BC sal­mon soars nearly 40pc in value

Fish Farmer - - News World -

AN in­de­pen­dent eco­nomic anal­y­sis of the sal­mon aquacul- ture in­dus­try in Bri­tish Columbia shows an in­crease of 37 per cent over the past three years in its value to the prov­ince, re­sult­ing in the cre­ation of more than 1,600 jobs.

Over­all, farm­ing and pro­cess­ing 92,800 tonnes of sal­mon in 2016 gen­er­ated over $1.5 bil­lion to­wards the BC econ­omy. To­tal pro­duc­tion has grown eight per cent since 2002.

The to­tal out­put in­creased 37 per cent in value, from $1,144 mil­lion to $1,561.9 mil­lion, and the to­tal em­ploy­ment gen­er­ated by the in­dus­try in­creased 33 per cent from 4,977 to 6,610 full-time equiv­a­lents.

Gov­ern­ment taxes gen­er­ated by the sec­tor in­creased 39 per cent, from $62 to $86.1 mil­lion.

Bri­tish Columbia Sal­mon Farm­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (BCSFA) ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Jeremy Dunn said: ‘The full value chain in the sal­mon aqua­cul­ture sec­tor has turned record high prices over much of the past three years into an un­prece­dented in­vest­ment in the sec­tor, in­clud­ing farm­ing in­fra­struc­ture, process plants, land based hatch­eries, and marine ves­sels.

‘The net re­sult is an in­crease in busi­ness per­for­mance, as well as an in­crease in en­vi­ron­men­tal and bi­o­log­i­cal per­for­mance.’

Mean­while, the Mon­terey Bay Aquar­ium Seafood Watch pro­gramme up­graded the sta­tus of BC sal­mon last month, from ‘fish to avoid’ to a ‘good al­ter­na­tive’.

The im­proved US rat­ing comes as part of a rou­tine re­view of up­dated sci­en­tific re­search on the At­lantic sal­mon be­ing raised in pens in the west­ern Cana­dian prov­ince. There were also im­prove­ments to the ef­flu­ent, habi­tat, escapes and in­tro­duced species cri­te­ria.

The last as­sess­ment by Seafood Watch in 2014 landed the fish in the pro­gramme’s low­est rank­ing, red, but it’s now in the mid­dle cat­e­gory, yel­low.

Dunn said: ‘BC’s farm­ing prac­tices have been sin­gled out by Seafood Watch as world lead­ing. This is an im­por­tant ac­knowl- edge­ment of the work that sal­mon farm­ers have done in Bri­tish Columbia to in­crease their en­vi­ron­men­tal per­for­mance and in­crease trans­parency.

’Be­fore to­day, Mon­terey Bay Seafood Watch pro­gramme was say­ing to avoid farm raised sal­mon from Bri­tish Columbia and ev­ery­where else, save a cou­ple farms, and to­day they’re say­ing they rec­om­mend farm raised sal­mon from BC.

‘There re­mains work to be done, and our mem­bers are com­mit­ted to lead­ing the world in en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices, ev­i­denced by their record in achiev­ing the stan­dards of au­dited third-party cer­ti­fi­ca­tions.’

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