Funding program supports PEI oyster industry

An innovative and collaborative funding project is helping to sustain the oyster industry and the environment in PEI. 

PEI Oyster growers were hit hard due to COVID-19 and they had an excess of oysters available this fall. The Oyster Enhancement Fund redistributed more than four million surplus oysters from water-column oyster growers to enhance commercial oyster beds all over PEI.

“This funding project was a direct response to the impact that COVID-19 has had on the oyster market. Many other industries that helped the oyster industry thrive in recent years have also been hit hard so when industry and stakeholders identified this need our government was happy to put an action plan in place to help.”

- Fisheries and Communities MinisterJamie Fox

The Oyster Enhancement Fund was funded and administered in collaboration with Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, PEI Aquaculture Alliance, PEI Shellfish Association and provincial Department of Fisheries and Communities.

Through the project oysters were placed on commercially fished areas to enhance oyster beds, a new oyster bed was developed for future harvests, the amount of brood stock available in a spat collection reserve was increased and a pilot project was developed to improve water quality and environmental conditions in areas where there are annual water quality issues.

“PEI’s aquaculture sector is a vital source of employment for Islanders, and it’s essential to the health and sustainability of our economy here," said the Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, on behalf of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA Honourable Mélanie Joly. “The Government of Canada is proud to work with our oyster industry and support these innovative steps to help the industry recover and grow.”

"The PEI Shellfish Association sees enhancement of commercial oyster beds as key to the success of our industry,” said president of PEI Shellfish Association Bob MacLeod. “This program provided a wonderful opportunity to increase our regular enhancement efforts and for our industry to collaborate with the oyster aquaculture sector."

For more information on programs offered by the department, visit: Fisheries and Communities.

Media contact:
Kip Ready
Department of Fisheries and Communities
Senior Communications Officer

General Inquiries

Department of Fisheries and Communities 
PO Box 1180
548 Main Street
Montague, PE   C0A 1R0
Phone: 902-838-0910
Fax: 902-838-0975