Federal funding for Fanny Bay Oysters
Fanny Bay Oysters is among four Vancouver Island companies to receive federal funding for innovative aquaculture projects, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Keith Ashfield announced Monday.
The company, located in Union Bay, received $63,000 to adopt technology that will crush large volumes of oyster waste shells in an efficient and cost-effective manner. The technology will help reduce the overall volume of waste, producing particles of different sizes that can be utilized by a variety of potential markets.
Shell-crushing machines will be evaluated and tested to assist in the company's decision on the final equipment purchase.
"The funding means a lot to our company and the industry as it provides us with the seed money to look at ways and means to adopt technology for crushing shell, and provide jobs and increase value to our shellfish by marketing empty shell to markets," Fanny Bay Oysters general manager Brian Yip said Monday.
The government is contributing a total exceeding $925,000 for the four projects. The other beneficiaries are the 'Namgis First Nation at Alert Bay, Pfizer Animal Health in Saanichton and Maplestar Seafood in Nanoose Bay. Funding is provided through the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program.
"Our government is committed to enhancing the global competitiveness, economic prospects and environmental performance of Canada's aquaculture industry," Ashfield said. "The industry is developing new technologies that will make our country a world leader in aquaculture, and create jobs and opportunities here at home."
Nationally, aquaculture production has increased four-fold in the past 20 years. About 70 per cent of Canadian aquaculture products are sold to foreign markets.
The B.C aquaculture industry provides an estimated 6,000 jobs and more than $224 million in wages, Ashfield said.