VANCOUVER – Today the Fraser Basin Council published a report which confirms significant job creation potential of land-based salmon aquaculture in British Columbia.
The Report, entitled “RAS Atlantic Salmon Industry on Vancouver Island Financial Model & Economic Impact Analysis,” concludes that 4,000 jobs would be created during the construction phase of RAS facilities and an additional 2685 full time, long-term jobs would be created through the operation and fish processing from land-based aquaculture facilities located on Vancouver Island.
“Innovative aquaculture solutions offer a way to protect the health of our wild salmon and the marine environment and to build a viable and sustainable aquaculture industry in British Columbia” said Joanna Kerr, Tides Canada President and CEO.
“Over the last decade, Tides Canada has been working in close collaboration with governments, industry, environmental organizations, and First Nations to explore and advance the adoption of closed containment production systems as a means to foster protection of the environment and of wild salmon.”
Tides Canada and the Ritchie Foundation provided funding for the report which analyzed the economic impacts of a potential roll-out of land-based Atlantic salmon farming in BC using recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) technology. The Fraser Basin Council oversaw the development of the analysis by independent consultants Counterpoint Consulting. The BC Ministry of Agriculture covered the cost of the services provided BC Stats to run the analysis contained in the report.
The Fraser Basin Council assembled an Advisory Committee to support the independent economic analysis. The Advisory Committee included representatives from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO), the BC Ministry of Agriculture, Superior Fresh LLC, Golden Eagle Sablefish Inc., and Natural Food Companies.
While the Report confirms that the economic impacts of a potential RAS Atlantic salmon farming industry on Vancouver Island are significant, it notes that Vancouver Island is not the only potential location for land-based salmon aquaculture development in North America; there are many other locales with a head-start.
A crucial next step in attracting this industry will be to develop a cohesive plan to make BC competitive, and to promote the advantages of locating here.
“We look forward to both the provincial and federal governments taking the actions necessary to support RAS development and allow BC to take advantage of the growing opportunities for sustainably produced salmon” said Kerr.
Tides Canada is a leading national charity that enables community-led transformation for environmental, social, and economic justice. www.tidescanada.org
Communications Director, Tides Canada
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