News Release Archive

FISHERIES/AQUACULTURE--1997: Working Together Creates Jobs
Despite challenges in the fishing industry in 1997, the year was
also marked by achievements worth celebrating, Fisheries and
Aquaculture Minister Jim Barkhouse said today.

This week's news that the former National Sea plant in Louisbourg
is reopening, under the new management of Han Beck to process
surimi, demonstrates that when a private sector company is ready,
governments can combine expertise and funding assistance to make
worthy private sector projects happen, the minister said.

"When a project like Han Beck is announced, it reinforces the
value of working together," said Mr. Barkhouse. "Partnering
between the private sector, governments and communities will help
the industry grow."

As proof that opportunities to diversify exist, he pointed to the
opening of the new Atlantic By-Catch processing plant in Sambro
where pet treats are being made from dogfish.

"Since the downturn with groundfish, the department has been
working with industry to test new fisheries and take advantage of
these non-traditional species," said the minister.

The department's technology transfer to industry also scored some
big wins this year.

A crab machine that cuts claws and costs, originally designed for
Wallace Fisheries in Cumberland County, has spawned the sale of
two more of the machines to Clearwater Fine Foods.

Bob Weld, manager of engineering at Clearwater, said the device,
made by InNOVAcorp, is a good development. "A machine has been
created here that will be of interest to the North American crab

The machine involves two people manually placing crab legs into
special holding slots on a conveyor belt. As the belt progresses,
one end of the leg is cut off, a sealed chamber is formed over
the other end, and air is blown through, forcing the meat out.

Charles Kennedy of Wallace Fisheries said he has nothing but
praise for the new machine. "Basically it was far more efficient
than just manual labour and it allowed us to keep our cost per
pound somewhat cheaper."

As well, new technology developed in New Zealand for mussel
culture has been brought to Nova Scotia through the department's
assistance and expertise.

A fact-finding trip to New Zealand, co-ordinated by the
department in 1996, has led to the introduction of a continuous
mussel line using cotton socks. The cotton socks are
biodegradable, leaving the mussels attached to just a hairy rope
in less than a month.

The system includes the automation of the socking and harvesting
steps, which were highly labour intensive and costly for mussel

The aquaculture industry has crossed a threshold in developing
hatchery-reared flatfish, including Atlantic halibut and winter

"Nova Scotia is joining the world leaders in halibut culture,"
said Mr. Barkhouse. "Successful aquaculturists and companies from
Iceland and Britain are partnering with Nova Scotians to bring
cutting-edge technology here."

Production of traditional aquaculture species such as mussels,
steelhead trout and Atlantic salmon continues to grow steadily. 

Opportunities are also improving in the recreational fishery: the
Inland Fisheries Division is pleased to provide anglers with an
expanded winter sport fishery in 1998 as part of an overall plan
to promote year-round angling in lakes and streams.

And significant progress has been made in providing angling
opportunities for people with disabilities. Federal and
provincial funding has been used for ramps and other
infrastructure at about a half-dozen locations around Nova


Contact: Steve Warburton
         Fisheries and Aquaculture

ngr                  Dec. 24, 1997                 11:25 a.m.