‘In­cred­i­bly valu­able’

Sev­eral P.E.I. shell­fish grow­ers and pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies re­ceive fi­nan­cial boost

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY JIM DAY

Is­land shell­fish farms have net­ted healthy govern­ment fund­ing to im­prove prod­uct qual­ity and quan­tity.

Eight shell­fish grow­ers and pro­cess­ing com­pa­nies are re­ceiv­ing a to­tal of $732,645 from the At­lantic Fish­eries Fund.

El­i­gi­ble projects must fo­cus on in­no­va­tion, in­fras­truc­ture and sci­ence part­ner­ships.

“The world is de­mand­ing sus­tain­ably sourced, high-qual­ity seafood prod­ucts and the At­lantic Fish­eries Fund will drive in­no­va­tion in this sec­tor, help­ing Cana­di­ans meet these de­mands,’’ says fed­eral Fish­eries Min­is­ter Jonathan Wilkin­son.

“This will boost the econ­omy and in­crease em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties for mid­dle-class Cana­di­ans in small coastal and In­dige­nous com­mu­ni­ties.”

Jerry Bid­good, gen­eral man­ager of Prince Ed­ward Aqua Farms, says the nearly $100,000 his busi­ness is re­ceiv­ing from the fund will be used to help pur­chase and in­stall au­to­mated oys­ter grad­ing equip­ment.

“It’s in­cred­i­bly valu­able to us,’’ he says.

“We strug­gle try­ing to get enough peo­ple (work­ing for the com­pany), so the au­to­mated side of this was very at­trac­tive to us. It’s a way for us to ex­pand.’’

Prince Ed­ward Aqua Farms, which is a mus­sel, oys­ter and clam grower es­tab­lished in the late 1980s, will cover the re­main­ing $60,000 cost of the project.

This is the first time the com­pany has dipped into the At­lantic Fish­eries Fund, which is 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.

“As long as the pot is avail­able to us, we will go back for more,’’ adds Bid­good.

Fund­ing was also re­ceived by Cas­cumpec Seed Oys­ter Inc. in Al­ber­ton ($99,900), Ward Jef­fery and Thelma McNeil of Tignish ($46,020), Len­nox Is­land First Na­tion Devel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion in Bide­ford ($96,480), W and R Fish­eries Ltd. in Ge­orge­town ($73,136), P.E.I. Mus­sel Farms Inc. in Morell ($183,750), East Cape Oys­ter Com­pany Ltd. in Souris ($99,900), and Fu­ture Seafoods Inc. in Fern­wood ($34,000). For in­for­ma­tion on the funded projects, check the story on­line at www.the­guardian.pe.ca.


Jerry Bid­good, gen­eral man­ager of Prince Ed­ward Aqua Farms, says the $99,459 in fund­ing his com­pany is re­ceiv­ing from the At­lantic Fish­eries Fund will help the busi­ness ex­pand.

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