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$700,000 Funding For Scallop Farming Operations

Canada - Les Fermes marines du Qubec has been awarded CA$700,000 for the construction of a hatchery for sea scallop larvae, from the Canadian Department of Economic Development.

The project, which will require an overall investment of $5.8 million, will result in the creation of 10 new jobs in the area, three of them full-time positions and seven seasonal.

"The fishing industry offers numerous opportunities for economic diversification. That is why the Government of Canada supports innovation in the field as well as aquaculture projects aimed at the development of lesser-known marine species," explained Minister of State, Denis Lebel.

Since its founding three years ago, Les Fermes marines du Québec has been investing in research and development in order to maximize the reproductive yield of sea scallops. The work to date has centred on developing the necessary processes and selecting the appropriate technologies based on pilot test results. Now, with Canada Economic Development's support, the company will be in a position to launch the first sea scallop hatchery in the Gaspésie region. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, this plant is sure to attract researchers who will help develop valuable know-how for the region.

"The Government of Canada is pleased to support this innovative project of Les Fermes marines du Québec, an initiative that will help position the Gaspésie in the marine aquaculture sector and ensure sustainable and profitable sea scallop farming in the region," the Minister of State added.

The young firm, which specializes in giant scallop farming, engages in three main operations: scallop larvae production, submerged longline culture and seabed seeding. In Quebec, scallop landings have dropped by 35 per cent since 1999 due to overfishing and a reduction in fishing effort. Creating a scallop hatchery is therefore seen as a good solution to satisfy market demand while offering a reliable source of supply to scallop farmers. The firm's annual yield is expected to reach five million princess scallops after six years of operation.

Aquaculture is an important activity for the country' economy and employment. In 2008 alone, the sector generated $736 million in revenues and provided jobs to some 4,700 Canadians, the large majority of them in coastal communities.

This financial assistance from Canada Economic Development has been awarded through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) established under Canada's Economic Action Plan. This billion-dollar fund is aimed at helping communities severely affected by the economic downturn by facilitating job creation and supporting local economic diversification and restructuring efforts.

the Fish Site Editor

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