Fonds RG 15 volumes 1-31 - Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

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Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

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    RG 15 volumes 1-31

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    • 1942-1998 (Creation)
      Nova Scotia. Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture

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    Physical description

    14.9 m of textual records (115 boxes)
    2979 photographs: negatives, prints, polaroids, aerial views, engraving plates: colour, black and white
    177 architectural plans, survey maps, technical drawings, and sea charts.
    1 video cassette (ca.10 min.): VHS ½ inch tape.

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    Administrative history

    The Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture was created in 1997 by the Fisheries and Coastal Resources Act. Prior to 1997, it operated under the Fisheries Act as the Department of Fisheries starting in 1964 with the mandate to protect, conserve, and regulate the fisheries and to encourage development of the commercial fishing industry in Nova Scotia. Before 1964, fisheries were managed by the Fisheries Division of the Department of Trade and Industry. In 1966 the new Department of Fisheries had a Minister, Deputy Minister, and 4 divisions: Fisheries Training; Demonstration and Development; Licensing and Special Projects; and the Fishermen’s Loan Board. The first Minister was Hon. E.D. Haliburton, who was also responsible for the Department of Lands and Forests. The organizational structure changed slightly in 1973 with an Administration Division; Fisheries General Division; Fisheries Training Division; and Resources Development Division. In the late 1970s the Resources Development Division was split into Product Development and Industrial Development Divisions. By 1983 the Fisheries Department also assumed responsibility for aquaculture, sometimes referred to as fish farming.

    To fulfill its mandate, they negotiated policies and regulations with their Federal counterparts, built and maintained wharfs and other waterfront infrastructure in communities; issued licenses to operators and inspected fish plants and products for quality; promoted standards for the industry through regulation, training and funding programs; encouraged product development by experimenting with new species, new processing equipment, and new seafood products; and invested in better-designed vessels, and in the emergent aquaculture industry. They also managed the Recreational or Sport Fishery, collected statistics, monitored the economic health of the industry, and supported marketing campaigns to promote Nova Scotia seafood and products in international markets.

    In 2000 the Fisheries and Aquaculture Department was merged with Agriculture and Marketing to form the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.

    The Department of Fisheries ran its own Financial Incentives cost-shared funding program aimed at small-scale fishing companies and independent fishers across Nova Scotia. In addition, the Department managed several joint federal/provincial funding programs including the Agricultural and Rural Development Act (ARDA) from 1964 to approximately 1976, followed by the Economic Regional Development Agreement (ERDA) 1984 to 1989 and then its replacement, the Canada-Nova Scotia Cooperation Agreement in Fisheries program, which ran from approximately 1991 to 1998.

    Members of the NS Legislative Assembly who served as Minister for this Department include Edward D. Haliburton (1964-1968), James M. Harding (1968-1969), John M. Buchanan (1969-1970), Benoit Comeau (1971-1973), and Alexander M. “Sandy” Cameron (1973-1976).

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    Consists of Fisheries Minister's correspondence files with the Premier, other provincial and federal ministers, the Fishermen’s Loan Board, department staff and the public as well as planning and budget files (1960-1973); Deputy Minister's correspondence files (1942-1993); the Director of Fisheries Division files when it was part of the Department of Trade and Industry (1943-1964); “Deputy Minister’s Library” containing minutes of the Federal-Provincial Atlantic Fisheries Committee and its Sections (1959-1975); Director of Industrial Development Division files managing projects to improve vessels, gear and harbour facilities as well as negotiating funding agreements with the federal government (1961-1991); Product Development Officers’ files containing scientific research reports and experiments’ results, correspondence, proposals, and photographs (1973-1992); and Funding Programs Case Files from several cost-shared funding programs run by the Department alone or in partnership with the federal government (1972-1998). Fonds also includes meeting minutes, agendas, and loan agreements with the NS Resources Development Board (1980-1986), previously known as the NS Fishermen’s Loan Board.

    Some major subjects represented in the records include experimenting with fish waste to make fertilizer (silage) for agricultural use; bringing new products to market such as snails and shark; and improving fish preservation, among other subjects. Some major projects of the Department include building the Fraser Mills hatchery and research centre near Antigonish NS (1987-1990), the Billfish experimental fishery (1995-1996), and the construction of 3 steel-hulled fishing vessels (1977-1979).

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    Records transferred in 1979 (RG 15) and 2022 as directed by approved records schedule STOR One-time 2017-01.


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        Access to Financial Incentive Program Case files is closed under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

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