Harbour Breton -
In a further testimony that Newfoundland and Labrador is making its mark in rapidly growing aquaculture industries, the Canadian Aquaculture Association's (CAA) 2010 conference and trade show will be held in St. John's from May 16 to 19.
This year's joint event will be co-hosted by the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA), which will host the NAIA Cold Harvest as part of the conference. The provincial Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture will co-host the event.
Cyr Couturier is the president of the CAA and the executive director of the NAIA.
Couturier said the conference is very important to the NAIA as it will give the association an opportunity to highlight the aquaculture industry in this province to the approximately 400 delegates from Canada, and from 10 other countries.
He said, "These delegates will see that we do things right here, that we're environmentally sustainable, that we have the cleanest waters in all of Canada for shellfish and some of the best waters for salmon.
"We can show the delegates how we manage our industry here compared to operations in other provinces such as British Columbia and in other countries like Norway."
Some delegates will get an opportunity to see the Newfoundland aquaculture industry up close following the conference during tours of a mussel site in Notre Dame Bay and salmon operations on the South Coast.
Couturier said the trade show is a chance for suppliers in this province to demonstrate their products to outside buyers and for producers to see other suppliers' products.
Jennifer Caines, president of the NAIA, said the conference provides an excellent opportunity for people in the industry, the support sector, government officials and regulatory agencies to get together in one place to discuss the ongoing importance of the industry and the challenges faced by everyone involved.
"This joint conference and trade show will offer us a chance to showcase Newfoundland to the rest of the country, and to the major world players in the aquaculture industry, that we are doing extremely well and that we're looking forward to brighter things in the future," she said.
According to provincial government information, the aquaculture industry in the province is doing very well.
In 2009, the Newfoundland and Labrador aquaculture industry reached record levels of production and market value.
Production of aquaculture spe-cies rose to 13,625 tonnes, an increase of 18 per cent from 2008. The 2009 market value for provincial aquaculture increased to $92 million, representing a rise of 45.9 per cent over 2008.
According to the ACC, the year 2010 is a milestone in global aquaculture as more than 50 per cent of the aquatic protein consumed by humans now originates from aquaculture.
Aquatic protein is the single most important source of a healthy daily diet for more than three billion people on the planet, and the demand is growing.