In 1982, the PEI Trout Farmers Association was formed, and assisted in the sharing of information, experience, and production knowledge. With the combination of hard work, innovation, and modern facilities, PEI has a small but valuable and important finfish aquaculture industry.
Finfish culture on PEI occurs in pond cages and land-based tank systems. The estuaries that surround the Island are shallow and not conducive to cage culture due to seasonal temperature extremes.
The Island finfish aquaculture operations are predominantly located in the eastern part of the province in communities of:
- Fortune Bay
The majority of PEI finfish businesses are hatchery operations, but the facility in Fortune Bay is a development-stage aquaculture biotechnology research centre.
The production cycle begins when eggs are collected from the females in the fall of the year. Gentle pressure on the abdomen will cause them to release eggs in a process called stripping. In some cases, air may be injected into the abdomen to help release the eggs.
Fertilization occurs in the same way – pressure on the abdomens of males causes milt to be released. Typically, fertilized eggs are placed into incubation trays with flowing oxygenated water. Incubation times depend on the species of the fish and the rearing temperature.