Sustainability demonstrated by high environmental compliance
A Canadian government report released last week, gives high grades to British Columbia’s salmon farmers and demonstrates that the industry continues to achieve high levels of compliance with regulatory standards designed to protect the marine environment and wild salmon.
The 2007 “Report for Regulatory Compliance on British Columbia’s Marine Finfish Aquaculture Facilities” gives British Columbia’s salmon farms an average compliance rating of 99 per cent as scored against 93 environmental protection and fish health requirements.
British Columbia is the most stringently regulated salmon farming region in the world. The compliance report is based on inspections conducted at 82 operating sites. High grades were achieved in all areas.
In 2006, farmed salmon was BC’s largest agricultural export. According to a 2007 report by PriceWaterhouseCoopers, salmon farming’s economic output was over $800 million and total employment is more than 8000. Production increased in 2006 to 82,000 metric tonnes, up 16 per cent over 70,600 tonnes produced in 2005. Most of the province’s salmon farms are located in coastal communities, creating jobs and economic development in areas of high unemployment.