15 P.E.I. aquaculture businesses get nearly $7M from federal government
Funding comes through Atlantic Fisheries Fund
Fifteen P.E.I. aquaculture companies are getting nearly $7 million from the federal government. The funding — totalling $6,979,864 — was announced Thursday in Charlottetown.
The money is coming from the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, a partnership between the federal and provincial governments to invest in the seafood industry.
MP Sean Casey and P.E.I.'s Minister of Fisheries Jamie Fox made the announcement.
"We recognize the importance of the aquaculture industry on P.E.I., and of course on a world-wide stage too," said Fox after the announcement.
"It helps industry project into the future and bring in technology that's really needed and improve their industry as a whole."
"These projects funded by the Atlantic Fisheries Fund will support processors in maximizing returns for their products and, in turn, will strengthen the economy and create jobs here on Prince Edward Island," said Casey in a news release.
The companies had to apply for the funding and meet certain criteria. They were all investing some of their own money to be eligible.
"The funding will help us to get where we are going a little quicker and help us to improve some of the seed in the oyster industry," said Ralph Clark, with Cascumpec Seed Oyster.
"There's a number of companies here today and I think they all will benefit greatly and the real beneficiary ... will certainly be the whole oyster industry."
The Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance Inc. will receive $4,812,500. It will deliver education sessions and workshops, as well as a three-year program for oyster growers to work with new equipment and operations.
Halibut P.E.I. will work on establishing a supply chain to further develop a halibut aquaculture industry with $1 million from the fund.
Coles' Mussel Farm Ltd. is getting $75,908 for new equipment to improve the mussel socking process.
The remaining 12 companies were all related to the oyster industry.
- Raspberry Point Oyster Co Inc. will receive $199,800 to split equally between their Cymbria and North Rustico operations.
- Aaron Sweet will receive $99,900 to construct an off-grid floating oyster nursery.
- North Shore Oyster Co. Inc. will receive $99,900 for new equipment for their oyster wash and processing facility.
- Cascumpec Bay Oyster Co. will receive $99,900 to adapt a wet storage system for oysters.
- J.P. Oysters Ltd. will receive $95,114 for the construction of a self-contained upweller system.
- Wallace Shellfish Inc. will receive $93,866 for new equipment for oyster farming operations.
- Leslie Hardy & Sons Ltd. will receive $83,695 to buy oyster holding pods and an automatic oyster bagger.
- Brackley Bay Oyster Company Inc. will receive $77,480 to purchase equipment for its new oyster processing facility.
- Cascumpec Seed Oyster Inc. will receive $71,765 to conduct research on single seed hatchery methods.
- Oyster Cage Commander Inc. will receive $65,294 to adopt new equipment.
- Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd. will receive $65,142 to build a land-based oyster nursery.
- Hackett's Golden Oysters Ltd. will receive $39,600 to build and outfit an oyster grading platform.
The release said P.E.I.'s seafood sector is the Island's third largest industry, employing close to 8,000 people and having an annual economic impact of more than $650 million.
The fund will invest more than $400 million over seven years, with the federal government contributing 70 per cent of the funding and the remaining 30 per cent coming from the Atlantic provinces, the news release said.
More P.E.I. news
With files from Isabella Zavarise