Fishing industry lacking in cooperation, says minister

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DEBERT- The biggest challenge for the fishing industry today is lack of co-operation, says the minister of fisheries and oceans.


Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea delivers remarks on the new Economic Action Plan budget at the Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister’s Annual conference held in Debert on Friday.

"We need to market under one banner, we have to stop competing with each other and start to compete in the global marketplace so that really is an issue," said Gail Shea, during the Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister's annual conference held in Debert on Friday.

"And I think this comes from the industry that there needs to be more co-operation in the industry because I really believe what they are doing is holding prices down by competing with each other."

Shea also discussed the Economic Action Plan, which is expected to be passed in Parliament within the next couple of weeks.

"What I've shared with the industry is that our budget included an additional $40 million dollars to assist small craft harbours to accelerate repairs and maintenance and Nova Scotia has many small craft harbours," said the minister.

Other plans included an additional $15 million to a recreational fisheries conservation partnership program and a continuation of funding projects over two years.

"We also have renewed the Atlantic Integrated Fisheries Commercial Fisheries Initiative," said Shea. "Which is a fund that we use to build capacity in First Nations fisheries that was also renewed for a period of two years."

The plan introduced other key elements, including a new tax credit for ground, air and marine search and rescue volunteers.

Shea said this is significant for the Canadian Coast Guard.

"This is important to the industry because it applies to the coast guard auxiliary, so a lot people who participate in the fisheries also volunteer for coast guard auxiliary," said Shea.

Keith Colwell, fisheries and aquaculture minister, also attended the conference, proposing a commercial fisheries strategy to help sustain the economy.

"Quality and innovation is needed in the fishing industry to drive up exports and to grow the sector of the Nova Scotia economy," said Colwell, in a news release.

The strategy contains six main pillars - industry organization, safety and training, efficiency, market development, quality and innovation.

"This is your strategy and we need you to be involved," Colwell told conference attendees. "It's success will depend on you."

The strategy is expected to be completed this year.




- About 100,000 jobs are within the Canadian commercial fishing industry.

- Nearly 90 per cent of all commercial fish harvesters in Canada use small craft harbour facilities; their production represents $1.6 billion.


- 2010 survey of recreational fishing in Canada says more than 3.3 million adult anglers participated in recreational fishing activites in Canada.


- The credit will be made available to volunteers who perform at least 200 hours of service during the year.



Organizations: First Nations, Canadian Coast Guard

Geographic location: DEBERT, Nova Scotia, Canada

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