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Progress on New Aquaculture Facility for Newfoundland

NEWFOUNDLAND, CANADA - The site is currently being cleared for a modern aquatic health laboratory for the Coast of Bays.

The ongoing evolution of the aquaculture industry in the Coast of Bays is taking another major step forward as site development work is currently underway for the construction of a new state-of-the-art aquatic animal health laboratory and aquaculture administration facility that will be located in St. Alban's.

The Coaster reports that P and B Trucking and Rentals Inc., a company from Springdale, is doing the site development work needed prior to the construction of the facility that is scheduled to begin later this fall.

Jennifer Caines, president of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA), said that the new facility will be a key addition to the aquaculture industry in the Coast of Bays.

Ms Caines said: "Fish health is paramount to the success of the aquaculture industry, and everybody really does take fish health very seriously.

"We currently do have a certain amount of in-house services available in St. Alban's at a very small facility there. This new modern facility with the latest in technology advancements in the industry should offer us the fastest, most prompt attention to our fish health surveillance and diagnostic systems."

She added that the facility should help put Newfoundland on a level playing field with other areas in the world involved in aquaculture.

Ms Caines said: "The technology has developed so much as the aquaculture industry has developed around the world. It will give us the same playing field as the other areas because we will have that facility close at hand."

It will also be a facility that can help the aquaculture industry in other parts of the world too as veterinarians from all around the world sometimes collaborate on issues related to fish health."

The Honourable Tom Hedderson, the provincial Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said that a modern aquatic health laboratory is required to support the province's growing aquaculture industry and to meet the need created by increasing levels of production.

The total value of the province's aquaculture industry almost doubled from $33.6 million in 2005 to $63.3 million in 2008, according to The Coaster. The production has increased from 8,200 metric tones in 2005 to 11,600 metric tones in 2008. The industry is expected to reach 50,000 metric tones of production.

Tracey Perry, MHA for Fortune Bay-Cape LA Hune, said: "I am absolutely thrilled with the start of this new aquaculture facility at St. Alban's. It will generate new economic and employment growth in the area while helping to ensure the long-term sustainability of our aquaculture industry."

The facility is expected to house 10 staff, including development and inspection personnel as well as aquatic health staff and veterinarians.

the Fish Site Editor

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