The federal government announced Monday it will fund a study on the problems facing Malpeque Harbour. From left are: Martin MacDonald, P.E.I. Cultured Mussel Growers Association; Ann Worth, executive director of the PEI Aquaculture Alliance; Gary Rodgers, P.E.I. Cultured Mussel Growers Association; Gail Shea, minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada; Dale Wall, Malpeque Harbour Authority; Jerry Bidgood, general manager Prince Edward Aqua Farms; and Steven Stewart, Confederation Cove Mussels.
MALPEQUE - Malpeque Harbour is getting a life preserver from the federal government.
National Fisheries Minister Gail Shea announced on Monday that a new study on dredging requirements and operational issues in Malpeque Bay will be conducted in the near future.
"Since being reappointed as minister of Fisheries and Oceans, I have heard the concerns of many stakeholders with regards to the ongoing issues that fishermen face when using the Malpeque Harbour," said Shea.
"Today, I am proud to announce that Fisheries and Oceans Canada will lead this study in consultation with other federal departments, the fishing industry and the aquaculture sector."
Malpeque Harbour has had a problem in recent years with the narrow channel that allows ships to reach open water. The safe passageway is constantly filling in and has required significant dredging over the past few years.
Dale Wall, manager of the Harbour Authority, welcomed the news.
"Focusing on developing practical solutions to address the safety and business issues that Malpeque Harbour users face is a step forward for our harvesters.
"We look forward to working with the department on this important initiative."
According to Shea, the study will be all encompassing and will look at industry needs and practices, dredging methods and other options for current and future challenges in the area.
"The study will help us better understand the challenges that the commercial fishing and aquaculture industries are facing in their day-to-day operations and propose options to improve their working conditions," added Minister Shea.