Canadian Manufacturing

Nova Scotia shellfish company looks to out-mussel invasive species with new technology

AquaPrime Mussel Ranch will use $85,450 in federal funds take on invasive sea squirts, diversify its catch

August 22, 2016  by Canadian Staff


The Nova Scotia mussel industry has faced pressure over the past decade as a result of invasive sea squirts

SHIP HARBOUR, N.S.—A Nova Scotia mussel processor is looking to claw back production capacity with the help of an $85,450 investment from the federal government.

Since 2002, AquaPrime Mussel Ranch Ltd. and other mussel harvesters along Canada’s East Coast have faced off against a rising population of tunicates, or sea squirts, which compete for food with mussels and cling to shellfish lines, causing significant industry challenges.

The Ship Harbour, N.S. company, plans to fight back by buying new equipment that will help it remove the invasive sea squirts from its mussel production sites.

“In order to keep farming mussels we need to learn how to manage invasive species such as tunicates,” Darlene Meade, one of the company’s co-owners, said. “We plan to put this investment to work by improving our production and expanding our product line.”


Operating east of Halifax for 26 years, AquaPrime also plans to use the funds to help it diversify its catch. The company will buy seed and other supplies to begin running oyster trials off Ship Harbour.