Minister provides update on fishing industry MOU

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Financial assessments of the harvesting and processing sectors of the province's fishery have been carried out, and more collaborative sales and marketing efforts are being explored to move product.
That's part of an update Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman announced today on the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) process that was signed a year ago - July 11, 2009 - by the Fish, Food and Allied Workers's union, the Association of Seafood Producers and the provincial government. The federal government has been participating in the process in an ex-officio capacity.
According to a news release, the parties to the MOU have been working together to develop proposals through working groups and a steering committee that is chaired by Professor Tom Clift of Memorial University's School of Business. There are working groups on harvesting, processing and seafood marketing.
The information from the financial assessments is being used to assist the harvesting and processing sector working groups in considering options for restructuring of the industry.
The marketing working group has planned a workshop to help identify key issues, requirements and criteria to establish seafood marketing entities in the province's fishing industry. International seafood marketing experts from other jurisdictions will be invited to share their experiences and perspectives on seafood sales consortiums. This will include representatives from Iceland, Norway and Alaska.
Jackman said the working groups will finalize their analysis over the next month. Their work will then be presented to the steering committee. The committee will develop recommendations to submit to the minister through a report that will be completed by Clift, and submitted in September.
"I look forward to receiving the report from the steering committee," Jackman said. "The report should reflect a collective, unified response on behalf of the participants in the MOU process. We are seeking a series of recommendations that the federal government will seriously consider and support. It is extremely important that we now start working toward achieving appropriate solutions for the 2011 fishery."
Jackson is also scheduled to update federal Fisheries Minister Gail Shea on the process in Prince Edward Island on Friday.

Organizations: Allied Workers, Association of Seafood Producers, School of Business

Geographic location: Iceland, Norway, Alaska Prince Edward Island

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