Community voices heard in new farmed salmon campaign
An initiative designed to give local communities a powerful say in the sustainable development of the farmed salmon industry has been launched by the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA).
As part of the program, the association conducted a series of dialogues this past winter in partnership with the Headwaters Strategy Group, where community members voiced their support, their concerns and vision for the industry’s future. Those sentiments are captured in the newly launched website, www.sharing salmon.com.
“We realized early on that any success in developing greater literacy and awareness comes from the values in communities. What holds communities together has the prospect of creating common ground. We found a way to determine what those values are,” said Stewart Muir of Headwaters.
Through community engagement, Muir and colleague Vanessa Scott discovered that the people’s top three values were ecological sustainability and ocean stewardship; Science and academic research; and way of life continuity for future generations. The team also found that people recognize that the salmon aquaculture industry offers opportunities for advancing the cause of wild salmon. “We discovered that as we asked people if they will be part of our salmon protectors program they were more than willing to,” but “this is not what the public is hearing,” Muir said.
Everyone now has the opportunity to add their voice to the conversation and share their stories via the Sharing Salmon website and other social media channels. “We’re on Facebook, Twitter, we’re responding to the questions, building it brick by brick based on the values of the community. It will take more time, but we’re succeeding,”says Muir.