August 13, 2021
Moncton, New Brunswick – Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and a driving force of the economy. The seafood sector is a rapidly shifting environment – competition is intensifying, and consumers are looking for sustainability and quality. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) are making strategic investments in the fish and seafood sector through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.
The funding announced today — a total contribution of $1.8 million — invests in seven (7) projects that focus on the development of new products, and implementation of innovative technologies to improve productivity and sustainability within the aquaculture, processing and harvesting sectors. This funding will enable local businesses to be more efficient and adapt to meet market requirements. The aquaculture and seafood processing sectors contributed $500 million to the PEI economy, and employed as many as 8,000 people at peak production in 2020.
Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd received $1,368,977 to help fund wet storage equipment for oyster processing, equipment to run an on-site oyster hatchery as well as to develop a mussel hatchery pilot program. These enhancements are part of a first phase of the expansion of the company’s Borden, PEI, facility.
Food Island Partnership received $100,000 for the delivery of the PEI Aquaculture Sector Product Development Program to support the development of new products and packaging solutions for oyster and mussel producers. Food Island Partnership will assess, approve and manage applications from industry clients to support eligible activities such as recipe development (trials, testing, etc.), new process development, new packaging design, focus groups and design of promotional materials.
Acadian Supreme received $99,900 to purchase new equipment to optimize the lobster net-packaging process for whole, raw lobster. Through automation the new process will change staffing requirements in the plant. Once the net-packaging process is operational staff will be reassigned to other areas of the plant, leading to efficiency gains and an overall increase in production.
Four other organizations received funding to purchase equipment to improve live lobster holding; increase capacity for oyster holding and processing, and for the production of additional seafood products.
Funding these organizations will benefit local and regional economies in PEI now and in the future. The contribution comes from the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund, jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, and focuses on increasing opportunities and market value for sustainably sourced, high-quality fish and seafood products from Atlantic Canada.
The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will continue to invest in projects as it begins its fifth year over the seven-year life of the program. The commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities, academia, industry associations and organizations, including research institutions, may apply.