"The Government of Canada is committed to increasing the competitiveness, productivity and environmental performance of the Canadian aquaculture industry through the AIMAP, which will invest $23.5 million over five years," said Levis-Bellechasse MP Steven Blaney, on behalf of the Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. "By investing in these types of projects, we are supporting a very productive industry that contributes to the economic development of rural, coastal and First Nations communities."
The first project's objective is to help Quebec's young shellfish farming industry use what is done in other countries as a model for adapting and developing technologies that require the mechanization and automation of certain operations for use in the short term. The following technologies will be studied:
- a mechanical cleaner for buoys attached to floating longlines;
- a system to prevent tangling of the ropes used to raise and lower submerged longline cultures;
- a mussel harvesting technique that will substantially reduce losses;
- a scallop production technique using an "earring" suspension structure;
- and a hydraulic mechanical rake to reduce the number of people needed to gather clams.
The second project involves the development of an inventory-compiling technique and the production of a specific software program suitable for shellfish aquaculture. The program, which will be introduced to the industry in April 2009, will allow producers who are less familiar with computers to easily manage their sea farming operations, equipment and shellfish stocks from a single database.
The Societe de developpement de l'industrie maricole (SODIM) is a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to creating and developing profitable, competitive sea farming businesses. The SODIM and its regional partners will invest more than $300,000 in the two projects.
The objective of the AIMAP is to support Canadian aquaculture and encourage investments promoting innovation in the industry. Funding provided through the program will help recipients plan, manage and carry out projects designed to enhance the productivity, economic viability and potential of Canada's aquaculture industry, and produce a healthy, nutritious food source.