Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield has announced funding for four innovative Vancouver Island aquaculture projects, including a project to develop closed-containment technology. In total, the four projects will receive over CAD 925,000 (USD 899,340) in federal government funding.
“Our government is committed to enhancing the global competitiveness, economic prospects and environmental performance of Canada’s aquaculture industry. The industry is developing new technologies that will make our country a world leader in aquaculture and create jobs and opportunities here at home,” said Minister Ashfield. “We are proud that our government can play a role in supporting this innovation.”
The federal funding, provided through the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP), will support two finfish and two shellfish aquaculture projects in B.C. These projects are designed to help the industry expand its market potential through new technologies.
The companies receiving project funding are: the ‘Namgis First Nation (near Port McNeill), Pfizer Animal Health (Saanichton), Fanny Bay Oysters (Union Bay) and Maplestar Seafood (Nanoose Bay).
AIMAP is intended to support innovation and sustainability in the aquaculture industry across Canada.
Nationally, aquaculture production has increased four-fold in the past 20 years. Approximately 70 per cent of all Canadian aquaculture products are sold to foreign markets, and the world increasingly depends on aquaculture as an essential source of nutrition. In fact, globally, half of all fish and seafood consumed is now farmed.
“The B.C aquaculture industry currently provides an estimated 6,000 jobs and over CAD 224 million (USD 217.8 million) in wages for British Columbians,” said Minister Ashfield. “As Canada’s aquaculture industry continues to expand, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting responsible growth that provides economic benefits to Canadians.”