FREDERICTON (GNB) – The following statement was issued today by Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Michael Olscamp to highlight the opening of the 2012 fishing season:

I wish a good fishing season to all fishermen and fish workers in the province.

New Brunswick coastal communities rely on the fishery to contribute to a stronger economy for our province.

The shrimp fishing season has started. Catches are relatively good. The viability of the shrimp fleet has improved mainly due to higher prices and the recent fleet rationalization done by this government and the industry.

The lobster fishery is well underway in the Bay of Fundy, and it is most likely to start by the end of April on the Acadian Peninsula. New Brunswick's lobster fishery generates nearly 3,700 person-years of employment and more than $800 million for New Brunswick.

The snow crab fishing season started on Saturday, April 14. The recent announcement about a substantial increase in snow crab allocations by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans is good news for New Brunswick. This increase will benefit nearly 400 fishermen as well as the fish processing sector, which employs about 2,200 fish plants workers.

I urge all stakeholders to work collectively to optimize the benefit derived from this increase. This allocation should allow for a longer fishing season and for more work in the fish processing plants.

The Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries is working with the industry and the stakeholders to ensure an orderly, productive and profitable fishing season.