New fish health product showing positive signs for aquaculture industry

From: Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Charlottetown biotechnology company focuses on disease prevention and control

March 15, 2019 – Charlottetown, PE – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

A healthy fishing industry in Atlantic Canada is crucial for a strong economy. Stakeholders within the aquaculture industry are working to find ways to ensure a safe and sustainable supply of seafood that will uphold the region’s reputation as a premier aquaculture provider. Charlottetown-based RPS Biologiques Inc. is playing an important role as it works in partnership with regional aquaculture companies to develop a non-toxic and cost effective product to combat undesirable health conditions in fish.

RPS Biologiques’ product, called Supratect™, is made from plant materials and is used to ensure the health of fish and fish eggs in aquaculture operations. RPS has shown that Supratect™ works as well as other products on the market while being better for the environment. The next step for the company is to scale up production, bring the product to a larger market and encourage more aquaculture operations to use it.

The Government of Canada is providing a repayable contribution of $52,500 to the company for this project. The Province of Prince Edward Island, through the department of Economic Development and Tourism, is providing a contribution of $33,838.

Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), along with the Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island, today announced funding for RPS Biologiques Inc.

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.

“Aquaculture is big business in Atlantic Canada and its continued growth, safety and sustainability are key to the strength of our economy. I am pleased to announce this Government of Canada support to help RPS Biologiques advance its product to market where it has the potential to help aquaculture producers here at home, and around the world.”

  • Sean Casey, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Charlottetown

“The bioscience sector on Prince Edward Island continues to prove that even though we are a small province, we can produce innovation and research that provide benefits around the world. The work of RPS Biologiques will benefit the aquaculture industry by increasing the health and safety of the environment in which fish are produced, and improving the likelihood those fish will make it to maturity.”

  • The Honourable Wade MacLauchlan, Premier of Prince Edward Island

“RPS Biologiques is committed to addressing critical problems with disease and environmental impacts in the aquaculture industry. Fish food production has grown at a rapid rate and the associated challenges of large-scale production presented RPS Biologiques an opportunity to assist producers to grow safe, healthy fish while reducing environment impacts and minimizing losses to disease. With the support of ACOA and the Province of Prince Edward Island, RPS Biologiques Inc. will be able to continue to move forward with the commercialization of SupratectTM for the aquaculture industry. This product will allow for a healthier and safer fish production environment for aquaculture companies not only in PEI, but around the world.”

  • Dr. Subrata Chowdhury, President and Chief Scientist, RPS Biologiques Inc.

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada invested $52,500 in this company through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP). The province of Prince Edward Island contributed $33,838 towards the project.

  • 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.

  • Aquatic animals/species are highly sensitive and prone to various epidemic diseases caused by pathogens (viruses, fungi, bacteria, and parasites) that exist in all natural bodies of water.

  • Saprolegniosis, “water mold” is a common pathogen that causes fungal infections in fish – it is an ongoing problem in the global aquaculture industry. It can lead to the development of potentially fatal lesions in infected fish and, if left untreated, it can cause mortality rates of up to 50% in a given fish population.

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