Province supports Island aquaculture initiatives

MANITOULIN – The Ontario government has announced investments in Manitoulin’s local aquaculture industry, a move that will create four full-time jobs.

 “We’re helping local businesses create good jobs and do work that supports Manitoulin’s growing aquaculture industry,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines.

 More than $1.2 million is being invested in three Island businesses: John O Foods is receiving $1 million to develop a freshwater caged trout aquaculture system in partnership with Sheshegwaning First Nation; Meeker Management Services is receiving $156,000 to develop its StormSafe product, which protects farmed fish from ice and storms; and Caselton Aquaculture in Manitowaning is receiving $66,000 for new equipment.

 “Supporting local businesses creates opportunities, diversifies the economy and, most importantly, lets people know that Ontario is open for business and open for jobs,” said Minister Rickford.

 Michael Mantha, MPP for Algoma-Manitoulin, congratulated the three  aquaculture businesses on their funding. 

 “It’s wonderful to know that Algoma-Manitoulin is home to some of North America’s top-shelf aquaculture companies,” said Mr. Mantha. “As the world struggles to tackle a toxic brew of challenges including growing world populations, hunger and malnutrition, global warming and urban sprawl which swallows up arable farm land, aquaculture is playing increasingly important role in providing a nutritious source of needed protein.” 

 Reports indicate that aquaculture accounts for over 50 percent of the world market for fish.

 “I welcome these substantial investments supporting the aquaculture industry here in Northern Ontario,” said Mr. Mantha. “Besides being an important food source, aquaculture is a fast-growing industry that will bring good jobs and economic benefits to Manitoulin Island. As well, these businesses have been recognized for cutting-edge innovation and industry development. On many occasions, I have raised in the legislature the incredible opportunities aquaculture is bringing, not only to our region, but also to our entire province. I welcome the $1.2 million investment made by the Ontario government in the aquaculture industry and congratulate John O Foods, Meeker Management Services

  and Caselton Aquaculture.”