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Aquaculture misunderstood: MLA

CANADA - Nanaimo-Parksville MLA Ron Cantelon says polarization around aquaculture is often based on misunderstanding of the fish farming industry.

"I'd say there's a lot of hangover from the early days of fish farming that we still need to overcome," Cantelon said after winding down a month of public hearings on aquaculture sustainability.

The vice-chairman of the provincial Special Committee on Sustainable Aquaculture, Cantelon has been touring coastal communities to gather information on the future direction of aquaculture, now worth more than $500 million a year in B.C.

His committee has taken its share of flak in places like Port Hardy, Alert Bay, Sointula and Prince Rupert.

Many commercial fishermen see farmed Atlantic salmon as one more threat to an ever-shrinking industry. First Nations worry about fish farming waste hurting clam beds. Environmentalists say escapements and sea lice from farmed Atlantic salmon decimate wild salmon stocks.

Source: Nanaimo News Bulletin