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Blue Mussels Positioned to Become Leading Product on Global Seafood Market

21 March 2013

CANADA - A significant accomplishment has been made in the aquaculture industry, after mussel producers in Newfoundland and Labrador became the first and only to receive organic aquaculture certification in North America.

Speaking in the House of Assembly, Derrick Dalley, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, said: "To achieve such a designation is an outstanding accomplishment. I offer congratulations to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association and all mussel growers throughout the province.

"This certification entailed a rigorous process. The hard work and dedication of growers and industry representatives exhibited that mussels grown here are produced and processed in a sustainable, environmentally-sound manner. There are no synthetic chemicals, pesticides or genetically modified organisms used in the cultivation of blue mussels."

Addressing the Speaker, Mr Dalley said: "Organic certification has widespread global recognition, which will undoubtedly assist in developing opportunities for new markets for this product, both domestically and internationally. This sector is quickly becoming a true success story, providing economic growth and long-term employment in many rural communities.

"The province’s production of cultured blue mussels reached approximately 4,397 metric tonnes in 2012. The market value increased exponentially last year, reaching C$14 million.

"These newly certified organic blue mussels were introduced to the world market at the recent International Boston Seafood Show. The reception was extremely positive.

"The Provincial Government has provided significant financial support to mussel growers in the past. Through the highly successful Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Programme, and the Aquaculture Strategic Development Programme, our government has helped growers promote and develop new markets, diversify product lines, and to upgrade and install state-of-the-art production and processing equipment. Approximately C$40,000 was specifically provided to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association in support of this organic certification.

"Investment from the Provincial Government, along with the hard work, dedication and private investment by industry participants, has resulted in positive growth within this sector in recent years. Because of the collaboration and strong working relationships that have been built, blue mussels are now positioned to become a leading product on the global seafood market. Newfoundland mussel producers are now in a class of their own."

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