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Develop fish farm industry official

CANADA - Aquaculture produces close to 50 per cent of the marketable fish and seafood produced in Nova Scotia, Canadas top fish-producing province, says a provincial representative.

"Here in Nova Scotia we have a very well developed and a world famous commercial fishery. Our aquaculture industry has that potential as well," Greg Roach, assistant deputy minister of the Fisheries Department, said Saturday in Shelburne at the annual aquaculture harvest festival.

"We have to grow that industry and we have to do it in a very responsible and sustainable manner. Canada is lagging behind other developed countries like Scotland and Norway and even emerging countries like Chile in aquaculture development."

This province wants to help change that.

Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Ron Chisholm awarded two $1,000 bursaries Saturday to high schools in Lockeport and Shelburne. The schools will give them to graduating students who plan to pursue careers in aquaculture or a related field.

Today the aquaculture industry is worth about $45 million provincewide in market-ready products. That’s way up from the $5-million level recorded about 15 years ago, Mr. Roach said.