03/09/2012 06:24 EST | Updated 05/09/2012 05:12 EDT

Newfoundland Seafood Industry Value Rises to $1 Billion: Government

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - Newfoundland and Labrador's Fisheries Department says seafood production in the province was worth more than $1 billion in 2011.

The department says that's an increase of 7.3 per cent over the previous year.

It credits higher market prices for snow crab and shrimp, and growth in the value of the aquaculture sector for the boost.

The department says 2011 represents a turnaround from 2009 and 2010 when market values dropped because of the recession.

However, the department says high fuel costs and a relatively strong Canadian dollar continued to have a negative impact on the industry.

Fisheries Minister Darin King says the province's seafood industry employs more than 20,000 people, mainly in rural areas.