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Our coastal communities need more aquaculture

CANADA - Because of excess capacity at its Port Hardy farmed salmon processing plant, Marine Harvest recently closed down the Englewood Plant near Port McNeill and moved production to the Port Hardy. It made economic sense for the company, but caused serious disruption for the 120 displaced employees who call Port McNeill home.

The Englewood Plant is a model plant and has a very special place in our community. It hired many women who were the main providers for their families and who, in turn, were a major part of our social structure. It provided jobs in our forest-based community where there had previously been few job opportunities for women.

he sad fact is that there would have been no need to shut this plant if the New Democratic Party government had not placed a moratorium on the issuance of licences for new aquaculture sites along the coast.

There have been many applications over the past few years, but few approvals given. To my knowledge only four new salmon aquaculture licences have been issued since 2002.

Had more licences been issued, there would have been enough products to keep the Port Hardy plant and the Englewood plant working to capacity.