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Investment To Enhance Oyster Industry

by the Fish Site Editor
13 June 2011, at 1:00am

CANADA - The Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development has announced that funding will be made into the country's oyster industry, focussing on rural Prince Edward Island.

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister, Neil LeClair, said: “We are investing $100,000 this year in the Oyster Enhancement Programme with the Prince Edward Island Shellfish Association to help ensure the industry becomes more sustainable and productive.”

The news of investment comes only a day after Mr LeClair announced that the department is to face cuts of $57 million and loose 275 jobs.

The oyster fishery currently supports approximately 700 active fishers that fish oysters over the two fishing seasons – spring and autumn.

The industry employs 1,500 people in total, with landings in excess of five million pounds annually.

The aim of the 2011 Oyster Enhancement Programme is to deliver a number of projects to enhance the public oyster fishery, including the collection and spreading of oyster seed and one-year old juvenile oysters to wild beds in various locations throughout the province.

The programme will also enhance the broodstock available in the Bideford River, which is a natural and reliable collection area for oyster spat.

Other projects include enhancement of quahaug broodstock in the East River, de-silting of oyster beds in the West River and the relay of oysters from shallow grounds that would be exposed and could be killed by ice to deeper beds.

In addition to the financial and technical assistance provided by the department, labour support for the programme is provided through the department’s Employment Development Agency.

“Action 12 of the Rural Action Plan calls for investment in sustainable shellfish production and this strategic investment clearly demonstrates government’s continued support to increase the quality and quantity of oysters on public beds across Prince Edward Island,” concluded Mr LeClair.

the Fish Site Editor