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April 16, 2014
For immediate release

Province helps fund awareness campaign on aquatic invasive species

Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development

The Province of Prince Edward Island has partnered with the aquaculture industry to increase awareness of aquatic invasive species that could impact the province’s shellfish industry, says Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Ron MacKinley.

“The shellfish industry is an important sector for our province employing more than 3,000 Islanders and contributing more than $80 million to the provincial economy,” said Minister MacKinley. “Our shellfish industry has been impacted by aquatic invasive species such as the green crab and tunicates. Educating users of our waterways is an important step in slowing the spread of invasive species that are here now and preventing new pests from being introduced to our waters.”

The aquatic invasive species awareness project is being delivered by the Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance through funding from the Prince Edward Island Atlantic Shrimp Corporation and the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.

The campaign will focus on educational materials such as a website, handouts, posters and signs to build awareness on invasive species. The project is also funding presentations at various events, including boat shows, to talk with boaters about ways to prevent the spread of invasive species.

“It’s crucial that our industry spearhead projects on subjects of high importance for aquaculture,” said Ann Worth, Executive Director of the Prince Edward Island Aquaculture Alliance. “Protecting our waters from invasive species transfer and introduction is important work. We have a world class mussel, oyster and finfish industry that thrives in part because of our ability to manage and protect our water environment.”

“The Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development is pleased to be able to help fund this project and to continue to support and enhance our shellfish industry on Prince Edward Island,” said Minister MacKinley.

Media Contact: April Winchester
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