(Green Bay, NL, 28 August 2014) Two provincial mussel farming operations will develop and implement new fish management software to enhance operations with help from the Provincial Government. The Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, announced $30,180 through the Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program today to help Sunrise Fish Farms Inc. in Green Bay and its sister company Connaigre Fish Farms Inc. in the Coast of Bays pursue the project.

Geographical Information System (GIS) software will be adapted for storing, analyzing, and displaying geographically referenced information about mussels in development (i.e. data identified according to location). This is the first time this software has ever been used by provincial mussel growers. Using GIS software will allow the companies to provide valuable production information to processors and other clients who need accurate estimates of when product will be market ready and in what volumes. The software will also promote traceability, as it will provide the consumer with the opportunity to know exactly where their mussels came from. This helps the companies maintain important organic certifications.

In making the announcement Minister Hutchings said the Provincial Government  funded the project in part because it “has the potential to show all provincial mussel farmers how software can improve traceability and inventory tracking aspects of their operations.”

Owner the two sister farms, John Halfyard voiced his appreciation for the surpport and said that it is to his advantage to make his connections with other businesses as efficient as possible. “It is necessary to pursue improved technology in order to continue advancing our farms… and [I] look forward to implementing software that other operators might pursue in the future.”

This management software will prove particularly beneficial for both companies given the large scale of their operations. At present, the companies manage production in more than 380 hectares of water currently licensed in Green Bay, and more than 450 hectares of water licensed in the Coast of Bays. In addition, the Sunrise Fish Farms Inc. operation is currently one of the best mussel seed collection sites in the province – it supplies seed for both its own operations, and provides seed to other provincial growers. Combined, the two companies are able to produce between 5 million and 8 million pounds of mussels annually.

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Media contacts:
Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 699-0470
jasoncard@gov.nl.ca