OREANDA-NEWS. August 22, 2016. AquaPrime Mussel Ranch Limited is upgrading its farm managing equipment in Ship Harbour, Nova Scotia, thanks to support from the Government of Canada. An \\$85,450 repayable contribution through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Business Development Program (BDP) will help AquaPrime acquire and install equipment to move the business forward.

Since 2002, the population of tunicates, sometimes referred to as “sea squirts,” has risen dramatically and affected the production of mussels and other shellfish in Maritime waters. Tunicates are a sea species that cling to shellfish lines and cause mussel drop-off in addition to competing for important nutrients. ACOA’s funding will assist AquaPrime with the purchase and integration of technology to remove tunicates from mussel production sites. This will ensure a consistently superior product is being produced and harvested for market.

Additionally, the funding will support AquaPrime as the company begins oyster trials with the hopes of diversifying the company’s product line. Oyster seed, supplies, and other materials will be acquired to contribute to this expansion process.

AquaPrime has a history of successful production and distribution of locally produced mussels, both locally and internationally. This project builds on the federal and provincial commitment to drive economic growth in Atlantic Canada, as announced in July 2016 as part of the Atlantic Growth Strategy.


“In order to grow a strong and sustainable economy in Atlantic Canada, we must focus on encouraging small- and medium-sized businesses to innovate, pursue the commercialization of home-based ideas, and spur value-added opportunities. Through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, we are focusing our efforts and resources to stimulate the region’s economy and build on Atlantic Canada’s competitive advantages.”

-       The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Farmed mussels in Atlantic Canada are one of the most important farmed shellfish in Canada in terms of value. The Government of Canada believes it’s important to assist rural-based, renewable resource-focused companies such as AquaPrime to grow and stay at the forefront of technological advances in their industries. We’re very pleased to be supporting a company that has been thriving right here in rural Nova Scotia for 26 years.”

-       Sean Fraser, Member of Parliament for Central Nova

“AquaPrime Mussel Ranch prides itself on distributing fresh, high-quality seafood with excellent service to our customers. In order to keep farming mussels we need to learn how to manage invasive species such as tunicates. We plan to put this investment to work by improving our production and expanding our product line.”

-       Darlene Meade, Co-Owner, AquaPrime Mussel Ranch Ltd.