The Quality Oyster Aquaculture Program operated by West Prince Venture is receiving funding from the federal and provincial governments to help oyster growers and operators adopt new technologies to increase production and efficiency, promote high quality oyster yields and improve safety in handling and storage.
“As a Community Business Development Corporation, we assist in the creation and modernization of small-to-medium enterprises by providing financial and technical services to entrepreneurs in rural P.E.I.,” says Maxine Rennie, executive director of the organization. “We’re pleased to be delivering the Quality Oyster Aquaculture Program, as it will be a great support for our oyster growers and operators looking to expand and modernize their operations to meet growing demand.”
Through its Business Development Program, ACOA is providing a non-repayable contribution of $300,000 to the effort while the provincial government is contributing $200,000. West Prince Ventures Ltd. is governed by a volunteer board of directors, with representation from communities around the West Prince region.
The purpose of the quality program is to provide an incentive for oyster aquaculture operations to expand production through the adoption of new technologies used to produce cultivated oysters on private leases. The initiative supports the expansion of off-bottom suspended aquaculture, as well as improvement in quality and productivity of bottom-cultured oyster production.
“Oysters are increasing in popularity. Now is the time to grow Prince Edward Island’s oyster industry,” says P.E.I..’s Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Alan McIsaac. “This program will provide opportunities for young people to launch their career in the aquaculture industry and advance production for our manufacturers. It’s a win for rural development, our workforce and economy.”