Salmon farmers welcome report on closed containment aquaculture

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Increasing knowledge and improving opportunity for aquaculture development are good recommendations that BC’s salmon farmers are glad to see in a new federal report released today.

“These are strong recommendations that will help to move this discussion forward,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. “BC’s farmers certainly support focused research, developing capacity for First Nations and the implementation of the most effective regulations possible.”

The federal Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans tabled their report on Closed Containment Salmon Aquaculture today in the House of Commons. A copy of the report can be found here.

Six recommendations are included in the report, suggesting a range of action from a formal review of the socio-economic impacts of a possible transition to closed containment technologies to the development of a national Aquaculture Act. The BC Salmon Farmers Association supports all six of the recommendations.

“Our farmers are already raising healthy fish in a sustainable way, but we recognize there are always opportunities to improve. Research work and investment that will identify those opportunities is welcomed,” said Walling.

The committee has been looking into the topic of closed containment aquaculture since October 2011 and has heard from many different groups about their perspectives on the technology. Witnesses included representatives from industry, environmental groups, First Nations, local governments and academic institutions.

“This report does a good job of covering the opportunities presented by land-based closed containment while also identifying the challenges that remain. The recommendations really speak to learning more about those challenges and to increasing research on opportunities for aquaculture in general,” said Walling.

The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and supplies to the industry. Salmon-farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.

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