Will benefit communities, says president

Aquaculture facility opened

(October 7, 1999, Gazette)

By Karen Shewbridge

A new Aquaculture Research and Development Facility officially opened at the Ocean Sciences Centre on Friday, Sept. 24. John Efford, minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Paul Mills, vice-president of ACOA - Newfoundland, opened the facility. Memorial President Dr. Axel Meisen hosted the ceremony.

Aubrey Bonnell of the Board of Regents, architect Ken Tobin of FGA Consultants and contractor Bruce Didham of Emery Construction participated in the ceremonial presentation of an official key to the facility.

The facility was constructed with $2.6 million from the Canada/Newfoundland Agreement on Economic Renewal, as well as $1 million from Memorial University and $1.8 million from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.

"The opening of this facility marks another dimension in co-operation among all stakeholders working together to develop the aquaculture industry to ensure long-term growth and sustainability," Mr. Efford said. "Our growing aquaculture industry can contribute significantly to our economy, particularly in rural areas that have been hit hard by problems with our groundfishery."

Speaking on behalf of the Government of Canada, Mr. Mills said, "The federal government is pleased to be a partner in the enhancement of Memorial University's scientific and technological capability to meet the growing research and development needs in the field of aquaculture."

Dr. Meisen welcomed the opportunities promised by the state-of-the-art facility.

"We made our commitment to this project gladly because the research, development and teaching at the new Aquaculture Research and Development Facility will benefit countless families and communities in our province and country. As the province's largest research enterprise, Memorial University looks forward to working in partnership with government, the private sector, and community stakeholders to ensure that this province is a world leader in aquaculture."

Speaking on behalf of industry, Marc Kielley of the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association, said, "I'd like to say that the opening of the new Ocean Sciences Centre Aquaculture Research and Development Facility will position the OSC as one of the preeminent facilities for aquaculture research in the world."

The Aquaculture Research and Development Facility will facilitate research and development efforts and subsequent commercialization of various species that would contribute to the expansion and diversification of the Newfoundland aquaculture sector.

The OSC facility will conduct research and perform pilot-scale testing on promising species in Newfoundland such as Atlantic halibut, cod, wolffish, yellowtail and witch flounder, as well as shellfish.

Many Memorial University faculty and staff attended the official opening along with invited guests, local media, and industry and government representatives. A tour of the world class facility immediately followed the opening ceremony.