Working Better Together: Fisheries and Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador

Lowitt, Kristen (2012) Working Better Together: Fisheries and Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador. In: Working Better Together: Fisheries and Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador, June 15, 2012, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.

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In Newfoundland and Labrador, as elsewhere, there is a strong but poorly acknowledged and poorly documented interdependence between the fisheries and tourism sectors. This interdependence is particularly strong in rural areas, including in fishing communities, where much of Newfoundland and Labrador’s tourism happens. Tourists want to consume local seafood, experience fisheries and fishing culture, and to meet people engaged in and knowledgeable about fisheries and the marine environment; local fisheries provide much of the seafood tourists eat, some members of fishing families work in the tourism sector, and fishing families are among the clientele who patronize local restaurants and hotels. Our rural communities are experiencing high rates of outmigration and rural populations are aging. The resources available to support economic development in rural areas, including in fisheries and tourism, are declining (as exemplified by recent cuts to Parks Canada and to support for the Regional Economic Development Boards). Employment in both fisheries and tourism is highly seasonal (particularly in rural areas) and some employers are finding it difficult to find appropriately skilled, local workers. Aging labour forces mean this challenge is likely to increase in the future. Both sectors are also very vulnerable to changes in global markets and to environmental and other changes. Unfortunately, from a policy and organizational perspective, Newfoundland and Labrador’s commercial fisheries and tourism industries have developed largely in isolation from each other. There has been no systematic effort to establish and promote synergies between the two sectors. As a result, there are potentially important missed opportunities for economic development that have the potential to create new business opportunities, strengthen existing businesses in both sectors, and to enhance the sustainability of both sectors as well as some rural communities and regions. On June 15, 2012, with support from the Rural Secretariat, the Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance at Memorial University (CURRA), the Harris Centre and the Newfoundland and Labrador Regional Economic Development Association (NLREDA) organized a multi-stakeholder workshop in St. John’s entitled Working Better Together: Fisheries and Tourism in Newfoundland and Labrador (See Appendix A for full program). The workshop used research done by the CURRA and insights from a multi-stakeholder panel to set the stage for facilitated small group discussions led by Ted Lomond from NLREDA and using the staff and facilitated discussion technology and expertise of the Rural Secretariat. Excellent support with organization and with the registration process was provided by Johan Joensen of the Harris Centre.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Item ID: 14122
Department(s): Divisions > Community-University Research for Recovery Alliance (CURRA)
Date: 2012
Date Type: Publication

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