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Malaspina shellfish program launches

CANADA - Eighteen students, representing nine First Nations communities from Rivers Inlet in the central coast to Haida Gwaii in the north, recently arrived at Malaspina University-College excited and eager to begin training for shellfish farming careers.

These students are the first wave in the development of a First Nations-led shellfish aquaculture industry on the north coast of British Columbia.

"With funding provided by the BC Ministry of Economic Development, we can go the extra mile in supporting these students to ensure their success," said Don Tillapaugh, Director of the Centre for Shellfish Research (CSR) at Malaspina.

Staff at the CSR have been working hard to provide a custom training program tailored to meet the unique needs of these students. The 53-day training program will take place at Malaspina and in Prince Rupert.

Over the past three years, pilot farms in each community have been testing the growth and survival of oysters, blue mussels, Mediterranean mussels and Japanese scallops to determine which shellfish grow best at each site. Japanese scallops have grown exceptionally well at all pilot sites and have been selected as the species which will be the basis of their start-up farming operations.

Source: NanaimoNewsBulletin