Published On: Monday, 04 June 2018

Sea the Future at Seafood Expo Workshops

Sea the Future at Seafood Expo Workshops

AQUACULTURE - Fisheries experts will gather at the BC Seafood Expo in the Comox Valley to gain a better understanding of the local marine environment and help chart the future of the province’s billion-dollar sustainable aquaculture industry.

Research from the workshops will be utilized in collaborations with government, academic and independent research institutions, said a spokesperson for the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

The workshops, entitled Exploring Priorities for Marine Environmental Research on BC’s Coasts on June 11 and 12 will be moderated by Dr. Ronald Lewis, BC’s chief veterinary officer and director of the Animal Health Branch. (pictured)

The BC Seafood Expo is one of the largest seafood industry trade events in the Pacific Northwest attracting suppliers, buyers, distributors, producers, industry leaders and government representatives to network, meet and grow the seafood sector.

Speakers at the workshops include Zac Waddington, Department of Fisheries lead aquaculture veterinarian, Paul Adams, a forest watershed extension specialist, Isobel Pearsall, the project coordinator for the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project, Vladimir Radchenko, an internationally-known scientist and expert on salmon communities of the North Pacific Ocean and Michele Patterson, a professor at Vancouver Island University’s Geography Department, who has been involved in resource management, community economic development and conservation in British Columbia for over 25 years.

In 2015, the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) developed the Marine Environmental Research Program (MERP), committing $1.5 million in research funds between 2015 and 2020, to be utilized in collaborations with government, academic and independent research institutions.

The purpose of the program was to develop research partnerships.

Through a series of workshop consultations, research priorities were identified to assist with decisions on project funding. To date, the program has successfully funded 11 projects at value of $800,000 in research funds.

The association said it is committed to developing new partnerships and initiatives to increase the knowledge base on the environment in which fish are raised, as well as continually developing innovations to increase production efficiencies and sustainability.

- By SeaWest News