HPEI has broodstock located in 2 locations, Woods Harbor Nova Scotia, and Victoria, PEI. This assures the HPEI hatchery a supply of eggs should there be a loss in the broodstock in one location. The broodstock must be 10 years old before they produce eggs and milt after which the broodstock continue to produce eggs each year until they are up to 70 years old.
The Nova Scotia broodstock have been harvested from the wild fishery in the Atlantic off South Western Nova Scotia beginning in 1998 while the PEI broodstock began to be harvested from the wild fishery in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence beginning in 2016. Plans are now in place to harvest more broodstock in 2018 using, as in the past, commercial fishermen to harvest the broodstock during the open commercial fishing season.
After being harvested, the broodstock are held live in tanks on the fishing boat until they can be transferred Iive In tanks to the holding facilities in Victoria or Woods Harbor. The broodstock are fed herring purchased from the commercial fishery while being held.
Broodstock can produce eggs and milt after they reach maturity or 10 years old each year for many years. After the eggs and milt are released from the adult fish, a process assisted by staff, the eggs are fertilized with milt before being transferred to the hatchery.