An Atlantic salmon is seen jumping inside its tank at a fish farm B.C. in this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

An Atlantic salmon is seen jumping inside its tank at a fish farm B.C. in this Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018 file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Grants to help First Nations organizations identify aquaculture opportunities and impacts

A joint grant from the provincial and federal governments will help local First Nations explore aquaculture possibilities and impacts.

“Fisheries of all kinds have always been vital to people in the North Island,” said North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. “They support our economies and feed our families. We’re investing in this work to support local jobs and enhance food security for the region, all while protecting the oceans we love.”

The We Wai Kai First Nation will receive $144,200 to explore the possible environmental impacts and determine potential business benefits of sablefish aquaculture. The Gwabalis Fisheries Society have received $107,167 to undertake an area-wide survey to identify, assess, and report on sustainable aquaculture operations in their member Nations’ respective traditional territories.

This funding is part of $7.9 million being announced today to support research and restoration efforts that track and improve salmon returns and invest in alternative aquaculture operations, making them more efficient and reducing their impact on the ocean environment.

As a cost-shared program between the federal and BC governments, applications are assessed jointly by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia against a variety of criteria and must receive joint approval to proceed. These latest investments will benefit BC’s fish and seafood sector by ensuring it can continue to offer stable employment to thousands of Canadians.

Funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises, and academic institutions.

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