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April 16, 2004
For immediate release

Tuna Capital of the World Receives New Observation Platform

Development and Technology

A newly constructed Life Observation Site at North Lake will provide visitors seeking to experience the thrill of the tuna catch with an excellent and safe viewing opportunity along with a look into the history that has given North Lake the claim to "Tuna Capital of the World."

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Member of Parliament for Cardigan, on behalf of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and Andy Mooney, MLA for Souris-Elmira, on behalf of PEI's Department of Development and Technology, were on hand today to officially open the platform to the public.

"This observation site will be an important boost to the economic development of North Lake," said Mr. MacAulay. "Surrounding communities will also benefit from the increased visitor traffic coming to enjoy the platform and witness the tuna catch being landed. The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is proud to partner with this community to create a facility that will help boost further tourism development in the area."

The community of North Lake, in eastern Prince Edward Island, is known to many as the world's tuna capital due in large part to the boon years of the 1970s and, in more recent years, from the resurgence in the tuna catch and subsequent increase in demand for charters.

This resurgence has also corresponded with an increase in visitation to North Lake and the community has been looking for a way to both encourage visitors to continue stopping in North Lake while at the same time ensuring the public's safety. In partnership with Active Communities Inc. and with the support of ACOA and the Province of Prince Edward Island, the North Lake Harbour Authority has constructed a Life Observation Site. This viewing platform will provide visitors with an excellent view of the tuna catch being landed but away from the busy work going on the wharf.

"North Lake has always been of significant interest to tourists because of the excitement of the big tuna landings in the area. This addition will make the area more tourist-friendly and will draw more people to this very interesting and beautiful part of the Island," said Andy Mooney, on behalf of Development and Technology Minister Mike Currie.

The new platform, along with a new parking lot, washroom facilities and interpretative signage will likely prove to be very popular with visitors who have previously gathered on the pier to get a look at the tuna being landed. This new development will provide safer viewing and parking, as well as educate visitors on the history of the fishery at North Lake.

ACOA has provided $64,500 to the project through the Strategic Community Investment Fund (SCIF), with the Province of PEI providing $11,500 and the North Lake Harbour Authority providing an additional $10,000.

SCIF, a component of the Atlantic Investment Partnership, is a five-year program designed to help communities in Atlantic Canada create an environment that encourages the development of strategic sectors such as tourism.

For more information, please contact: Stephen Heckbert, Office of the Minister for ACOA, (613) 948-7293; Ann Thurlow, PEI Department of Development and Technology, (902) 569-0571,; Don Larkin, General Manager, Active Communities Inc., (902) 838-4030; or Wes Harrison, ACOA PEI & Tourism, (902) 368-0842,

Media Contact: Ann Thurlow
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