Funding for Canadian aquaculture awarded

Canada's new government dedicates $981,082 to R&D in the fisheries and aquaculture industry
January 16, 2007

Funding for Canadian aquaculture awarded 
The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Labour and Minister of Canada Economic Development, announced today the award of a total of $981,082 in non-repayable funding for four research and development projects in the fisheries and aquaculture industry. Shared among four organizations, these funds will help create more than 20 jobs and generate some $3 million in overall investments in the Gaspésie and Îles-de-la-Madeleine region.

"The fisheries industry is undergoing a radical transformation. In spite of the many challenges, aquaculture, like new fishery development, represents one of the avenues to the future. That is why the development of this sector is one of the new Government of Canada's priorities for diversifying and supporting Quebec coastal communities suffering from the reduction in fishing activities," stated Minister Blackburn.

The Société de développement de l'industrie maricole Inc., will receive $169,350 to retain the services of a mechanical engineer specialized in shellfish culture techniques, equipment and processes. With an already well-established track record, this expert will continue to guide enterprises in the sector through the various stages of projects aimed at better integrating new technologies into their operations and enhancing their productivity.

In addition, the Centre de transfert et de sélection des salmonidés Inc. (CTSS) will benefit from a total of $264,232 in funding over four years toward the establishment of a Quebec-based centre for research and development on genetic selection in freshwater fish. With overall investments totalling more than $1.8 million, this project will generate some 20 high-level positions for the conducting of research and transfer of knowledge to enterprises.

The Université du Québec à Rimouski will also receive a contribution of $99,000 over four years to conduct a research program on the development of clam culture.

The Cégep de la Gaspésie et des Îles will receive $448,500 in funding to set up a team of specialists charged with developing, adjusting and transforming fishing activities to help bring the industry to the forefront of technology.

"It is important to note that the projects announced today rank among the top priorities of the fisheries and aquaculture industry and seek to further the development of this hub of expertise in the region. Canada's new government is proud to support local efforts to take the future of this industry in hand," concluded Mr. Blackburn.