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Programme Funds Turbot Hook & Line Research

Politics Education & academia +1 more

CANADA - A test fishery to examine the viability of using hook and line to catch turbot off the coast of Labrador is underway with financial assistance from the Provincial Government.

The Honourable Clyde Jackman, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, today announced $50,304 through the Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program to support the 20 day research effort.

The Provincial Government is pleased to support projects that have the potential to diversify the industry and create new opportunities for harvesters, said Minister Jackman.

It is possible the hook and line approach will yield successful harvests in this area, and the method is known to produce high quality product, so I am eager to see the research results.

The closure of the cod fishery and the formation of no trawl and no gillnet zones off the coast of Labrador to protect crab stocks significantly reduced turbot harvesting over the last two decades. This motivated Chester Davis, a fisherman based in Lanse au Loup, to pursue a test fishery to see if using the hook and line approach in the Hawke Channel might produce a profitable turbot harvest.

I have had success using hook and line in the past near Nunavut, and if our data proves encouraging, it is possible a hook and line turbot fishery could become a viable option for fishermen operating off the coast of Labrador, said Mr Davis.

I appreciate the support provided by the Provincial Government for this project, and I look forward to sharing the results of our findings.

The Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Programme was introduced in 2007 to make funds available for industry-led research and development projects in the fishing industry. Through the first three years of the programme, the Provincial Government invested approximately six million dollars to support a total of 127 industry-driven projects.

The programme was continued for another three years with a total investment of $6.6 million through Budget 2011 Standing Strong: For Prosperity. For Our Future. For Newfoundland and Labrador.

I commend Mr Davis and his crew for undertaking this project, said Minister Jackman. I wish them all the best as they explore a new opportunity for local inshore harvesters.