The provincial government has released the New Brunswick Shellfish Aquaculture Development Strategy 2017-2021.
“The sustainable development of shellfish aquaculture is a priority and this strategy combines respect for the environment with job creation,” said Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “The shellfish aquaculture sector is a growth opportunity for coastal and First Nations communities.”
The strategy provides continuity from earlier strategies. Its primary objective is an annual increase of 10 per cent in the number of oysters produced. This would represent a total of 30 million oysters for consumption, $12 million in farm gate sales, and $6.4 million in exports in 2021.
The strategy provides the Department of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries with an action framework for shellfish aquaculture over the next four years.
“We are making decisions that will positively impact on these priority areas and create a better quality of life for everyone who lives, works and raises a family in this province.”
– Rick Doucet
Steady growth in the sector would present a significant opportunity for existing entrepreneurs and newcomers.
“The industry offers a unique opportunity for New Brunswick First Nations located in coastal communities,” said Indian Island First Nation Chief Ken Barlow. “With a relatively young and growing First Nation population in the province, the sector offers employment and business opportunities that will benefit both First Nations and New Brunswick.”
The shellfish aquaculture industry is a major generator of economic activity in the rural and coastal communities of eastern New Brunswick. It provides benefits for the province by creating jobs, expanding the tax base, and increasing the capacity to keep workers and entrepreneurs in their home communities, encouraging those who left to come back home or attracting others from outside the province.