Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

December 16, 2009 14:00 ET

Fisheries and Oceans Canada: Innovative Aquaculture Projects in B.C. Receive Federal Funding Boost

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 16, 2009) - The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, today announced that four B.C. businesses in the aquaculture industry will receive more than $271,000 in federal funding to help with innovative ideas to improve their operations, boost their productivity and improve their economic performance.

"I am proud to see that Canadian aquaculture is helping to meet the growing global demand for fresh fish and seafood," said Minister Shea. "By funding innovative projects, the Government of Canada is encouraging this increasingly competitive sector to become stronger, more innovative and more environmentally sustainable."

The federal funding is being provided through the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP). For the 2009/10 fiscal year, this is the second round of projects to receive AIMAP funding, and all funds for this fiscal year have now been allocated.

Businesses receiving these investments include:

  • Sablefish Canada Ltd. to improve environmental performance and reduce mortality in sablefish broodstock production;
  • Target Marine Hatcheries Ltd. to design and construct a water recirculation system that promotes the maturation of adult white sturgeon;
  • Limberis Seafood Processing Ltd. to import and modify equipment to fully automate Manila clam processing; and
  • Below Sea Level Oyster Co. to continue with phase two of a predator deterrent method for intertidal shellfish farms that is non-lethal and cost-effective.

Under AIMAP, the Government of Canada is investing $23.5 million over five years to support the development of a vibrant and sustainable Canadian aquaculture industry that contributes to the economies of rural, coastal and First Nations communities. Recipients are required to demonstrate how their projects meet at least one of the following objectives: sustainable production, increased diversification, green technology and/or market access. This is the second year of the five-year program.

For more information on Fisheries and Oceans Canada's aquaculture program and the AIMAP application process, visit: For information on the projects mentioned above, please view the media backgrounder on these initiatives.

Funding for Four B.C. Aquaculture Projects in 2009

Four innovation projects designed to increase diversification, enhance the production capacity, and improve environmental performance of the aquaculture industry in British Columbia have received a total of $271,125 in funding from the Government of Canada through its Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP).

Sablefish Canada Ltd., Salt Spring Island, B.C.

Raising sablefish (also known as blackcod) on B.C.'s Salt Spring Island is a business venture in diversification for the B.C. aquaculture industry. Sablefish Canada Ltd. has received $106,000 in AIMAP funding to increase juvenile sablefish production and reduce the mortality of broodstock. The project will apply innovative technologies including ultra sound, ultra-violet treatments, heat exchange, and more, to improve environmental performance and the production of juvenile sablefish. The goal is to optimize the reliability, capacity and output of Sablefish Canada's hatchery by reducing stress on broodstock and increasing egg quality and quantity.

Target Marine Hatcheries Ltd., Sechelt, B.C.

Using $100,000 of AIMAP funding, Target Marine Hatcheries Ltd. will adopt innovative technologies to further the development of raising white sturgeon and diversify the freshwater aquaculture industry in B.C. Target Marine Hatcheries is partnering with Vancouver Island University, Community Futures Development Corporation of the Sunshine Coast, and the Freshwater Fisheries Society of B.C. This AIMAP project will seek to design and construct a retro-fit water recirculation system for two existing outdoor tanks at their land-based hatchery to conserve energy and water in order to promote maturation in adult white sturgeon. This will be a pilot project and is anticipated to be applied in the retro-fit of multiple tank groups that will accommodate future generations of sturgeon.

Limberis Seafood Processing Ltd., Ladysmith, B.C.

Limberis Seafood Processing Ltd. has received $55,125 to import and modify an Italian-made Manila clam processing machine. The machine is specifically designed to process the uniquely oblong-shaped Manila clams, which will minimize the potential breakage of the clams. It also has the capacity to process up to 5,000 pounds per hour, including washing, grading, weighing and packaging the clams. This technology is not currently available in Canada, and its introduction to the country is expected to improve the B.C. shellfish industry's competitiveness by increasing productivity and efficiency, while also reducing production costs.

Below Sea Level Oyster Co., Cortes Island, B.C.

Intertidal shellfish farms have found that predation by red rock crab at some sites can have significant effects on shellfish productivity. To date, varying success has been achieved in deterring red rock crab from feeding on shellfish grown in intertidal shellfish farms. The first phase of Below Sea Level Oyster Co.'s project was to test the use of four styles of U-shaped barrier systems to manage predator red rock crab. The second phase of the project, which received $10,000 in AIMAP funding, will be to test an improved structural design of the barrier liner, optimize the liner, and improve the visual aesthetics of the barrier system. The barrier system is a non-lethal, cost-effective management strategy for dealing with oyster predators. Finding a sustainable and innovative solution to predator management is a regional priority for the shellfish aquaculture industry.

Contact Information

  • Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
    Michelle Imbeau
    (604) 666-2872
    Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Pacific Region
    Lara Sloan
    (604) 666-0903