Startup’s invention could revolutionize shellfish farming

Liza Mayer
January 02, 2018
By
 University of Prince Edward Island students Dylan MacIssac, left, Brett McDermott, and Jordan Sampson have developed a revolutionary way to flip oyster cages
University of Prince Edward Island students Dylan MacIssac, left, Brett McDermott, and Jordan Sampson have developed a revolutionary way to flip oyster cages The Chronicle Herald
A tool that could make one labour-intensive task in shellfish farming a thing of the past has been invented by three engineering students in Prince Edward Island, Canada.

The invention flips oyster cages mechanically, which shellfish farmers currently do manually. The floating shellfish cages need to be flipped often to expose parasites like barnacles, algae and mussels to sunlight and kill them.

“Currently the cages are all flipped manually, usually by two or three guys and (the cages) weigh about 200 or 300 pounds,” one of the students, Dylan MacIssac, told The Chronicle Herald. They also work right up until the ice forms. They’re basically doing 200-pound dead lifts for 10 to 12 hours a day.”

The students have since formed a company, called Island AquaTech, to further develop their invention. To date, the young company has raised $55,000 in non-equity funding with $20,000 from Springboard Atlantic and $25,000 from Innovation P.E.I.’s Ignition Fund. The co-founders plan to use the funds to help produce their prototype, says the report.



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