Government of Canada and Province of New Brunswick Support Lobster Research and Oyster Aquaculture

Shediac, New Brunswick — 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 today, the Honourable Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental and Northern Affairs and Internal Trade, and Member of Parliament for Beauséjour, on behalf of the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister for Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and the Province of New Brunswick (NB) announced funding support to 21 projects through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund.

The funding—a total contribution of more than $8.1 million —will see the implementation of innovative and sustainable growing methods, new automation technologies, and world-class applied research in the fishing and aquaculture industry.

Project Highlights

Homarus Inc., a subsidiary organization of the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU) receives $2 million in funding from the Atlantic Fisheries Fund for a new marine laboratory as part of the new Homarus Centre. The Homarus Centre is a multi-million project that will provide lobster fishery industry awareness, education and research capabilities in a new modern facility. An additional $2 million funding in this project was announced today from the Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund (ICF).

The Regional Development Corporation (RDC) receives funding for the delivery of the Oyster Farm Development Program (OFDP) to New Brunswick commercial oyster producers.  It supports eligible commercial oyster aquaculturists to adopt innovative and sustainable methods and equipment to grow oysters.

The Acadian Hatchery Inc. is establishing a new oyster hatchery operation in Cocagne, NB and receives support to purchase and implement new equipment and technologies. The hatchery will help by predictably providing spats for the oyster aquaculture sector.

L’Étang du Ruisseau Bar Limitée is specializing in the culture of the American oyster. It receives support to develop and produce the first Canadian strain of selectively bred Eastern Oyster for the Atlantic aquaculture industry.

Seventeen other businesses will also adopt innovative technology to count and grade oysters automatically, and store oysters. The automatic vision-based oyster grading systems will increase the oyster grading capacity while improving efficiency and productivity of operators and the wet storage facilities will help provide a consistent supply of oysters to market.

Funding these organizations will result in a positive impact on local and regional economies in New Brunswick. 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