Stakeholders gather for annual BCSFA summit

Everyone from shipping companies to generator suppliers and academics to community leaders braved the threat of a storm to gather last Thursday and Friday for the annual B.C. Salmon Farmers Association Annual General Meeting and Business Summit in Campbell River.

The theme this year was Achievements in Aquaculture, including emerging technology, the evolution and growing important of big data and new and developing relationships that are helping to further the industry’s sustainable growth and environmental transformation.

“Campbell River is extremely proud to be the centre of the B.C. farm-raised salmon,” said Mayor Andy Adams.

The event began Thursday morning with a marine mammal interactions workshop at the Coast Discovery Inn. Other events that morning included a showcase that featured eight new products or services.

Agrimarine Technologies introduced their new commercial scale Floating Raceway Technology. It provides the same optimization of water quality as circular containment systems but can be deployed in shallower bodies of water.

The BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences showcased their Quantitative PCR testing tool that can be used to get specific and sensitive information on micro-organisms that can affect fish health.

Poseidon Ocean Systems presented Aeration Control Manifolds. They are used to provide protection against algae blooms, low dissolved oxygen levels and other environmental challenges by controlling oxygen flow.

There were also computer software packages, a breakthrough fishmeal free salmon feed, a new and improved oxygen diffuser system and an open water monitoring system.

That afternoon the delegates either went out to tour a salmon farm, or attended the annual general meeting. That evening there was a dinner at the Shelter Point Distillery.

On Friday morning the delegates gathered at the Tidemark for the business summit.

After opening remarks from the mayor and Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick, there were information sessions about Big Data, a review of algae over this past year and future projects to deal with, community and economic development and a session on antibiotics, communication and consumer perceptions.

The keynote speaker, Avrim Lazar, Global Consultant, presented about Communicating Sustainability and Engaging with Environmentalists.

That day also marked the release of the BCSFA’s second Sustainability Progress Report.