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April 24, 2013
For immediate release

Province invests in Shellfish Enhancement Program

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development

The provincial government is investing $100,000 in a shellfish enhancement program to accelerate growth of the oyster fishery, says Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley.

“The oyster fishery is a key contributor to the Prince Edward Island economy. This investment will support more than 1,500 people involved in harvesting and processing oysters and quahaugs in coastal communities across the province,” said Minister MacKinley. “Developing more oyster beds and improving the quality of oysters on existing beds will benefit fishers and the industry.”

The department is partnering with the Prince Edward Island Shellfish Association to carry out projects that include collecting and spreading oyster seed and moving small oysters to beds across the Island.

“The PEI Shellfish Association does excellent work ensuring the sustainability and growth of the industry,” said Minister MacKinley.

In addition, the department is providing labour support for the program through the Employment Development Agency.

Preliminary numbers indicate more than 7 million pounds of oysters were harvested in 2012, with an economic value of $14 million to the rural economy.

“We are pleased to support our oyster fishers who work very hard harvesting this high-quality product that is sold in restaurants all over North America. Malpeque Oysters and many other popular brands have put Prince Edward Island on the map,” said the Minister.

The oyster season opens May 1.

Media Contact: Kim Devine
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