Canadian suppliers form new aquaculture lobby group
By ANA staffNews Regulations B.C. salmon farming Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association (CASA) Discovery Islands indigenous communities
The Canadian Aquaculture Suppliers Association is a new non-profit organization with a mission to encourage growth in Canada’s aquaculture sector.
Ben James, project manager at Merinov applied research centre, is the new president of the non-profit. In the association’s first public statement, James makes a public appeal for the Canadian government to reassess its decision not to renew the 79 salmon farm licenses in the Discovery Islands, which are set to expire on June 30.
“Those who supply our nation’s aquaculture sector directly employ thousands of Canadians, including in communities where jobs are scarce and economic opportunity is limited,” said James. “Aquaculture represents a great opportunity for Canada on both the Atlantic and Pacific coasts and for businesses who wish to become part of this sustainable growth industry.”
More than 20,000 Canadians are estimated to be employed in aquaculture, including in some 250 Indigenous communities, and approximately $5.2 billion in annual economic activity is attributed to the industry.
“I’ve been involved in B.C.’s salmon industry for over 40 years and have witnessed the benefits that aquaculture brings to our people and traditional territories,” said Richard Harry, executive director of the Aboriginal Aquaculture Association, Chief of the Homalco First Nation and owner of a company that provides net cleaning services to a salmon farm.
“Aquaculture provides Indigenous Canadians with economic opportunities and well-paying jobs, drastically reducing unemployment in many small, coastal communities. Without aquaculture, and specifically farmed salmon, I know many people who will have difficulties in finding work.”
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