A new company offering “next generation high-protein feed ingredients” has been formed via a joint venture between ethanol producer Green Plains of Nebraska and feed manufacturer Optimal Fish Food of South Dakota.
OLYMPIA, Wash. - The Washington Fish Growers Association (WFGA) has announced that longtime executive director Dan Swecker has retired from his position, effective Dec. 31, 2018.

Swecker, a salmon farming pioneer and former state senator from Rochester, Wash., will continue to advise the organization as director emeritus as it transitions to a new aquaculture advocacy organization – The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA). The NWAA will represent the aquaculture industry from the Pacific Northwest region, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia.

Swecker, a pioneer in salmon farming in Washington, represented the 20th Legislative District as State Senator from 1995-2012. He served in the U.S. Army as a helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War, where he was awarded a Purple Heart, Bronze Star, and 25 air medals. He led WFGA for nearly three decades.

“Dan Swecker’s contribution to WFGA over the years has been immeasurable,” said WFGA board president John Dentler. “As a respected former senator with a reputation for finding solutions, Dan has led this organization through some very significant challenges. We are grateful to ‘Senator Dan’ for all that he has done to foster support for aquaculture at the state level. As we work to build a broader and stronger coalition, Dan will continue to help guide and advise us to achieve future success.”

Dentler said the WFGA Board has tapped aquaculture advocate and seafood industry veteran, Jeanne McKnight, to serve as interim executive director of the NWAA. McKnight, a former director of communications for the Global Aquaculture Alliance, spent 20 years advocating for the Chilean farmed salmon industry in the U.S., market and handled trade communications for an aquaculture organization in Vietnam. She started her new role on Jan. 1, 2019 and will work closely with Swecker during the transition.

McKnight said she welcomes the challenge of improving the public’s perception of aquaculture products as well as the industry itself. “Globally, aquaculture is an economic driver,” McKnight said. “There’s huge opportunity for our region to embrace this important industry and enjoy sustainably produced, locally grown fish and seafood alongside our wonderful wild seafood.” She added, “The acceptance of aquaculture is happening in other US regions as well as around the world. It can and should happen here.”

Measures proposed to boost employment in the aquaculture industry in Newfoundland and Labrador by requiring employers to set hiring quotas are counterproductive and unfair, according to the Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry Association (NAIA).
The government of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, has come out solidly behind Grieg NL Seafarms Ltd’s $250-million aquaculture project in the province, with Premier Dwight Ball announcing a $30-million government investment in the project in the form of repayable loans.
In what could be described as “aquaculture 2.0,” the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador is seeing new dynamics driven by innovations, investments and support from the local government and community rarely seen in other salmon farming jurisdictions.
PORTLAND, Maine – A sister company to Nordic Aquafarms Inc., which is planning to build a world-class, land-based salmon farm in Belfast, Maine, has received certification from Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) as a sustainable and quality seafood producer.
2018 saw continued and substantial growth for the aquaculture industry in Nova Scotia. Aquaculture Association of Nova Scotia (AANS) Executive Director Tom Smith says that after several challenging years, including teething problems brought about by a new regulatory framework in 2015, the province’s aquaculture industry has grown steadily in the three years since.
Increased demand for seafood globally and the decline of the wild harvest fishery made 2018 an especially busy year for the aquaculture industry in New Brunswick.
The governments of Canada and the province of Quebec have announced the upcoming launch of the Quebec Fisheries Fund (QFF) – a five-year program that will provide $42.8 million in funding to the sector.
Fish farmers in Atlantic Canada say the Canadian Government’s decision to shut down fish farms in BC’s Broughton Archipelago is a "simplistic" answer to the question why wild salmon populations are fluctuating.

The Province of BC and the three First Nations who own the traditional territories in which the farms operate announced on Friday that 17 Atlantic salmon farms in BC’s Broughton Archipelago – a wild salmon migration route – will be shut down between 2019 and 2023.

They believe the establishment of a “farm-free migration corridor in the Broughton” will help reduce harm to wild salmon.

“We reject the assumption that removing salmon farms from coastal BC waters will save wild Pacific salmon. It’s a simplistic notion that is not based in scientific evidence and does a disservice to the identification of the complex issues facing wild salmon on the west coast. The fact is, no one really knows exactly why wild Pacific salmon populations are fluctuating,” Susan Farquharson, Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, said in a statement.

She added that the Cohen Commission has listed more than 20 activities affecting pacific salmon, including climate change (marine and fresh water), loss of habitat, predators, non-point sources of contaminants, forestry, and cumulative effects.

“Atlantic Canadian salmon farmers are leading the way in wild Atlantic salmon conservation activities, such as partnering in the Fundy Salmon Recovery Program with First Nations and all levels of government,” Farquharson said.

At the launch of the International Year of the Salmon in Vancouver in October, DFO Emeritus Scientist Dr Dick Beamish says filling in the knowledge gaps in the factors affecting wild salmon abundance is the aim of a $1.1-million research expedition in the Gulf of Alaska in 2019.

The expedition could result in new research that will make the discoveries scientists need to actively forecast salmon abundance, he said. “We still don’t know the mechanisms that allow us to accurately forecast salmon,” Beamish acknowledged.
Since its announcement to strengthen the country’s aquaculture industry, the Canadian government issued an independent panel to examine aquaculture science and how it informs decision-making.
The 2019 Aquaculture Awards are now officially open for industry individuals and companies across the globe to enter.
SeaChoice is coming out in support of the Canadian government’s new initiatives to improve the aquaculture sector and protect wild salmon populations.
The Canadian government announced a number of initiatives on Monday to improve the country’s aquaculture sector and further protect threatened wild salmon populations.
The Global Aquaculture Alliance (GAA) Film initiative’s latest film installment, A Different Light, will have its world premiere on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at 12:30 PM EST.

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