Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia cultivates new direction

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Photo credits: Merinov

Three Cape Breton sea farming businesses to take part in research and trials to develop seaweed aquaculture sector

February 12, 2019 – Petit-de-Grat, NS – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Developing and adopting new technologies to produce sustainable value-added products from ocean resources helps to grow established and emerging sectors such as aquaculture. Particularly, seaweed cultivation has the potential to add new revenue streams for aquaculture businesses and create jobs in a growing industry.

To this end, the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia is working to determine the viability of establishing a seaweed aquaculture industry in Cape Breton. Over three years, the organization will conduct on-site trials at three Cape Breton sea farms and explore market opportunities for the products they develop.

Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), announced Government of Canada support for the project today.

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit organizations to fuel business growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.

“In order to grow a strong and sustainable economy in Atlantic Canada, the federal government is focusing on encouraging small and medium-sized businesses to innovate, pursue the commercialization of research and development, and generate value-added opportunities in resource-based industries such as aquaculture. Industry associations such as the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia play a key role in helping businesses reach and exceed their potential.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA

“Innovation and value-added products help Atlantic Canada’s ocean sector businesses take advantage of emerging opportunities in the food and supplement industry, successfully compete in world markets and grow the local economy. Sustainable initiatives supporting the aquaculture industry in Nova Scotia will create jobs and regional economic prosperity now and in the future.”

– Rodger Cuzner, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton – Canso

“The Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia, on behalf of more than 130-member organizations across Nova Scotia, is very pleased to partner with ACOA on this industry-leading seaweed cultivation research initiative. We believe that the development of a viable and sustainable seaweed cultivation industry in Cape Breton will lead to a long-term, sustainable economic opportunity for rural and coastal communities throughout the Cape Breton region.”

– Tom Smith, Executive Director, Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada is providing $248,816 to the Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANS) through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP).

  • The onsite trials for this project will take place at Bounty Bay Shellfish, Louisbourg Seafoods/Cape Breton Bivalve Inc. and Premium Seafoods.

  • Established in 1977, the AANS represents the mutual interests of about 200 Nova Scotia aquaculture businesses including sea farmers, processors, hatcheries and a range of industry suppliers.

  • AANS promotes the sustainable development of the sector through outreach, sea farmer training, education and research and development.

  • The AANS developed a collaboration with Merinov, a group from Québec, for the seaweed cultivation trials. Merinov has expertise in the development of seaweed aquaculture for commercial purposes and will play an active role in the project.

  • Seaweed has applications as a food, in nutraceuticals and cosmetics, natural health supplements and agricultural fertilizers.

  • The BDP primarily assists Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who want to start a business, increase productivity or improve operations. Investments under the BDP address any gap that may arise if an application does not fit within ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program.

  • The Business Development Program continues to build on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

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