News release

Response to Canada's Oceans Strategy

Nova Scotia supports the objectives of the federal oceans strategy released today, July 12, said Ernest Fage, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries. He said the province is eager to work with the federal fisheries department in implementing Canada's Oceans Strategy: A Guide for the Protection and Sustainable Use of Canada's Marine Environment.

Canada has 243,000 kilometres of coastline, the longest in the world, with Nova Scotia's coastline measuring over 7,500 kilometres. Nearly 25 per cent of all jobs in Nova Scotia can be traced back to economic activities involving the ocean, and the proportion is much higher in coastal communities throughout the province. About 17.5 per cent of the province's gross domestic product is attributed to coastal and oceans industries.

"Nova Scotia has a significant interest in the sustainable development and use of ocean and coastal resources," said Mr. Fage. "That is why we are looking forward to having a very active role in implementing the oceans strategy."

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries recognizes the value of the federal Oceans Act (1997) and supports the new policy framework set out by the federal strategy. Canada's Oceans Strategy provides the framework through which all those interested in and affected by the ocean can work together to ensure that our oceans are used in a sustainable way.

"Guided by the principles of sustainable development, integrated management and the precautionary approach, the oceans strategy validates the work we have been doing for years," said Mr. Fage.

The department has been directly involved in many initiatives that work toward the goals of the strategy, including: the Gulf of Maine Council, Eastern Scotian Shelf Integrated Management Initiative, National Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-Based Activities and Minas Basin Project. The department has also recently initiated a Provincial Oceans Network, bringing together various provincial departments involved in ocean and coastal management to facilitate provincial involvement in the implementation of the oceans strategy.

The government of Nova Scotia applauds Robert Thibault, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, for taking a lead role in international oceans governance and for setting the stage for consultation with provincial and territorial governments, First Nations, ocean users and all Canadians.

"Nova Scotians rely on sustainable fisheries, coastal industries, and opportunities in the offshore, while maintaining a beautiful coastline for residents and tourists," said Mr. Fage. "Implementing the oceans strategy will ensure that Nova Scotia continues to have economic strength in its coastal communities for generations to come."

More information about Canada's Oceans Strategy is available on the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Web site at www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/oceanscanada.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

Nova Scotia is eager to work with the federal fisheries department to implement Canada's Oceans Strategy, says Fisheries Minister Ernest Fage. The strategy was released today (July 12th).

The strategy sets direction for using Canada's ocean resources in a sustainable way. The province will work with others to develop action plans.

With 75-hundred kilometers of coastline, Nova Scotians rely on a sustainable fishery, coastal industries, offshore opportunities and tourism.

Mr. Fage says that implementing the principles of the oceans strategy will ensure that Nova Scotia has economic strength in its coastal communities for generations to come.

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Contact:

Michelle Butler
Agriculture and Fisheries 902-424-8963 E-mail:
njm            July 12, 2002       2:55 P.M.