BC politi­cian named as salmon boss

Fish Farmer - - World News -

THE Bri­tish Columbia Salmon Farm­ers’ As­so­ci­a­tion has ap­pointed a for­mer politi­cian as its new head, re­plac­ing Jeremy Dunn, who is now re­spon­si­ble for com­mu­nity re­la­tions and pub­lic af­fairs at Ma­rine Har­vest Canada.

John Paul Fraser joins the BCSFA as ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, ef­fec­tive im­me­di­ately. He was BC’s deputy min­is­ter over­see­ing gov­ern­ment com­mu­ni­ca­tions and pub­lic en­gage­ment un­til last year.

He said of his new job: ‘I was drawn to this role by the op­por­tu­nity to be­come an ad­vo­cate for this im­por­tant but mis­un­der­stood in­dus­try at a crit­i­cal time.

‘BC’s salmon farm­ers pro­vide nearly three quar­ters of the salmon har­vested in the province each year while sup­port­ing thou­sands of Cana­dian fam­i­lies in ru­ral coastal com­mu­ni­ties with good jobs, many of them held by young, lo­cal First Na­tions peo­ple who are deeply con­nected to the en­vi­ron­ment they work in and the com­mu­ni­ties in which they grew up. ‘In look­ing at this role, I was struck with just how deeply our province’s salmon farm­ers un­der­stand that wild salmon come first and that they play a crit­i­cal role in pro­tect­ing wild fish pop­u­la­tions. ‘They un­der­stand they must, and do, op­er­ate re­spon­si­bly by us­ing the most in­no­va­tive green tech­niques and act­ing on in­de­pen­dent science. ‘They also un­der­stand how im­por­tant it is that they are giv­ing con­sumers a lo­cal and healthy al­ter­na­tive to eat­ing wild salmon when mak­ing their meal choices.’

Fraser said his first pri­or­ity will be to gain the pub­lic’s trust: ‘While the im­por­tance of salmon farm­ing is well un­der­stood in the com­mu­ni­ties where our mem­bers op­er­ate, that is not the case in ur­ban cen­tres and there is no ques­tion we have work to do on that front.

‘I look for­ward to bring­ing for­ward the story of just how im­por­tant and pro­gres­sive this in­dus­try is.’

Above: John Paul Fraser

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