B.C. Salmon Farmer’s hoped to improve public understanding during Aquaculture Awareness Week this past week.
“Our farmers are proud of the contribution we make to coastal communities and it’s important to them that people understand what we do and how important it is that we do it well,” said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA).
In July, Campbell River council approved a proclamation for Aquaculture Awareness Week which ran from Sept. 19 to 23, following a request by the BCSFA.
The proclamation recognizes the important role that aquaculture – particularly salmon farming – plays in Campbell River, and the BCSFA’s goal of better educating the public about their members’ operations and opportunities.
The BCSFA engages in many public events to share information about the industry: including four food shows a year, Oceans Day, the PNE, presentations to community organizations, public farm tours and more.
On Sept. 22 the BCSFA hosted its Annual General Meeting – drawing colleagues from across Canada to talk about the latest projects and innovations of the industry, both globally and nationally.
Gold sponsor for this year’s event was feed company Skretting North America, and bronze sponsors included Creative Salmon, Grieg Seafood, EWOS Canada and Northen Ropes.
A trivia contest about BC’s salmon farming industry ran in both local papers, and was posted to the BCSFA website Sept. 21.
There was also awards of recognition given to some Island residents who have done a lot to learn about and support this important business.
“We take very seriously the need to inform the public about salmon farming in BC,” said Walling.
“Having a week where we highlight this as a priority for us and the community is a good motivation to keep focusing on education about salmon farming.”
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.