Fisheries and Aquaculture
September 24, 2014

Supporting Innovation that Adds Value to the Fishery

Local Company Explores Economic Potential of Shell Waste with Provincial Government Support

Shell-Ex, a Twillingate-based company focused on creating value from discarded shrimp shells, will enhance its equipment with support from the Provincial Government. The Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture, announced $81,600 today through the Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program to help the company purchase and install a screw press that will remove water and protein from shrimp shells.

“Helping industry maximize the value of provincial shellfish and minimize production waste is a key objective for the Provincial Government. Our commitment of more than $80,000 will assist Shell-Ex with buying new equipment that will enhance the way they extract chitin, a naturally occurring substance in shellfish that can be used in a range of industrial applications.”
- The Honourable Keith Hutchings, Minister of Fisheries and Aquaculture

Chitin occurs in shellfish species such as crab and shrimp. With its binding and absorption qualities, it can be used in industrial applications such as waste water treatment, cosmetic production, and medical applications such as wound dressings. The Provincial Government has worked with the Marine Institute and industry players in recent years to explore the commercial value of chitin extracted from shells, with past projects proving there are commercial opportunities.

“Adding this new equipment to the Shell-Ex plant creates the potential for new economic activity in Twillingate and surrounding communities. I congratulate the owner and management of Shell-Ex for pursuing this project, and wish the company all the best as they explore the best possible method for generating value from shrimp shells.”
- The Honourable Derrick Dalley, Minister of Natural Resources and MHA for the Isles of Notre Dame

To complete the project, Shell-Ex will seek expertise from a firm in Germany that specializes in chitin extraction.

“Through this project, Shell-Ex is exploring equipment that will give us the throughput and product quality we need to achieve to support employment and economic opportunities for regional workers and the companies that would supply us. I appreciate the support of the Provincial Government, and look forward to completing this project.”
- Diane Hollett, CEO, Shell-Ex

Shell-Ex anticipates its plant in Twillingate will employ six to eight employees once it reaches full production capacity.


  • Minister Keith Hutchings announced $81,600 to help Shell-Ex, a company based in Twillingate, research and install equipment to create value from shrimp shell waste.
  • The project is expected to be complete by the New Year.
  • Budget 2014: Shared Prosperity, Fair Society, Balanced Outlook includes $4 million for the Fisheries Technology and New Opportunities Program to support projects aimed at enhancing the harvesting, processing, and marketing of provincial seafood over the next two years.

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Media contacts:

Jason Card
Director of Communications
Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture
709-729-3733, 699-0470
Diane Hollett
Deborah Chaulk
Constituency Assistant to the
Honourable Derrick Dalley
MHA for the Isles of Notre Dame

2014 09 24                                                                     12:10 p.m.