Aquaculture North America

Veterinary pioneer receives 2023 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award

October 30, 2023
By Aquaculture North America staff

Steve Backman receives the 2023 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award. (Photo: ACFFA)

Dr. Steven Backman, dubbed the “grandfather of fish health veterinary medicine in Atlantic Canada” has been given the 2023 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award. 

Backman received the award in person at the Annual Science, Research and Technology Forum (Oct. 25-26) in St. Andrews, N.B., Canada.

The event is organized by the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA). ACFFA is an industry-funded association working on behalf of Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming industry in addition to a wide range of service and supply companies and organizations.

The Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award recognizes industry professionals who have dedicated 25 years or more in the areas of science, environment, and technology in support of the sustainable development of salmon aquaculture in Atlantic Canada. 

Backman began his aquaculture career as a research and extension officer at the Ontario Veterinary College. In 1988, he returned to Atlantic Canada to head up the veterinary services office for Moore-Clark Canada, a division of BP Nutrition when salmon farming was just getting established. He’s passionate about sustainable aquaculture.

“Dr. Steven Backman’s contributions to Atlantic Canada’s aquaculture sector are unparalleled,” said David Seeley, ACFFA secretary and treasurer. “His leadership in the areas of fish health and feed innovation have been crucial to the evolution and continued sustainable growth of our sector.”

Backman holds a diploma in agriculture from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, a doctor of veterinary medicine degree and a diploma in anatomical pathology from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Ontario. He’s worked at Skretting for 35 years and his current role is product manager for North America.

“I have to thank the industry and everyone in this room. This industry is an amazing industry,” said Backman. “We do so much for Canada. We supply food and do it in the most sustainable way. If you take salmon off the plate and replace it with any other protein source, you are dramatically increasing the carbon footprint of that meal. As an industry we are innovative, we are passionate about what we do, and we are extremely conservation-minded in terms of the environment and our footprint. You deserve – as farmers and support people – recognition for that.”


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