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Innovative Aquaculture in Prince Edward Island Receives Boost from Government

30 July 2012

CANADA - Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, has announced that Somers Island Blues Inc. will receive C$80,000 in funding from the Government of Canada to support an innovative aquaculture project in Prince Edward Island.

“Our government is proud to support global competitiveness and environmental performance in aquaculture,” said Minister Ashfield. “This investment helps the Prince Edward Island aquaculture industry develop and adopt innovative technologies and management techniques.”

“This investment demonstrates our commitment to building a diversified rural economy,” said the Honourable Gail Shea, National Revenue Minister. “As Canada’s aquaculture industry continues to grow, it brings economic and social benefits to our community.”

Somers Island Blues Inc. received C$80,000 from Fisheries and Oceans Canada to develop and assess a prototype system designed to mitigate the impact of vase tunicates on mussel farms. The final deliverable of the project will be an innovative treatment system capable of treating below and above water, and technical drawings of the equipment designs. These drawings will be provided to the industry for a possible retrofit of existing above water sprayer systems.

The project is being funded through Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP). The goal of AIMAP is to improve the competitiveness and market value of the Canadian aquaculture industry by encouraging an aquaculture sector that adopts innovative technologies and management techniques to enhance its competitiveness and environmental performance.

Aquaculture contributes nearly C$1 billion to the Canadian economy, providing some 14,500 jobs – often to those living in remote and coastal communities. In 2010, aquaculture in Prince Edward Island was estimated to create 790 direct, full-time jobs within aquaculture operations, and an additional 375 full-time indirect and induced jobs for a total of 1,165 full-time positions. It is estimated to generate a total of C$22.2 million in direct income, and a total of C$31.3 million in income including indirect and induced income. Blue mussels make up the majority of aquaculture production in Prince Edward Island.

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