News Release Archive

The Nova Scotia Fisheries Loan Board did a brisk business with
fibreglass boatbuilders in 1996.

Due to growing demand from the fishing industry, builders of
fibreglass boats experienced a productive year, Fisheries
Minister Jim Barkhouse said today. Fibreglass offers a number of
interesting features including efficient hull design, durability,
sea-worthiness and stability, the minister said.

The majority of customers seeking assistance from the Fisheries
Loan Board are involved in the inshore lobster, groundfish and
crab fishery, with boats ranging between 35 and 45 feet long.

Providing fishery assistance for over 60 years, the Loan Board
offers long term, fixed interest rates, which is an important
consideration for fishermen doing long term budget and business

Mr. Barkhouse said that the loan board's mandatory inspection
during construction ensure quality boats, whether new or
upgraded. "A fisherman can feel secure knowing that someone with
engineering expertise is scrutinizing the work on a boat under
construction," he said. Boats built with loan board assistance
also have a history of receiving good resale value.

During the 1995-1996 fiscal year, the Loan Board issued loans
totalling $10.9 million, $6.2 million of which was used for new
boat construction. The remainder was used for purchasing and
upgrading used boats, equipment, engines, and for aquaculture.

The minister also said that aquaculture is a growing area of
activity for the loan board. A total of $700,000 was loaned for
the purchase of equipment, cages, and other capital items. The
board also issued 10 loan guarantees to help aquaculturists meet
day-to-day expenses. "The aim of the loan guarantee program is to
reassure lending agencies of the viability of our aquaculture
industry, and make it easier for aquaculturists to procure
financial assistance," the minister said.

Mr. Barkhouse said he was pleased that the Loan Board has an
excellent record of re-payment, "indicating customer satisfaction
with the program."


Contact: Jim Sarty    902-424-0312

         Diane Kenny  902-424-0308

trp                    Feb. 14, 1997 - 2:25 p.m.