BC salmon soars nearly 40pc in value
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.’