New fisheries research centre for MI
From left, Danny Williams, Dr. Gary Kachanoski, Glenn Blackwood and Glenn Janes.
By Stephanie Barrett
The Marine Institute has received funding for the establishment of a Centre for Fisheries Ecosystems Research (CFER).
The $14 million announcement was made by Premier Danny Williams at a news conference held at the Marine Institute on July 2. Also present for the announcement were Clyde Jackman, minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president of Memorial University, Glenn Blackwood, executive director of the Fisheries and Marine Institute, Glenn Janes, chief executive officer of the Research & Development Corporation (RDC), Robert Verge, managing director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation (CCFI), and Dr. George Rose, well-known fisheries research scientist from the Marine Institute.
“Eighteen years ago today, our province was forever changed by the implementation of the moratorium on Northern cod,” said Premier Williams. “On this anniversary, our government is announcing investments that will serve to once again change the face of the fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, but this time in a much more positive and forward thinking direction.
"No longer will we exclusively rely upon the research of others to guide the fishery into the future. Today, we once again take control of our destiny by investing in our own fisheries research and development. Our government recognized the importance of R&D when we established the Research & Development Corporation, and today we take it to the next level by investing in the industry that has sustained us as a people for more than 500 years. These investments will help provide the knowledge, capacity and expertise necessary to ensure a vibrant, sustainable fishery well into the future.”
This new funding will dramatically improve the fisheries science research capabilities in the province and open up opportunities to collaborate with Canadian fisheries scientists, as well as other fisheries research bodies across the globe.
This will include fisheries research organizations in Ireland, Iceland, Norway, New Zealand and the United States.
As well, this investment will fund a total of 14 positions for research, technology and support staff. In addition, up to 20 fisheries science graduate students will be engaged in this research on an annual basis. This represents a significant increase in research capacity.
“For almost 50 years, the Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University has been an unwavering supporter of the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Mr. Blackwood. “The fishery was the driving force behind our creation as a College of Fisheries in 1964 and it will continue to play a major role in the long-term future of this institution and our province.
"The funding announced here today will allow us to continue to collaborate with industry and governments to build on the capacity that already exists here in the province and ensure that the fishing industry remains a key pillar of sustainable economic development in the province.”