COMOX VALLEY – New Democrat MLA for Courtenay-Comox Ronna-Rae Leonard says aquaculture operations will be made more sustainable and environmentally-friendly thanks to a joint grant from the provincial and federal governments.
“People here in the Comox Valley and around the world love to eat B.C. shellfish,” said MLA Leonard. “We’re working with the BCSGA to make the industry more sustainable, efficient, and safer for everyone involved. I want to thank them for their work, and all our local shellfish growers for everything they do to bring good food to our tables.”
The B.C. Shellfish Growers Association, based in the Comox Valley, will receive $3.5 million to establish the Shellfish Aquaculture Strategic Renewal Program, aiming to encourage its industry to adopt innovative new shellfish processing and handling, environmental stewardship, and traceability technologies.
This funding is part of $7.9 million being announced today 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 BC 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 BC’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.