FREDERICTON (GNB) – A multi-year strategy to guide continued responsible development in the province’s finfish aquaculture sector was released today.

“The aquaculture industry provides food for our tables, contributes to our exports and creates jobs in rural, coastal and Indigenous communities across the province,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Margaret Johnson. “In New Brunswick, salmon aquaculture has been contributing to the economy for more than 40 years and represents more than 90 percent of the finfish sector. Through this strategy and its actions, we will continue to focus on utilizing scientific innovations, particularly as it relates to aquatic animal health and protection of the environment. This benefits everyone.”

The New Brunswick Finfish Aquaculture Growth Strategy 2022-2030 will focus on opportunities that promote sustainable and responsible growth. The strategy highlights the challenges and opportunities facing the sector and seeks to address industry needs while recognizing the importance of environmental and socio-economic sustainability and coexistence with other aquatic resource user groups and interests.

The strategy focuses on land-based production through the implementation of new technological advancements, more efficient use of current leases and producing different species, including arctic char and sturgeon.

The strategy is one component of the overall Aquaculture Growth Agenda for New Brunswick and highlights the interconnection of ongoing initiatives in aquaculture.

The other components are:

·         strengthening relationships with First Nations, the commercial fishing industry and environmental organizations through ongoing engagement on topics of mutual interest;

·         updating the legislative and regulatory framework to modernize the department’s approach and implement a robust framework that provides increased transparency, regulatory certainty for industry and an enabling environment for responsible growth; and

·         completing the last year of the New Brunswick Shellfish Aquaculture Development Strategy.

Johnson said the agenda signals the government’s continued interest in the growth of the finfish aquaculture sector and contributes to its strategic initiatives to improve food self-sufficiency.

The strategy will be reviewed annually to ensure relevancy.