Atlantic Canada’s fisheries ministers to collaborate in helping industry weather impact of COVID-19

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Fisheries and Communities Minister Jamie Fox initiated a conference call of the four Atlantic ministers and deputy ministers responsible for fisheries and aquaculture to discuss the impact that COVID-19 is having on the fishing and aquaculture industries

Prince Edward Island Minister of Fisheries and Communities Jamie Fox, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Ross Wetmore, Newfoundland and Labrador Minister of Fisheries and Land Resources Gerry Byrne and Nova Scotia Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture Keith Colwell spoke this week and agreed to regular conference calls until the period of concern over COVID-19 has subsided.

“The public health measures put in place to combat the COVID-19 pandemic have created a unique situation with both economic and social consequences for our seafood industry and or coastal communities. Unique solutions will be required, but working together as a region provides an advantage for all of Atlantic Canada’s seafood producers. The health of our citizens is top priority but we are also committed to helping this vital industry remain strong.”

- Fisheries and Communities Minister Jamie Fox

In the call this week the ministers:

  • expressed the importance of the fishing and aquaculture sectors to their individual provinces. The two sectors provide billions of dollars to the economy of Atlantic Canada and thousands of jobs for Atlantic Canadians.
  • discussed the close relationship between the four Atlantic provinces and their willingness to work together with their respective industries to minimize the impact of COVID-19 as much as possible;
  • agreed to work together, with the federal government as a partner, to find mechanisms to lessen impacts going forward.

“Nova Scotia’s strong working relationship with the other Atlantic provinces benefits the commercial fishery in our region. We look forward to continued inter-provincial cooperation in the future as we gather information from our local industry and hear their concerns during this difficult time coping with Covid-19. By communicating and working closely together as provinces, we can better help our fishing industries meet today’s challenges, “said Minister Colwell.

“It is imperative that we work together to support Atlantic Canada’s seafood industry in these difficult times,” said Minister Wetmore. “Our harvesters, aquaculture producers and seafood processors have always been ready to adapt to make sure they maintain their livelihood for current and future generations, and this is no exception. We will continue to focus efforts to support this resilient industry and to ensure it remains a sustainable way of life for rural, coastal and Aboriginal communities.”

“As the pandemic’s impact on the Atlantic region’s seafood sector evolves, I will continue to work in close collaboration with my Atlantic colleagues to secure the necessary strategies and supports that ensure our respective fishing industries correctly respond and ultimately recover,” said Minister Byrne.

For updates on Prince Edward Island’s response to COVID-19  www.princeedwardisland.ca/covid19 

Media contact:
Ron Ryder
Department of Fisheries and Communities

Renseignements généraux

Ministère de la Pêches et des Communautés
548, rue Main 
C.P. 1180
Montague (Î.-P.-É.) C0A 1R0
Téléphone : 902-838-0983
Télécopieur : 902-838-0972