboratory, New Brunswick will be at the forefront of aquatic animal health science," said Ouellette. "I am proud of our government's $1.8-million investment in this laboratory and in our province's aquaculture industry. The continued growth and diversification of the industry is key to a stronger more robust economy in New Brunswick. A stronger economy will make it possible for our province to reach self-sufficiency."
The laboratory is a joint initiative of the provincial government and the AVC. It will play an essential role in disease prevention, surveillance and research applied to improving the health management of aquatic food animals in the province. Test results aid in diagnosing disease and contribute to the development and implementation of health-management programs. It will also be used to support research and train graduate students.
"The Atlantic Veterinary College is an Atlantic institution committed to delivering results through education, research and service programs that benefit the people, industries, and economy of our region," said Reynolds. "We are eager to further our long history of collaboration with the Government of New Brunswick in support of the province's aquaculture industry and our mutual commitment to furthering the science behind aquatic species health."
The laboratory is located at 115 Mount Pleasant Rd. in St. George. The laboratory, which covers 513 sq. metres (5,700 sq. ft.), includes space for fish necropsies; diagnostic sample collection; preparation and storage; bacteriology and virology processing; disinfection capabilities; and data entry and processing stations.
The aquaculture industry in New Brunswick generates more than $300 million in gate sales and provides employment for 2,300 people, living predominantly in rural coastal communities.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Further information about the Atlantic Veterinary College is available by contacting Charlotte McCardle, dean's office, 902-566-0533. MEDIA CONTACT: Gisèle Regimbal, communications, Department of Agriculture and Aquaculture, 506-444-4218.