Supporting jobs, protecting the environment with new Centre for Salmon Research
CAMPBELL RIVER – Dallas Smith and Today’s BC Liberals have committed $5 million to establish a Centre for Salmon Research that will support the health of wild and farmed salmon, improve and increase BC’s seafood harvest, and ensure continued economic growth of the aquaculture industry.
“Aquaculture is central to the North Island jobs and economy, and employs more than 5,000 residents.” says BC Liberal Candidate for North Island, Dallas Smith. “We are the only party committed to the science, ensuring these family supporting jobs and $1.14 billion in economic impact continues to benefit local communities – not playing politics with the people who work in the industry.”
This is a significant initiative that will address issues that are important to producers, fisheries, regulators, First Nations and the public. This centre will research areas of public concern that impact recreational fishers, wild fisheries and the aquaculture industry to discover innovative methods to improve and increase BC seafood harvest. The wet lab – which will be part of the development – will be Western Canada’s only private sector facility of its kind and will be the hallmark of Vancouver Island research and development in the salmon sectors.
The Centre will be a broad-based salmon-centered facility and the concept has generated extensive interest and support. A steering committee will bring a variety of potential user groups, academics, public officials and local representatives to develop and help facilitate planning.
The BC Liberals’ first-ever Vancouver Island Platform also commits $500,000 to North Island College to investigate ways to improve the commercialization of closed-containment aquaculture production. Targeted funding for NIC will help support the technical workforce output of Vancouver Island University and North Island College to help sustain healthy populations.
Additionally, BC Liberal Candidate Dallas Smith has committed to improve boat launches for recreational and community use in the North Island by working with the city, Federal Department of Fisheries, local First Nations and Island Coast Economic Trust – for which the BC Liberal government recently provided $10 million in funding.