Controlling Invasive Species In Inland Waterways

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
19 July 2010, at 1:00am

CANADA - The aquaculture sector is making good progress in the battle against invasive species in Island waterways, says Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Neil LeClair.

“Aquaculturists, fishers, recreational boaters and governments all have a role to play in slowing the spread of aquatic invasive species, and I am very pleased with the progress we are making by working together,” said the minister.

Government officials and industry representatives gathered recently at a Tunicate Workshop and Equipment Demonstration in Georgetown. Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development staff presented an overview of the tunicate control equipment developed over the past four years to control invasive tunicate species that attach to mussel socks and gear. Industry members had the opportunity to see some of the equipment in use at the Georgetown Wharf and on a nearby mussel lease.

The equipment was designed and built by members of the mussel industry and local manufacturers with the assistance of the provincial and federal governments. More than three million dollars has been invested by federal, provincial and industry partners in the development of more than 60 different pieces of equipment.

“Funding provided by the Government of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans has been critical to support the innovation carried out to date,” said Mr. LeClair. “I am committed to working with the sector on the next steps to address invasive species, and I will be asking the federal minister for the full support of her department as we go forward.”

The minister stressed that all water users need to be aware of the threats posed by aquatic invaders, particularly during the summer months when invasive species reproduce and are most likely to spread.