Visiting senators could provide a great boost to the salmon farming business on Vancouver Island, agree the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce and BC Salmon Farmers Association.
Members of the Senate Standing Committee for Fisheries and Oceans are visiting Tofino, Campbell River, Comox Valley and Nanaimo next week on a fact-finding tour. The committee is currently researching a study on the regulation of aquaculture, current challenges and future prospects for the industry in Canada.
“We are looking forward to the Senators touring our members operations, and having the opportunity to share our positive outlook on the sector in Canada,” said Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. “We know that strong rules about salmon farming are important to the public, and we welcome the stringent standards that a stand-alone Aquaculture Act would bring, as our members have shown their determination to meet and exceed high expectations”.
In December 2010, the federal government took over regulatory authority for the sector from the provincial government. Currently, finfish and shellfish farming in BC is regulated under the Fisheries Act – which has led to some awkward and at times, repetitive and overlapping, rules. The Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance – a national body the BCSFA is a member of – is advocating for an Aquaculture Act that could better focus regulation.
“Aquaculture is an important part of the economic fabric of Campbell River and we are glad these Senators are coming to learn more about how they can help it achieve its full potential and be an even greater part of our community,” said Colleen Evans, President and CEO of the Campbell River Chamber of Commerce. “The potential new jobs and economic opportunity this could create in a community like Campbell River is exciting.”
The Senate Committee will be hosting public hearings at the Coast Bastion Hotel in Nanaimo on Wednesday, March 26. Dunn will be a part of a panel beginning at 8:30 am.
The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and supplies to the industry. Salmon-farming on Vancouver Island provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing over $800-million to the provincial economy each year.
For more information visit www.salmonfarmers.org