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In December 2018, the Government of Canada announced a new approach to aquaculture that is focused on ensuring Canada's aquaculture industry is economically successful and environmentally sustainable.

At this announcement, Canada's Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, indicated that advancements in environmental technologies could play a significant role in the evolution of the industry going forward.

Today, Minister Wilkinson, in partnership with the Province of British Columbia and Sustainable Development Technologies Canada (SDTC) announced that a Study on the State of Salmon Aquaculture Technology has commenced.

 Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Jonathan Wilkinson commented, "British Columbians and all Canadians want us to ensure the environmental sustainability of aquaculture operations while concurrently taking full advantage of the economic opportunity that is available. This technology study will identify the newest global developments in aquaculture technologies - which can potentially enable improved environmental and economic performance. Our government is firmly committed to making aquaculture both economically successful and environmentally sustainable."

The purpose of the study is to provide viable technology options for salmon farming in British Columbia, with a particular focus on technologies that reduce interactions between aquaculture and the environment, and any potential impacts on wild salmon. Areas of study will include land-based and ocean-based closed-containment, as well as offshore aquaculture production systems.

 B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Lana Popham commented, "Sustainable aquaculture operations support food security and jobs in coastal communities and finding the right technology to do that will help the sector and employment opportunities in it grow. This study is part of the B.C. government's ongoing commitment to protect wild salmon, and develop sustainable aquaculture operations that have the support of industry, indigenous and local governments on the coast, and British Columbians all over the province. We've had success working together, and we're committed to working for more."

The Study is being conducted by Gardner-Pinfold Consulting Inc. which will work in close collaboration with an appointed Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee, which will provide overall guidance for the work, includes representatives from the B.C. First Nations Fisheries Council, Tides Canada, the B.C. Salmon Farmers Association, SDTC, the Province of BC and DFO.

The commencement of this study fulfills part of the commitment to a new federal approach announced by Minister Wilkinson in December. It also addresses a key recommendation of the BC Minister of Agriculture's Advisory Council on Finfish Aquaculture which recommended a study to examine the feasibility of using new technologies for expanding sustainable and environmentally responsible salmon farming production.

Results from the study announced today are expected to be released to the public during the summer of 2019.

Visit the Fisheries and Oceans Canada website, HERE.

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