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Mediterranean Sea Bass for Aquaculture Start-up

by Ellen Hardy
24 June 2008, at 1:00am

NOVA SCOTIA - The Nova Scotia government is investing in a unique land-based aquaculture start-up in Hants County that will introduce Mediterranean sea bass to the province.

Led by an immigrant to Canada, Jeremy Lee, Sustainable Fish Farming Canada Ltd., will receive a repayable loan of C$750,000 through the Industrial Expansion Fund.

Mr. Lee has also made a $1-million personal contribution and has received repayable loans of C$625,000 from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

"The province is committed to supporting the sustainable development of aquaculture and this is an opportunity to introduce a species of fish to Nova Scotia that is in significant demand worldwide," said Ron Chisholm, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture.

"This investment will not only create a new export-based business in rural Nova Scotia, it will also provide new technical expertise to Nova Scotia's aquaculture industry."

Mediterranean sea bass grow to maturity quickly, for faster turnaround and reduced working capital. The species requires a unique environment, which Mr. Lee will provide with his expertise.

"Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing sectors of the world's agricultural economy, and has a strong, sustainable future," said Peter MacKay, Minister of ACOA.

"Through this investment, ACOA is demonstrating its commitment to strengthening communities, encouraging business growth and creating more and better-paying jobs for Atlantic Canadians."

With an emphasis on Mediterranean sea bass, Sustainable Fish Farming will also include a recirculation marine fish research unit for halibut growth.

"We are pleased with this investment, which will help us to complete our sustainable fish farm," said Mr. Lee.

"We are confident that our recirculation technology will support our ambitions for growth over the next five years."

The Industrial Expansion Fund (IEF) is one method the government of Nova Scotia uses to support economic development in the province.

It is key to helping industries involved in innovation and technology and contributing to a prosperous and sustainable business climate for Nova Scotia. The IEF has considerable flexibility in the amount and type of funding it can provide.

A tour of the farm, located 25 minutes outside of Windsor, will take place after the announcement.

Ellen Hardy