aussi disponible en français
October 17, 2014
For immediate release
Fisheries and aquaculture ministers meet in Prince Edward Island
Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
View details and
“The fishery is the backbone of many rural communities on Prince Edward Island and it is important that we have the chance to collectively address issues and opportunities that will shape the future of our fishery,” said Minister Ron MacKinley. “The Atlantic Council of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers is an important venue to discuss mutually relevant issues, particularly during such a critical time for the fishing and aquaculture industries.”
The annual meeting was co-chaired by the Honourable Ron MacKinley, Prince Edward Island Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, and the Honourable Gail Shea, Federal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans.
Minister MacKinley raised the issue of recently announced changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker program and the significant impact it will have on Prince Edward Island. Ministers had the opportunity to tour a lobster and mussel socking facility and saw first-hand how foreign workers support the local labour force.
“While some good progress has been made in the lobster sector to rationalize the fishery, improve the sustainability of the resource, develop new markets, raise shore prices and plan for a generic promotion campaign for Canadian lobster, the potential impact of worker shortages and the federal government’s poorly thought out policy changes to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program will put the good efforts of the lobster industry at risk,” said Minister MacKinley.
Ministers also discussed international trade, new regulations in the aquaculture sector, and the importance of maintaining the Fisheries and Oceans Owner Operator and Fleet Separation policies.
“Many of the issues that we face here in our Prince Edward Island fishing and aquaculture sectors are similar to those across the region,” said Minister MacKinley. “It is important for the success of the Canadian fishery that we have the chance to address our concerns with the federal government and work as a group to promote Atlantic Canadian seafood and to expand market access for our products.”
The ACFAM is made up of Fisheries and Aquaculture Ministers from the Atlantic Provinces, Quebec, Nunavut and the federal government. The next ACFAM meeting will take place in New Brunswick in 2015.