BC sum­mit cham­pi­ons salmon sec­tor

Fish Farmer - - World News -

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

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