Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation to Harvest Oysters in Pomquet Harbour

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

March 21, 2023 · Afton Station, Nova Scotia | Mi’kma’ki · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation has a deeply rooted connection to the nearby water and its resources. With a name that means “by the bay,” the Mi’kmaw of Paqtnkek have fished Pomquet Harbour as a source of food for generations, living in harmony with the local environment.

In recent years, Paqtnkek has conducted extensive research on oyster farming in the harbour. Working with industry partners and drawing on its own longstanding relationship with the sea, the community has demonstrated that the area can support a successful oyster operation. The Government of Canada is investing to support Paqtnkek as it builds on its research and constructs a full-scale oyster farm in Pomquet Harbour.

Investment supports materials, equipment and set-up to launch operations

Today, Mike Kelloway, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and Member of Parliament for Cape Breton-Canso, announced a non-repayable contribution of $498,118 to support Paqtnkek Mi’kmaw Nation as it builds its oyster farm infrastructure and prepares for commercialization.

The contribution includes support from both the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA and the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard.

The investment will help Paqtnkek take next steps to develop its oyster operation with the addition of cages, bags and other equipment needed to expand and bring products to market. The contribution also supports the addition of a floating dock which will make the area safer for workers to access the harbour.

The oyster farm will provide employment opportunities for community members to gain industry experience and training. This project will enable Paqtnkek to maintain five full-time positions and create an additional five, with more jobs on the horizon.

This news release is available in Mi’kmaw. Please contact Lauren Sinclair, in the Contacts section below, for a Mi’kmaw language copy.

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