News Release Archive


Shellfish harvesting contributes significantly to the
economic prosperity of many coastal communities located along the
Gulf of Maine--the waterway between Atlantic Canada and New
England. However, expanding populations and increasing coastal
development pose a growing threat to water quality and this
important resource. 

"The shellfish harvest in the Gulf of Maine contributes more
than $500 million each year to the economies of the watershed,"
said Dr. Barry Jones, a marine scientist with the New Brunswick
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture.  "Such a valuable
resource demands our attention."

He said the circulation of pollutants generated by
development in the gulf spreads to shellfish beds located
throughout the watershed.  Although there are mechanisms
available to address the problem, they vary among the different
jurisdictions involved. 

In Canada, for example, the federal government is
responsible for managing shellfish resources and their habitat. 
In the United States local communities manage such resources; a
significantly different level of response.

"To overcome and capitalize on our differences, a shellfish
habitat restoration workshop is being convened by the Gulf of
Maine Council on the Marine Environment and organized by our
department," says Dr. Jones, in-coming chairman of the working
group for the Gulf of Maine Council. The workshop is scheduled
for June 18-19, at the Hilton Hotel/Trade and Convention Centre
in Saint John, N.B.

He said the goals of the workshop are to determine which
restoration methods work; which methods do not; what other
options are available for managing shellfish resources in the
Gulf of Maine; and whether such mechanisms might resolve problem
areas in other parts of the gulf. 
Presenters representing the five Gulf of Maine
jurisdictions, including New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Maine,
Massachusetts and New Hampshire, will provide insight into
current habitat restoration approaches and report on specific
remedial projects in their respective regions.
"Community planners, members of industry, regulatory
agencies, academics and members of the public are encouraged to
participate and to develop recommendations for shellfish
managers," Dr. Jones said.

The Gulf of Maine Council on the Marine Environment was
established in 1989 by the premiers of Nova Scotia and New
Brunswick, and the governors of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, 
and Maine.  

The council works toward protecting and conserving
the resources and ecological balance of the Gulf through
promotion of research and monitoring; reduction of marine debris;
protection of habitat; management of data and information; and
production and dissemination of educational materials.


Contact: Megan Trites, 506-444-3292
         Paul Schwartz 902-424-5206

LM                          June 3, 1996 2:00 p.m.