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Expanded production at Lennox Island First Nation hatchery will help meet global oyster demand

Press Release

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

New equipment will triple the potential production of Prince Edward Island’s only supplier of hatchery oyster seed

December 15, 2022 · Lennox Island, Prince Edward Island · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

The success of Indigenous organizations, businesses and communities is essential to building a strong, innovative and inclusive Atlantic Canadian economy. With increasing demand for P.E.I. seafood products, there is high potential for further prosperity and self sustainability for both the aquaculture sector and Indigenous communities on the Island. That is why the Government of Canada is working in partnership with Lennox Island First Nation to ensure its oyster hatchery has the resources it needs to grow and build on its success as the province’s sole supplier of oyster seed.

Federal investments will support Indigenous economic development and support Prince Edward Island’s shellfish industry

Today, the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, and the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced a total federal contribution of $225,841 to the Lennox Island Development Corporation to expand production of the Bideford Shellfish Hatchery. A non-repayable contribution of $112,920 is provided through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), and an additional $112,920 is invested through the Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI).

This funding will support Lennox Island Development Corporation in the purchase and installation of new equipment, and staff training to increase the production of oysters at the hatchery. This project is anticipated to triple the annual potential production of oyster seed, helping the industry meet global demand for P.E.I. oysters. The expansion will also help position the hatchery for long-term growth and sustainability.

Today’s announcement further demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting economic opportunities for Indigenous communities throughout the region.

Quotes

“The Canadian aquaculture sector produces world class seafood products that have put our region on the map in a highly competitive global market. This industry plays a vital role in Indigenous communities and helps to power the Atlantic Canadian economy. We are committed to supporting our local producers so they can respond to this global demand.”

–   The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

This funding is another concrete step the federal government is taking to express our commitment to reconciliation. Investing in Indigenous communities like Lennox Island supports meaningful local jobs, and the expansion of the Bideford Shellfish Hatchery will help raise the profile of PEI’s aquaculture industry and introduce its world-class products to new markets.”

– The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

The Bideford Shellfish Hatchery is an experienced and highly regarded supplier, and as the only producer of P.E.I. hatchery oyster seed, they play a vital role in the success of our Island’s oyster industry. Through these investments, the aquaculture sector, and the wider food business ecosystem on P.E.I., will realize new opportunities to innovate and diversify into new markets; resulting in a more resilient industry.”

– Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont

“We are excited to move forward with this much needed initiative. With this funding we are able to bring improvements to our hatchery to help with sustainability and streamlining our processes to improve our product.”

– Mike Randall, Executive Director of Lennox Island Development Corporation

Quick facts

  • The Bideford Shellfish Hatchery is owned and operated by the Lennox Island Development Corporation, and is the Island’s only supplier of premium Prince Edward Island-based hatchery seed.
  • The Lennox Island Development Corporation, incorporated in 2006 as a not-for-profit organization, operates as the economic development arm of the Lennox Island First Nation. LIDC’s portfolio of business ventures includes enterprises in fisheries, culture-based tourism & eco-tourism, property management, commercial real estate, rental property holdings, public utilities, aquaculture, and health care.
  • P.E.I. is the second largest oyster producing province in Canada and the largest oyster producer in Atlantic Canada. In 2019, the total landings from both sectors combined was 4.9 million kilograms with a landed value of $17.2 million and approximate economic value to the province of $35 million, according to department statistics.
  • The funding announced today is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), and Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (AICFI).

Associated links

Contacts

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and of the
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
[email protected]

Jacqueline Beauregard
Director, Policy, Advocacy, and Coordination
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
[email protected]-apeca.gc.ca

Kevin Lemkay
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
[email protected]

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
[email protected]

Corinne Dyment
Band Administrator
Lennox Island First Nation
[email protected]

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