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Stronger Rules Could Create More Opportunities Salmon Farming

Lucy Towers
28 March 2014, at 12:00am

CANADA - Better rules would mean better opportunity for British Columbias salmon farmers, a senate committee was told by representatives of the sector.

While BC’s salmon farming community currently contributes C$800-million to the provincial economy, it could grow to C$1.4 billion by 2020, resulting in 8,000 total jobs. By 2035, it could reach C$3.5 billion and 20,000 jobs. All the sector needs is legislation that better speaks to the work of the province’s ocean farmers.

“An Aquaculture Act for Canada … will define aquaculture in federal law and provide a unifying, long-term framework that recognizes aquaculture’s growing importance to Canada’s economy,” said Executive Director Jeremy Dunn during public hearings held on the topic.

The Standing Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans visited Tofino, Campbell River, Baynes Sound and Nanaimo as part of a fact-finding mission this week. They are undertaking a study on the regulation of aquaculture in Canada, and the opportunities and challenges for the sector.

From representatives of BC’s salmon farming community, they heard that regulation tailored specifically to aquaculture would both meet the public’s interest in strong management of the sector while also enabling the sector to grow.

“Modernising the legislative, regulatory and policy framework will allow Canada, and British Columbia, to realize its full potential … In BC we have shown that we can grow nutritious fish that are healthy and co-exist in the ecosystem,” said Mr Dunn during his presentation.