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Aquaculture gets strong support

CANADA - Sustainable aquaculture and an end to the moratorium on finfish leases received a near-unanimous endorsement from regional directors.

“Aquaculture is something we’re ideally located for,” Port Hardy Director Hank Bood told the region’s Mar. 20 economic development committee. “This is an industry waiting to happen, and the only problem is the jam up in the Legislature.

“Tourism is good, but this would be a lot bigger, if the fin-fish moratorium is lifted,” Bood continued. “The regional district should send a strong letter to the MLAs and the Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture. We are in favour of aquaculture and the lifting of the moratorium.”

Port McNeill Mayor Gerry Furney strongly endorsed the motion.

“God help Port Hardy and Port McNeill if we didn’t have aquaculture,” he said. “I don’t think the wild fish has been hurt; I don’t think it can be proven scientifically.

“We should be promoting a message of welcome to people, and I think it has to start locally,” Furney continued. “We should also let our MLA and the other MLAs know the moratorium should end.”

Regional Manager of Economic Development Marilyn MacArthur spoke for the motion. “Some people criticize me for being in support of aquaculture, but I’m actually in favour of jobs,” she said. “Given the census results, if we don’t do something there will be nothing.”

The only director who did not vote for the motion was regional chair Brenda Swanson, who said she only votes on motions when a tie-breaker is needed, but then she added that most of her constituents do oppose lifting the finfish moratorium.

Source: North Island Gazette

the Fish Site Editor

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