Aquaculture for all

Mapping Out BC's Salmon Farming Activities

Breeding & genetics

CANADA - A new series of maps showing all operating Atlantic salmon farms during the outmigration periods of 2007 to 2010 is being released by the Britsh Columbian Salmon Farmers Association today.

"At this time of year, we hear questions about farms operating during the spring out-migration of wild salmon," said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. "As well as explaining how we manage our farms to protect those wild smolts, we wanted to create a resource for the general public, researchers and others who are interested in farm site locations."

The series of four maps show all farms that were in operation at any point between March 1 and July 1, 2007 to 2010. It also indicates which were first-year farms, and which had second year fish during those operations. The dots marking those locations are greatly amplified from the scale proportion of an actual farm so that people can easily see where these sites are located.

BC's salmon farmers undertake significant management practices to ensure they do not harm wild salmon, with particular focus on the spring, when those fish are newly introduced to the marine environment.

Frequency of sea lice counts and fish health monitoring increases and veterinarians and farm staff ensure the three-motile lice-per-fish threshold set by government regulation is adhered too. All companies communicate with each other about their farm operations to maintain effective province-wide management strategies.

"Our companies are doing good work in ensuring that salmon farming can co-exist with wild populations. It's important that we better communicate our work, and this is part of our effort to increase information sharing," said Ms Walling, who added that these maps will be updated each year.

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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