The Abegweit First Nation operates the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery in partnership with multiple areas or Departments of the Province of PEI. The hatchery currently focuses on rearing brook trout and Atlantic Salmon for subsequent release into Island rivers and streams.
The organization also works closely with local schools to deliver an educational program called “Fish Friends.” The program engages younger generations of the social, ecological, and economic importance of the Island fishery, diverse ecosystems, and healthy watersheds.
The hatchery employs 2 Abegweit community members, with technical assistance provided by PEI Fish and Wildlife and the MCPEI’s AAROM program. Further, post-secondary institutions, such as Holland College and the University of Prince Edward Island, have also been engaged in related training opportunities.
For more information, please contact Scott Taylor, Hatchery Manager at [email protected] or call (902)676-2321.
Our Vision is to enhance the river systems on Prince Edward Island through community partnerships, education, innovation, and cultural awareness to maintain environmental sustainability for future generations.
The Mission of the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery is to replenish PEI river systems with indigenous and at-risk aquatic species through partnership, innovation, education, and cultural integrity.
Biodiversity, or the existence of a variety of species, is critical to maintaining habitats and ecosystems. Each habitat has a unique combination of living things, creating a precious balance. If any one species is eliminated, another one increases to take its place. The more species that are eliminated, the greater the imbalance, and the quicker the habitat begins to decay. The more complex an ecosystem, the more stable the habitat; therefore, biodiversity is essential for habitat survival.
Canada lists “sustaining viable populations of species” as one of its key objectives in its report to the international Convention on Biological Diversity. Currently, operations at the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery feed directly into this objective.
Fish stocking, dating back hundreds of years, is the practice of raising fish in a hatchery and releasing them into a river, lake, or the ocean to supplement existing populations, or to create a population where none exists. This process is used to restore native species to waters where they have been overfished or can no longer breed. Stocking may be for commercial, recreational, or tribal fishing, but may also be to restore or increase a population of threatened or endangered fish in a body of water. Fish stocking may be undertaken by governmental agencies in public waters or by entrepreneurs in private waters.
According to the province’s annual Angling Summary, restoring quality fish habitat is the first step towards improving the sport fishery in P.E.I. However, fish stocking is also an important tool in fisheries management.
The Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery is proud to supply the province with thousands of brook trout and Atlantic salmon to replenish stocks in Island waterways.
FISH FRIEND PROGRAM
Learning about wild Atlantic salmon and other fish species in our rivers and seas is fundamental to caring for them. Fish Friends, a component of the Atlantic Salmon Federation’s Education Program, is made available to students in more than 700 schools across the region. The Federation believes it is essential that tomorrow’s adults to care enough never to poach, pollute waters or destroy habitat.
Focusing on environmental sustainability, the Fish Friends program covers habitat, biodiversity, life cycles, change over time, adaptation to change, freshwater ecology, sustainability and stewardship. Based largely on science, this popular program also integrates social studies, language arts, math and art. Observation, measurement, communications, prediction, numeracy, and interpretation of data skills are also reflected in the program.
As part of its strong commitment to support conservation and enhancement of fish stocks on the Island, the Abegweit Biodiversity Enhancement Hatchery supplies the eggs for this popular program.