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BC Salmon Farmers Welcome Federal Commitment

BRITISH COLUMBIA - The CAN$70 million-worth of Government funding for Canadas aquaculture industry has been welcomed wholeheartedly by industry stake holder.

The support, which will be distributed over a 5 year term, was unveiled Finance Minister Flaherty at the weekend and will be used to fund the continued development of sustainable production.

Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA)said it was excellent news for BC's aquaculture and Canada's thriving industry.

“The strong leadership and support from Minister Hearn and Fisheries and Oceans staff have made it possible to move forward with planning, investment and research,” she added.

This level of financial commitment is expected to strengthen regulatory certainty through greater coordination between federal and provincial-territorial regulatory authorities. It will also improve federal regulatory science by establishing performance-based environmental standards for aquaculture operations. The support of research and innovation is also part of the deal and will to enhance Canada’s competitiveness and productivity. Industry organisation such as BCSFA say this is vitally important as aquaculture production is expanding globally and efficiency, combined with sustainability, will be integral in securing market share.

Salmon farming is British Columbia largest agricultural export, generating $450 million in sales in 2006. The industry's contribution to the economies of coastal communities is significant. a recent report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers estimated economic output at over CAN$800 million with a total employment of over 6,000.

Ellen Hardy

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