Noticias del día27 de octubre de 2006
Canada- Newfoundland's farmed salmon production will triple thanks to $155 million in new funds, Ottawa and the provincial government said Friday, days before public meetings were to begin that could lead to fish plant closures throughout the province.
Newfoundland's farmed salmon production will triple thanks to $155 million in new funds, Ottawa and the provincial government said Friday, days before public meetings were to begin that could lead to fish plant closures throughout the province.
Federal Fisheries Minister Loyola Hearn said next week's consultations weren't on his mind when he unveiled the new project, but conceded the announcement was politically timed.
"It probably is," Hearn said as Newfoundland Fisheries Minister Tom Rideout chimed in, "Make no apologies for it."
"It probably sets an example for what we can really do in the whole restructuring of the fishery," Hearn said.
Beginning Monday, the provincial and federal governments will hold a month-long series of public consultations on the future of Newfoundland's beleaguered fisheries.
It was widely acknowledged at a May meeting between government officials, fish plant workers, owners and union leaders that some fishing plants would have to scale back, if not close altogether.
Some have since changed their stance, saying fish plants may not close at all, even though the fisheries industry has been beset by a drastic economic downturn.
Any shutdown of plants has the potential to be a political powder keg in rural Newfoundland and Labrador, where the fisheries remain by far the largest employer.
In the spring of last year, fierce protests erupted after the province announced a cap for the snow crab catch. Dozens stormed the provincial legislature and one fisherman was charged with threatening Newfoundland's fisheries minister.
New Brunswick-based Cooke Aquaculture will invest $135 million in the new salmon project that will include a hatchery and a processing facility and create 200 jobs on Newfoundland's south coast. Additional funding totalling about $20 million will come from the federal and provincial governments.
"There were times in the early years when we wondered if government was ever going to step up to the plate," said Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture. "The tide has turned."
The money will help establish the largest single aquaculture project in the country, Rideout said.
In recent years, the Newfoundland government has increasingly turned its attention to aquaculture as a way of diversifying the province's fisheries.
Plunging shellfish prices have been the major force behind the sagging state of the fisheries this season. An excess of crab and shrimp, which Newfoundland has increasingly turned to since the 1992 ban on most cod fishing, has caused their prices to plummet.
The province's fishing business, heavily dependent on exports, has been hammered by a rebound in Alaska's crabbing industry, the escalating Canadian dollar, European tariffs and the rise in China's international fishing trade.
The location of the new hatchery and processing plant are still to be determined, Cooke said, but they are expected to create additional, indirect jobs in the aquaculture processing, supply and service sectors.
Over the next three years, Cooke will place three million smolts, or young salmon, annually into new farms on the province's south coast. That's expected to generate $86.5 million annually.