Government of Canada and Province of Prince Edward Island invest in fish and seafood sectors

News release

August 13, 2021

Moncton, New Brunswick - Canada’s fisheries are the backbone of many coastal communities and a driving force of the economy. The seafood sector is a rapidly shifting environment – competition is intensifying, and consumers are looking for sustainability and quality. That is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) are making strategic investments in the fish and seafood sector through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

The funding announced today — a total contribution of $1.8 million — invests in seven (7) projects that focus on the development of new products, and implementation of innovative technologies to improve productivity and sustainability within the aquaculture, processing and harvesting sectors. This funding will enable local businesses to be more efficient and adapt to meet market requirements. The aquaculture and seafood processing sectors contributed $500 million to the PEI economy, and employed as many as  8,000 people at peak production in 2020.

Atlantic Aqua Farms Ltd received $1,368,977 to help fund wet storage equipment for oyster processing, equipment to run an on-site oyster hatchery as well as to develop a mussel hatchery pilot program. These enhancements are part of a first phase of the expansion of the company’s Borden, PEI, facility.

Food Island Partnership received $100,000 for the delivery of the PEI Aquaculture Sector Product Development Program to support the development of new products and packaging solutions for oyster and mussel producers. Food Island Partnership will assess, approve and manage applications from industry clients to support eligible activities such as recipe development (trials, testing, etc.), new process development, new packaging design, focus groups and design of promotional materials.

Acadian Supreme received $99,900 to purchase new equipment to optimize the lobster net-packaging process for whole, raw lobster. Through automation the new process will change staffing requirements in the plant. Once the net-packaging process is operational staff will be reassigned to other areas of the plant, leading to efficiency gains and an overall increase in production.

Four other organizations received funding to purchase equipment to improve live lobster holding; increase capacity for oyster holding and processing, and for the production of additional seafood products.

Funding these organizations will benefit local and regional economies in PEI now and in the future. The contribution comes from the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund, jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, and focuses on increasing opportunities and market value for sustainably sourced, high-quality fish and seafood products from Atlantic Canada.

The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will continue to invest in projects as it begins its fifth year over the seven-year life of the program. The commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities, academia, industry associations and organizations, including research institutions, may apply.

Quotes

“Prince Edward Island is producing what the world wants. Shellfish and seafood processors are getting our local products to markets around the globe. Through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund, we are supporting our partners in the sector to access new markets and grow their operations. That means more jobs for Islanders, and a stronger, more sustainable Blue Economy for Canada.”

The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

"On Prince Edward Island the seafood industry is both a valued tradition and a diverse, innovative industry. These investments recognise the importance of the wild-catch fishery, the strength of aquaculture, and the emerging potential of value-added processing. I look forward to seeing Island seafood grow in importance and prominence as a job creator and community builder."

The Honourable Jamie Fox, Prince Edward Island Minister of Fisheries and Communities

“Prince Edward Island’s reputation for excellent shellfish and seafood is known the world over, and these investments will help get our products to new markets and grow our local economy here at home.”

The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs, Associate Minister of National Defence and Member of Parliament for Cardigan

“Recognizing the importance of protecting and expanding our local producers in the industry, the government is making this timely and foundational investment that I am sure will resonate across the Island. PEI is known for exceptional shellfish and seafood products, which already reach global markets in high demand. Investments like these help our home-grown businesses remain competitive and resilient.”

The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque

“Investing in seafood processing plants ensures the industry stays current, which protects jobs in our rural Island communities.”

Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont

Quick facts

  • The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will invest over $400 million over seven years to support Canada’s fish and seafood sector.

  • The federal government will provide 70% of the funding, with 30% coming from the Atlantic provinces.

  • The fund aims to help Canada’s seafood sector transition to meet growing market demands for products that are high quality, value-added, and sustainably sourced.

  • Eligible projects must focus on:

    • Innovation – to support research and development of new innovations that contribute to sustainability of the fish and seafood sector, and to create partnerships and networks that aim to promote and encourage innovations in the sector;
    • Infrastructure – to adopt or adapt new technologies, processes, or equipment to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the fish and seafood sector;
    • Science Partnerships – fisheries and aquaculture industry based partnerships with academia and institutions to enhance knowledge and understanding of the impacts of changing oceanographic conditions and sustainable harvesting technology. 
  • Toll-free program contact: 1-844-795-9718.

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Contacts

Olivia McMackin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
343-571-9193
Olivia.McMackin@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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