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Beyond buzzwords: Prince Edward Island Aquaculture in Action

Chef ILona Daniel

/ 2 min read

Prince Edward Island is known for its stunning landscapes and pristine waters that conveys the Island’s singular symbiosis between the shellfish industry and the island’s unique ecosystem.

The Raspberry Point Oyster brand first started selling oysters under the Malpeque oyster name in the 1900s at the Paris world fair. At the fair, the PEI Malpeque oyster was deemed the best in the world. This name became famous and used widely throughout PEI. This led to the company to brand itself under the Raspberry Point brand along with 7 other brands from 4 different farms.

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A Legend in the Island Oyster Legacy

James Power originally joined the company with the COW’s branch and oversaw making ice cream in the 1990s During the ice cream years, James worked weekends and part-time until eventually transferred to help grow oysters. James has been a part of the company since we first started growing oysters in the early 1990’s. Today he is Raspberry Point’s General Manager and known across the country for his work in the industry over the past 30+ years and his expertise in oysters.

When James was asked about how in-person visits to the aquafarm can both enrich and provide meaningful context in programming for visiting delegates, Power asserts, “Seeing aquaculture in person is an amazing turning point to create connections that cement a relationship with the oyster and the farm it came from. To be able to see the hard work that goes into growing oysters and meeting all the people that make it possible is something that you will never forget and creates lasting bonds.”

Cultivation Promotes Aquacultural Sustainability

Oysters are filter feeders, meaning they improve water quality by removing excess nutrients and sediment from the surrounding ecosystem. By consuming phytoplankton, they help maintain a healthy balance in the aquatic environment. James says that “oyster cultivation, is one of the most sustainable methods of aquafarming. Additionally, we are creating more efforts as a company to reduce our plastic footprint, including working towards switching our power from fossil fuels to solar energy. In this way, participants get a holistic opportunity to learn about the entire process of oyster harvesting, from cultivation to harvest. Incentive winners can engage in hands-on activities like shucking oysters, which can be an educational and rewarding experience.

By emphasizing the sustainability impact of the PEI oyster industry, meeting planners and incentive winners can be attracted to the destination, knowing that their visit supports a sustainable industry and promotes the well-being of the environment and local communities.

You must be wondering, how does oyster connoisseur, James Power encourage you to try oysters? “To showcase an oyster, I always encourage you to first eat the oyster without any toppings This way you can truly taste the waters the oyster has come from and taste the unique flavor they bring. After doing this, I encourage you to try and customize your oyster any way you like!”

Regular flights are available on Air Canada, Westjet, Flair, and Porter, with Charlottetown just two hours from Toronto.
Find out more here.

Visit Meetings & Conventions PEI’s website to find out how to transform your next meeting, conference, or incentive travel program into a lasting experience.

About the Author

Chef Ilona Daniel is the founder of Tribe Fresh Events and Consulting, a purpose-driven insights consultancy accelerated by modern approaches to the hospitality industry, immersive experiences, community and culture development, and projects spanning the globe. A Culinary Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada, she is also on the Board of Directors for the Tourism Association of PEI & is the Food and Drink Editor for Harrowsmith Magazine. You’ve probably seen Chef ILona on many lifestyle and TV shows like “Untamed Gourmet,” — the episode entitled, “PEI Lobster” which she hosted was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award.