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Short Changed - PEI Fisheries Budget Cut

CANADA - Prince Edward Island's Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture took a slight cut when the PEI government unveiled its 2008-2009 budget, in spite of an announcement that some new initiatives are planned.

Projected spending for the fisheries and aquaculture section of the department is set at C$7,226,400 compared to C$7,993,900 in last year’s budget. Actual spending by the department in the last fiscal year was C$8,102,300. And its new position which has been recently expanded to include rural development - may mean short change for the fishery sector.

Provincial Treasurer Wes Sheridan said in his address C$100,000 has been allocated for the inaugural year of a four-year lobster initiative. The study is designed to help identify why catches have declined, especially on the province’s south side and explore new markets.

The province also plans to work with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the PEI Aquaculture Alliance to establish a mussel productivity improvement fund. He explained the fund will be used to help fight invasive species such as tunicate.

View the Sou'Wester story by clicking here.