November 10, 2020
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island – With the longest coastline in the world, Canada’s coastal communities rely on the fish and seafood industry as an integral contributor to local and regional economies. This is why the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI) today announced funding to support a project by the PEI Marine Science Organization, through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.
The funding—a total contribution of more than $300,000 —will see the development of genomic tools with world-class applied research in the aquaculture industry.
The PEI Marine Science Organization is a Crown Corporation with a mandate to provide support and participate in research that will investigate areas of priority to industry and government. Their innovative project will undertake research and development of genomic resources specific to blue mussels for the future implementation of a modern and sustainable mussel breeding program.
Changing ecosystem conditions and potential variability in the successful collection of naturally spawned seed are the more prevalent risks associated with the current method for obtaining seed supply. The research and development of genomic resources will facilitate the development of a mussel broodstock program that is critical for the sustainability and further development of the mussel industry.
The PEI mussel industry accounts for approximately 80% of Canada’s production of blue mussels and is an extremely important contributor to PEI’s coastal and rural communities with a direct economic value of more than $60 million and employing over a thousand employees.
Funding this organization will result in a positive impact on local and regional economies in PEI. The contribution comes from the $400 million Atlantic Fisheries Fund, 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.
The Atlantic Fisheries Fund will continue to invest in projects over the seven-year life of the program. The commercial fisheries and aquaculture industry, Indigenous groups, universities and academia and industry associations and organizations, including research institutions, may apply.
Eligible projects must focus on:
- Innovation – to support research and development of new innovations that contribute to sustainability of the fish and seafood sector, and to create partnerships and networks that aim to promote and encourage innovations in the sector;
- Infrastructure – to adopt or adapt new technologies, processes, or equipment to improve the effectiveness and sustainability of the fish and seafood sector;
- Science Partnerships – fisheries and aquaculture industry based partnerships with academia and institutions to enhance knowledge and understanding of the impacts of changing oceanographic conditions and sustainable harvesting technology.