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Aquaculture summit today in Gander focused on promoting new careers

Salmon arrive for processing from a fish farm.
Salmon arrive for processing from a fish farm.

GANDER, NL - Premier Dwight Ball is leading an aquaculture summit in Gander today.

Among those also present are members of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA), ministers of the cabinet committee on jobs, high school and university students, as well as community, academic and business leaders.

A total of 28 actions are being launched at the summit that will promote new careers through sustainable aquaculture development.

“Our vision for the future of Newfoundland and Labrador is a place where potential is realized, and opportunities abound,” Ball said in a news release.

NAIA and the provincial government have a mutual goal to increase annual production of salmon to 50,000 metric tonnes and mussels to 10,750 metric tonnes.

Achieving those targets would mean more than double the current number of year-round jobs supported by aquaculture to approximately 2,100, the release states.

All actions included in the new sector work plan, which can be found online here, along with other materials presented at the summit, will be fully realized within 20 months. 

 “Aquaculture generated a record $276 million for the provincial economy last year,” NAIA executive director Mark Lane said. 

“While this is good news, the real excitement comes from knowing there is potential for even more economic success, not only from direct aquaculture activity, but also spin off employment in processing, transportation, service and supply." 

Some of the actions identified in the aquaculture sector work plan include:

- Responding to the human resource needs of the industry with tailored labour market supports, immigration attraction, and efforts to help make youth aware of opportunities in aquaculture;

- Responding to the capital and infrastructure needs of the industry by adjusting government funding programs and exploring partnership opportunities to develop facilities that strengthen the value chain for mussel and salmon producers;

- Responding to the public awareness and market access needs of the industry by developing a marketing strategy that promotes products and builds public trust;

- Responding to the needs of provincial entrepreneurs by promoting opportunities for aquaculture supply and service companies, which in turn creates new employment and maximizes industry competitiveness; and

- Responding to the public’s need for sustainable aquaculture development by reviewing all provincial policies related to aquaculture, including the provincial Code of Containment and other measures used to promote sustainability, which ensures the province remains a leader in best practices for years to come.

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