— October 14, 2010 —

A United Voice for the Maritime Salmon Industry

The New Brunswick Salmon Growers’ Association shifts to a regional approach and changes its name to the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association

October 14, 2010 – St. George, N.B. – The Maritime salmon farming industry is adopting a regional governance structure that will strengthen the growing sector and result in a strong and united voice for finfish aquaculture farmers.

The New Brunswick Salmon Growers’ Association today officially announced its Board of Directors has voted unanimously to expand the organization’s focus to include Nova Scotia and to change its name to the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.

“It just makes sense for farmers in our region to work together to continue to grow and strengthen this innovative sector,” says Pamela Parker, Executive Director of the New Brunswick Salmon Growers’ Association. “More and more finfish aquaculture companies farm in multiple provincial jurisdictions, and they are all facing similar issues, challenges and opportunities.  Having a single, regional voice representing their interests with consumers, government agencies, communities and regulators is a positive and forward-thinking move.”

Parker says the expansion will mean finfish farmers in the region can work together on projects ranging from research and development initiatives and fish health programs to marketing programs and code of practice procedures.

Parker also announced the appointment of Murray Hill of Pictou, N.S. as the new Nova Scotia Regional Manager for the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association. A former Director of Inland Fisheries with the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Hill has extensive experience in sustainable development and resource management.

“This is a great move for our industry. There’s a tremendous opportunity for growth in our industry with our new, regional focus,” says Hill, who started in his new role in August and is based in Pictou, NS. “Having a strong association presence in Nova Scotia is absolutely critical, and I am looking forward to working with all industry stakeholders to continue to build this sector.”

The New Brunswick Salmon Growers’ Association (NBSGA) is an industry-funded association that has worked on behalf of the salmon farming industry in New Brunswick since 1987. The NBSGA represents 90 per cent of the farmed salmon production in New Brunswick, in addition to a wide range of supporting companies and organizations. The ACFFA will represent 95 per cent of salmon production in the Maritime region. Although the vast majority of finfish farmers grow salmon, many companies are now expanding to include other finfish species such as cod, trout and arctic char as well as mussels and seaweeds from integrated multi-trophic aquaculture farms. The expanded regional approach is already getting renewed interest from those in the sector. The ACFFA welcomes membership from companies that produce other finfish species for the consumer market or those that supply or support the industry.

Farmed salmon is New Brunswick’s biggest agriculture-based export, generating over $270 million in revenue yearly, which in turn triggers economic activity valued at $588 million across Canada. Second only to British Columbia, New Brunswick produces 30 per cent of Canada’s total farmed salmon, and the salmon industry alone has created 2,400 jobs in New Brunswick, 1,870 of which are located in Charlotte County.

Salmon production is still developing in Nova Scotia, but significant potential exists for the industry with new farming sites and fish processing facilities being planned in that province and employment statistics also on the rise.

The transition to this regional approach is underway, with the formal name change to take effect by the end of October and the launch of a new website (www.atlanticfishfarmers.com) to follow soon afterward. The administration of the ACFFA will be based in St. George.

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As the only association focused solely on salmonid farming in Atlantic Canada, the ACFFA can help you stay current on industry happenings, expand your network as well as promote and protect your interests.
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