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New Aquaculture Wharves Open

Environment Politics +1 more

CANADA - Two new aquaculture wharves have opened in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The wharves are located in Hermitage-Sandyville and Pools Cove, which are strategic locations for the development of the provinces growing aquaculture industry.

The Honourable Premier Kathy Dunderdale opened the two new wharves.

Joining the Premier was the Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture; Tracey Perry, MHA for Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune; Jennifer Woodland, President of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA); Douglas Rose, Mayor of Hermitage-Sandyville; and Melvin Perham, Mayor of Pools Cove.

A total of nine million dollars has been allocated over three years for the construction and upgrade of aquaculture wharves in the province, including $5.7 million for the wharves at Hermitage-Sandyville and Pools Cove.

The dedication of these wharves today marks a significant milestone for the aquaculture industry and for the Coast of Bays region, said Ms Dunderdale.

Our provinces aquaculture industry has been growing at a very rapid pace, more than doubling in production value in recent years. These new wharves are an important component of our governments plan to support a fast-growing industry in making its mark in the global marketplace."

"Having the appropriate infrastructure will also ensure that our industry develops in a sustainable and biosecure manner that will ensure the continued health of our marine environment, farmed fish products and consumers.

With the construction of these wharves, our government is adopting a global best practice for the aquaculture industry of providing inflow wharves, said Mr Jackman.

This means that smolt and feed delivery will be conducted on separate wharves than those that are used for the harvest of fish and removal of nets. This decreases the risk of spreading any contaminants between aquaculture sites and provides for a more biosecure industry overall.

In 2008, the Provincial Government conducted a marine infrastructure study which identified Hermitage-Sandyville and Pools Cove as areas that were well suited as locations for biosecure wharves. In 2009, the Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture awarded tenders for the construction of wharves in these towns.

These major infrastructure improvements were absolutely necessary to relieve our stressed marine facilities and ensure that our growing aquaculture industry remains both strong and economically viable, said Ms Perry. I am so pleased with this investment by our government and with the benefits it brings to the region.

As the aquaculture industry grows, so does the need for infrastructure to support it, said Ms Woodland.

We applaud the Provincial Government for making this investment that is so critical to biosecurity and best practices. The establishment of these new wharves is a necessary building block in the further development of a sustainable aquaculture industry for Newfoundland and Labrador.

The aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador has been experiencing a period of unprecedented growth over the last five years in response to the high level of investment by the Provincial Government, which has been focusing on developing aquaculture infrastructure that allows for the sustainable development of the industry. Belleoram and Harbour Breton have also been identified as sites for aquaculture wharf construction in 2011.

There has been a total investment of $22 million in aquaculture infrastructure over the last five years.

As well, there have been repayable investment attraction programmes, valued at $35 million, through the Aquaculture Capital Equity Programme and the Aquaculture Working Capital Loan Guarantee Programme, which have leveraged a total of $350 million in private sector investment in the provinces aquaculture industry.