BC summit champions salmon sector
FISHERIES scientists and chefs gathered in the western Canadian coastal city of Campbell River last month to discuss the latest advancements in aquaculture.
The British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association’s summit, Seafood West, focused on the value of independent science, partnerships, realising potential, and telling the story of salmon farming in the region.
As well as scientists, delegates heard from the federal government working on Canada’s agri-food and aquaculture’s strategy, and the BC Salmon Farmers Association’s new executive director, former provincial government deputy minister John Paul Fraser.
Shawn Hall, of the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA), said: ‘Salmon farming is important to BC, supporting almost 7,000 jobs while providing about three-quarters of the salmon harvested in the province each year on just 0.05 per cent of our coast.’
The salmon farming sector in British Columbia has long been targeted by anti-fish farming campaigners, mostly lobbying on behalf of wild fishing interests.
The biggest producer in the area, Marine Harvest, had to resort to a court injunction recently to protect its sites and the welfare of its fish, after an invasion by protesters.
The company is awaiting the outcome of talks between the BC government and First Nations representatives over the future of aquaculture tenures in the Broughton Area off Vancouver Island.
There are over 400 jobs dependent on Marine Harvest farms in the area, said Jeremy Dunn, director of community relations and public affairs at Marine Harvest Canada.
‘We know the families that depend on those jobs are concerned but they are also hopeful that these discussions will lead to a workable solution, that will address concerns while allowing us to continue supporting good, local jobs and providing an important food source,’ he said.
Above: Campbell River