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Keep funding Cardigan hatchery, says ASF

CANADA - The Atlantic Salmon Federation is calling on the province to continue funding the Cardigan fish hatchery, but with so many partners involved in the hatchery, it's not clear who will come up with the cash, reports CBC News.

Keep funding Cardigan hatchery, says ASF - The Atlantic Salmon Federation is calling on the province to continue funding the Cardigan fish hatchery, but with so many partners involved in the hatchery, it's not clear who will come up with the cash, reports CBC News.

The Cardigan fish hatchery is now privately owned, and focuses mostly on rearing fish to be sold to fish farming businesses.

But until the end of March this year, part of the hatchery was still dedicated to raising fish to restock Island rivers and ponds.

Money for the hatchery's restocking program used to come from the province and the Island's Wildlife Conservation Fund. That group gets its money from hunting and fishing licenses.

Neither have committed cash for the hatchery this year.

Todd Dupuis, with the Atlantic Salmon Federation, says after the last bit of stock is released, there's no new plan.

"After that we're in a lot of trouble we would not have fish for public stocking and it's been a tradition on P.E.I. since 1879, we had a hatchery on the Island for public use, and it would be the first time in that many years that we would not have any enhancement initiative from the hatchery," said Dupuis.

Mike McKenna, who chairs the Wildlife Conservation Fund, said it's up to the province.

"We're waiting at this time for the provincial government to come up with some sort of a restocking program for Prince Edward Island. They've gotta decide at some time, where the stocking should be, where the money should be spent, how many fish we need, whether it be brook trout, salmon or rainbow trout and where these fish go," said McKenna.

So far the province has not said whether it will continued funding the hatchery.

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