Province renews Shellfish Enhancement Program

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The Government of Prince Edward Island is pleased to today announce renewed funding for the Shellfish Enhancement Program, says Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries Alan McIsaac.

“The provincial government is committed to supporting and growing Prince Edward Island’s shellfish industry. Today’s funding announcement emphasizes this commitment,” said Minister McIsaac. “There is a growing demand for P.E.I. shellfish and we are pleased to be able to work with the P.E.I. Shellfish Association to help industry take advantage of the vast market potential.”

The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries is investing $100,000 through the Prince Edward Island Shellfish Association to enhance and develop publicly fished shellfish beds across the province and carry out projects to continue to develop the oyster fishery.

The Shellfish Association leads a number of projects that contribute to the sustainability of the shellfish fishery such as the collection of juvenile oysters and spreading of 2015 and 2016 juvenile oysters on public oyster beds, relay of broodstock shellfish to important seed collection areas, spreading of shell to increase the size and productivity of oyster fishing areas, and relay of small oysters to deeper areas where they will not be impacted by ice damage during the winter. 

The public shellfish industry on PEI has and continues to play a key role in the economic stability of our Island economy. Prince Edward Island is the largest oyster producer in Atlantic Canada and more than 1,000 fishers and aquaculturists are involved in the oyster industry. Most recent numbers show that in 2014, approximately 7.3 million pounds were landed with a landed value of $9.3 million dollars. Oyster landings are projected to increase over the next several years along with market demand.  P.E.I. oysters are known worldwide for their quality and contribute to building Prince Edward Island’s reputation as Canada’s Food Island.

“Today’s announcement of renewed funding for our signature enhancement activities will continue to add great value to our existing wild public fishing areas,” said President of the PEI Shellfish Association Brenda Campbell. “This successful partnership over the years better enables our oyster harvest to remain stable and productive in order for our oyster processing plants to better meet market demand.  Any investment that better enables growth and creates employment in an environmentally-friendly manner is a sound investment.  The overall benefit of enhancement has proven to keep our harvesters on the water and the subsequent positive impacts continue to be realized in every Island community”.

The PEI Shellfish Association and Department of Agriculture and Fisheries are dedicated to working together to protect the Island’s proud shellfish industry. The wild public fishery continues to play a key role in our P.E.I. oyster industry - ensuring long term sustainability and future growth in the industry remains top priority.  

Media contact:
Amber Nicholson
Senior Communications Officer

Renseignements généraux

Ministère de l'Agriculture et Terres
Immeuble Jones, 5e étage
11, rue Kent
C.P. 2000
Charlottetown (Î.-P.-É.) C1A 7N8

Téléphone : 902-368-4880
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