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REF NO.: 83

SUBJECT: New fisheries research centre opens at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute
DATE: Dec. 1, 2006

An official opening was held today to celebrate the Atlantic Canada Fishery By-Products Research Centre at Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute.
            “Canada’s new government is committed to investing in innovative initiatives that help create economic and job opportunities in our communities,” said Loyola Hearn, minister of Fisheries and Oceans and regional minister for Newfoundland and Labrador on behalf of Peter MacKay, minister of Foreign Affairs and minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “The Atlantic Canada Fishery By-Products Research Centre reflects a new approach in helping a traditional industry to capitalize on the full utilization of fish resources and be more competitive.”
            The Atlantic Canada Fishery By-Products Research Centre addresses key opportunities and constraints to using by-products in both the fishing and aquaculture industries. Research is focused on opportunities that have commercial and socio-economic benefits for the region. Biochemists, process engineers and lab technicians at the centre are developing extraction, isolation and concentration processes for marine bioactive compounds. One of the initiatives is a study on which current fishery waste products could be used for their recoverable oils to be converted into biodiesel.
              “The overall goal of the project is to reduce waste streams from the fish processing industry by converting these materials into products with economic value,” said Glenn Blackwood, executive director, Marine Institute. “Utilization of fishery and aquaculture by-products will not only create a better environment, but will help the industry capitalize on the tremendous potential for product diversification and value addition such as nutraceuticals, functional food ingredients, marine enzymes, antimicrobial peptides and bioactive compounds. These products will have applications in the health, food and oil and gas industries.”
            Benefits of the project will include rural job creation particularly in the areas of science and technology, reduced seasonality of employment in the fishing industry, increased economic stability and profitability of seafood processing companies, and the development of knowledge based biotechnology, nutraceutical and functional food companies.
            "With increasing pressure on our fish stocks, we must be innovative in reducing waste in our fishery and aquaculture operations. We can do that by using by-products for the benefit of our society and our economy," said Trevor Taylor, minister of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development. "This project shows what can be achieved when governments and teaching institutions work collectively to a common end. This project will extend our knowledge, generate new products, and contribute to economic development in Newfoundland and Labrador." The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador provided a financial and equipment contribution, valued at over $662,000, for the centre.
            The centre is located on Mount Scio Rd. The infrastructure combines the pilot plant facilities at Memorial University with the research laboratory capabilities at Memorial, Dalhousie University, St. Francis Xavier University and McGill University. 
            Of more than $2.5 million in federal support for the centre, ACOA provided $1 million in funding for this initiative under its Business Development Program. Work on the project began in 2004. During this development phase, the centre completed 10 industrial research projects with an approximate total value of $97,000.    
 
For broadcast use:
            Memorial University’s Fisheries and Marine Institute held an official opening today for the Atlantic Canada Fishery By-products Research Centre. ACOA has invested $1 million in the centre, which is using innovative research and development to encourage commercial fisheries by-product utilization. The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador contributed over $662,000 for the initiative. 
            The Atlantic Canada Fishery By-products Research Centre addresses key opportunities and constraints to using by-products in both the fishing and aquaculture industries. Research is focused on opportunities that have commercial and socio-economic benefits for the region. 

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