Alberton, Canada.- Enabling oyster growers and operators in PEI’s aquaculture industry to remain competitive, as demand continues to increase in markets around the world, will help grow the region’s economy and maintain the province’s international reputation for producing high quality shellfish. To strengthen this important sector of the Island’s economy, federal and provincial governments are investing in a program delivered by West Prince Ventures Ltd to support innovation in the industry, increase production, and create new job opportunities in the region.
Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with the Honourable Alan McIsaac, PEI Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries, made the announcement today in support of the Island’s aquaculture industry.
Through its Business Development Program, ACOA is providing a non-repayable contribution of $300,000 to West Prince Ventures’ Quality Oyster Aquaculture Program (QOAP) to help oyster growers and operators adopt new technologies to increase production and efficiency, promote high quality oyster yields, and improve safety in handling and storage. The Government of Prince Edward Island is providing $200,000 to the program.
This investment builds on commitments made by the Government of Canada and the four Atlantic provinces to drive economic growth in the region through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, which supports strategic investments in initiatives that build on the region’s competitive advantages, such as its thriving seafood industry, strong export potential, growing innovation network, and skilled workforce.
“There is a great tradition of oyster growing in PEI, so I’m pleased to see support for a program that will strengthen and sustain the local aquaculture industry and help operators remain globally competitive. With this government investment in one of our truly distinct local resources, oyster farmers and operators will continue to make significant contributions to our local economy.”
Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont
“Oysters are increasing in popularity. Now is the time to grow Prince Edward Island’s oyster industry and we are very pleased to have support from the Federal Government to do so. This program will provide opportunities for young people to launch their career in the aquaculture industry and advance production for our manufacturers. It’s a win for rural development, our workforce and economy.”
The Honourable Alan McIsaac, Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
“As a Community Business Development Corporation (CBDC), we assist in the creation and modernization of Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs) by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs in rural PEI. We are very pleased to be delivering the Quality Oyster Aquaculture Program, as it will be a great support for our oyster growers and operators looking to expand and modernize their operations to meet growing demand.”
Maxine Rennie, Executive Director, West Prince Ventures Ltd.
West Prince Ventures Ltd. is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors, with representation from communities around the West Prince region.
The purpose of the QOAP is to provide an incentive for oyster aquaculture operations to expand production through the adoption of new technologies used to produce cultivated oysters on private leases.
The QOAP will support the expansion of off-bottom suspended aquaculture, as well as improvement in quality and productivity of bottom-cultured oyster production.
Source: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency