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Nova Scotia: Economy

Nova Scotia's economy started with the sea and the fish stocks of the Scotian Shelf. This resource, particularly cod, has been hit by dwindling stocks in recent years, and quotas and fishing bans affect those who derive their livelihood from this sector. In 1992, approximately 20 000 workers were directly employed in fishing and fish processing and many more jobs were indirectly created by activity in the sector. The catch is composed mainly of cod, haddock and pollock, as well as lobsters, scallops and crab. A moratorium of many stocks has created a smaller fishing fleet and a loss of fish processing jobs in Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia has a highly developed forestry sector with four pulp and paper mills and several hundred sawmills.

The mining sector is dominated by coal production of four million tonnes. The province also produces over 85 percent of the Canadian total of gypsum. Other mining activity includes salt, barite, crushed stone, peat and sand and gravel. Extensive exploration of offshore oil and gas has been undertaken in the past decade. In 1991 the first commercial production of oil began near Sable Island.

Nova Scotia has a highly specialized commercial agriculture sector. Dairy is the largest sector, followed by horticultural crops, poultry, eggs, beef cattle and hogs. Export commodities include blueberries, apples and processed fruits, vegetables and juices.

Tourism is an important sector in the provincial economy. Total tourism receipts exceed $800 million and over 30 000 are employed in the industry. More than a million persons visit the province each year, with almost one quarter of these coming from outside Canada.

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