Salmon farmers talk sustainable seafood with experts Published: 01 February, 2011
A contingent of British Columbian salmon farmers is visiting the Lower Mainland to talk sustainable seafood with colleagues and experts from around the world.
The BC Salmon Farmers Association, along with its member companies, will be represented at the Seafood Choice Alliances’ Seafood Summit, opening today in Vancouver.
“Direct engagement with others who share our interest in conservation and sustainable seafood is important,” said Mary Ellen Walling, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. “There may be differences in approaches – but the bottom line is we’re all looking to provide a good product in a sustainable way.”
Salmon is a the most important element of many grocery seafood counters – and BC’s salmon farmers produce the largest agricultural export in the province. They’ve been unable to meet demand for their product for five years. According to the federal government, exports of farmed salmon are second only to east Coast lobster in value across Canada.
That’s why, along with participating in the development of aquaculture sustainability standards with the World Wildlife Federation and the Global Aquaculture Alliance, the BC Salmon Farmers Association and its members are also reaching out to existing seafood guide programs.
“These are big discussions that need to happen,” said Walling. “We know that considering the world’s increasing demand for salmon and the work our farmers have done to ensure the high standard of their operations, that we will be part of the future of food security and responsible resource management.”
While the Seafood Summit doesn’t have any workshops specifically on BC’s ocean pen salmon industry, representatives feel they will bring important and interesting information regarding environmental management, feed production, and fish health research to the sessions they attend.
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.