Funding advances salmon farming reporting

Salmon farmers in BC are regularly collecting data from their farms

Information on BC’s salmon farmers will be available more easily to federal regulators, thanks to a funding grant from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced Oct. 3.

The $49,865 total, funded through the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program will update the BC Salmon Farmers Association’s Fish Health Database so that it can easily share information with the federal government’s record-keeping program.

“Our fish health monitoring requirements are extensive and our database is comprehensive – having the two connect will increase efficiency, ensure accuracy and guarantee the most up-to-date information,” Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BCSFA, said in a press release.

Salmon farmers in BC are regularly collecting data from their farms – both about the fish they are carefully raising and the environment where they operate.

Much of that data is reported to the DFO as part of the license requirements. Having staff be able to easily extract information and automatically submit it to DFO will reduce the repetition of reporting in both of these systems.

“Aquaculture is an important driver in Canada and offers great opportunity – we’re happy that DFO recognizes that potential with programs like this which encourages continuous improvement by all in our farming community,” said Walling.

The project is underway and is expected to be complete by the end of 2013. It is the second phase of an update program that has been underway since 2011.

The BCSFA also congratulates the other recipients of AIMAP Funding – and in particular, the projects involving BCSFA members.

Sable Fish Canada received $213,188 to develop a new transportation system for sablefish, and PR Aqua is a key partner in the Taste of B.C. project in Nanaimo, which received $450,000 for the development of a land-based steelhead farm.

The BCSFA represents salmon farm companies and those who supply services and supplies to the industry.

Salmon-farming provides for 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing $800-million to the provincial economy each year.