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“Memorial Presents” in Southwest Newfoundland

Fisheries Policy and Rural Revitalization: An Integrated Approach

Eric Dunne, Interim Managing Director of the Canadian Centre for Fisheries Innovation, at the Marine Institute of Memorial University

Holiday Inn, Stephenville, March 28, 2006, 7:00 pm NST

Free admission. Reception to follow.

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Eric DunneThe decline of rural Newfoundland and Labrador has been the focus of much public debate, attention and intervention in recent years. Despite best efforts, the crisis has deepened with an increasing number of communities struggling just to survive. Government’s task is daunting; it must stem the steady out-migration of the younger population, reduce unemployment and create an environment in rural Newfoundland and Labrador that will attract investment and foster the establishment of viable communities. It also must find the means to maintain and enhance public sector infrastructure and services in the face of reduced fiscal capacity and a mounting debt burden.

The panelThe backbone and strength of rural Newfoundland has always been the fishery, and while it has been seriously threatened and challenged on all fronts, it continues to survive and refashion itself to avail of resource abundance and access and global market opportunities. With a changing international market, however, the industry now faces new threats from low-cost competitors in the developing world, in particular . On the home front, the fish-processing sector is confronted by an older and ever-diminishing labour pool, which is directly related to the decline of the rural communities that have supplied it. The fishing industry, particularly the processing sector, must find a way to counter these two trends in order to remain an economic force in the province.

What is the future of the fishery – and by implication, of rural Newfoundland and Labrador – given the changes in the resource, in the markets and in technology? This presentation will explore the options available to tackle the challenges ahead.

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