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Routley says joint investment will make fisheries more sustainable and boost local jobs

Project will result in the production of cheaper, higher-quality food for bivalves
Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley. (Photo submitted)

Doug Routley says aquaculture operations will be made more sustainable and environmentally-friendly thanks to a joint grant from the provincial and federal governments.

“Shellfish farms create good jobs for people in our communities and help feed B.C. and the world,” said the NDP MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “Ocean acidification is creating challenges for shellfish, and we’re proud to be partnering with Seed Science to address this and help ensure food security into the future.”

Seed Science Ltd., based in Nanaimo, will receive $475,493 to investigate a more energy-efficient method to produce higher quality algae as food for cultured bivalves. This project will result in the production of cheaper, higher-quality food for bivalves, and enable juvenile bivalve to be kept on land longer, until they are big and healthy enough to better cope with the effects of ocean acidification when being introduced into the sea.

The funding is part of $7.9 million to support research and restoration efforts that track and improve salmon returns and invest in alternative aquaculture operations, making them more efficient and reducing their impact on the ocean environment.

As a cost-shared program between the federal and B.C. governments, applications are assessed jointly by Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Province of British Columbia against a variety of criteria and must receive joint approval to proceed. These latest investments will benefit B.C.’s fish and seafood sector by ensuring it can continue to offer stable employment to thousands of Canadians.

Funding is open to Indigenous communities, industry associations, environmental non-governmental organizations, commercial enterprises and academic institutions.