July 29, 2009
Comox Valley Living – Rotary Moments: Last month 48 Strathcona Sunrise Rotarians, and their spouses, took BC’s largest salmon farmer, Marine Harvest Canada (MHC), up on their offer to show off their fish farms and hatcheries. The Rotarians donated $40 each to go on the tour. Both the Rotarians and MHC are supporting widows in Kenya who are starting out as fish farmers to gain a source of much needed food and income. Over $1300.00 was raised, enough money to start 20 families in the fish farming business, where they grow Tilapia in ponds. The tour of the salmon farm was fascinating. Participants had a wonderful and informative tour of a salmon farm which dispelled many of the myths commonly heard about this important industry. As the beautiful healthy fish jumped in the water, the Rotarians were treated to wine and locally smoked farm salmon. It was then back to Campbell River for a salmon dinner that was absolutely delicious. Strathcona Sunrise Rotary wishes to thank MHC not only for the fabulous and informative tours, but also for helping to raise money for the needy families in Kakamega, Kenya.
July 23, 2009
It seems that we read stories of concern about salmon farming almost daily in the press, but it is not often that Marine Harvest, the largest salmon farming company in BC, gets to tell its own story.
With this bi-annual newsletter we want to show you our company: how we provide a healthy and nutritious food product, how we are an important contributor to the economy and the communities of North Vancouver Island, how we are a strong team of 550 motivated and competent employees, how we are partners with several First Nation bands in whose territories we operate and, most importantly, how we do our utmost to minimize any harmful effects on the natural environment.
Much has been said about the potential impact of salmon farming on its’ natural surroundings and I would like to use this opportunity to share with you our actions and ambitions in this field. At Marine Harvest, we are committed to conducting our operations so that we do not negatively affect wild salmon or the ocean environment. Today we are focusing our efforts on the following areas:
Sea lice management: We strive to ensure that sea lice levels on farmed fish are very low with the objective that sea lice on migrating wild salmon smolts do not exceed natural background levels. We will do this through a combination of coordinated treatments and/ or grouped fallowing (emptying) of farms. Although we do believe that sea lice are not the most significant threat to wild salmon, we will continue to improve our strategic management of their impacts. Looking forward we support the development of an annual monitoring program, in collaboration with government and ENGOs, to evaluate the success of these measures.
Reduced fish products in feed: Salmon farming is one of the most efficient ways to produce meat. Other farm animals consume 2.5 to 8 kg of feed to produce 1 kg of meat in contrast to salmon that require only 1.2 kg. Making that 1.2 kg of feed currently takes about 1.7 kg of whole fish (capelin, anchovy, etc.). We are experimenting with fish feed that would reduce this ratio to 1 kg of fish in for 1 kg or salmon produced. Preliminary results are very promising and it is our ultimate aim to attain this ratio for all of our salmon production in Canada.
Closed containment technology: While Marine Harvest does not see this as a technically and economically feasible solution for salmon farming in BC at this point in time, we are interested to develop a disciplined approach to technology development. This process should lead to pilot project testing of selected technology by Marine Harvest and others, provided government is willing to fund part of the costs.
Eliminate use of copper on nets: To reduce the buildup of algae and mussels on our nets and to make sure that water can freely flow through them, we coat our nets with a copper solution. We are now employing novel net washing techniques and it is our aim to reduce the use of copper by 50% over the next two years. Ultimately we will strive to eliminate the use of copper altogether.
Animal welfare: We are in the process of reducing the maximum density in our fish cages to less than 15 kg (about 2 fish) per m3 of space. We believe this will make our fish even happier and healthier than they are now. We expect lower densities to result in better natural resistance to disease and faster growth, meaning less time in the sea and with less exposure to sea lice.
We are excited about these projects! We will keep you updated on these and other relevant subjects related to our business through this newsletter. We hope you find it of interest!
By Vincent Erenst, Managing Director
To read the MHC July 2009 Report to our Communites, please visit http://www.marineharvestcanada.com/newsletters.php
July 17, 2009
On July 1st, Marine Harvest Canada, along with Campbell River Fire Fighters, Eagles Ladies Auxiliary and Fountain Tire served Marine Harvest farm-raised salmon to raise funds for a good cause. In just over an hour, 340 portions of delicious salmon and potato salad were dished out at $7.00 a plate. The total raised was over $2500, thanks to some very generous ‘tips’.
This is the 5th annual salmon Canada Day BBQ fundraiser held at Campbell River’s Robert Ostler park.
“It’s a real team effort”, said Ian Roberts, MHC’s communications manager. “Marine Harvest donated over 210 pounds of fresh salmon fillets, the Campbell River Fire Fighters cooked on BBQs donated by Fountain Tire, the Eagles Club served and the people of Campbell River were very eager to help eat it and support the Burn Fund.”
The Burn Fund provides life saving, life supporting, and life enriching services the people of British Columbia. Over 3,700 professional fire fighters in BC and the Yukon dedicate their skills to support burn survivors and increase the public’s knowledge about fire and burn safety. To donate, visit www.burnfund.org
By Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist July 17, 2009
The virus that has crippled Chile’s farmed salmon industry is extremely unlikely to appear at B.C.’s fish farms, says Clare Backman, environmental relations director for Marine Harvest Canada, the largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in B.C.
Infectious salmon anemia is a highly contagious disease that can be fatal to Atlantic salmon and coho, but cannot be transmitted to humans.
The outbreak in Chile has resulted in the closure of farms and processing plants — including those owned by Marine Harvest — restructuring of the industry and strict new government regulations.
It was surprising when the virus appeared in Chile, as it was formerly believed to be confined to the Atlantic Ocean. There is speculation it could be a new strain or may have reached Chile through the transfer of eggs or fry, Backman said.
“We don’t bring in eggs or smolts in B.C. We produce all our own fish from our own brood and have done that for many generations,” he said.
The only exception is a minor importation of eggs from Iceland, which is the only country with certified disease-free eggs, Backman said.
“The numbers of those are very small and they are mainly for experimental purposes,” he said.
Backman added that if ISA was accidentally brought to B.C. — probably by someone outside the salmon farming industry — the virus would be identified as soon as it reached the farms. “One of the things which came out of the 1990s and the Salmon Aquaculture Review was development of a Fish Health Management Plan,” he said. He added that all companies are required to adhere to it.
“That document is very unique and important as a way to avoid the sort of things that happened in Chile. The frequency of testing for viruses and bacteria is very high.”
It is believed if Chile had had a similar plan to B.C., they would not now be facing the problems, which will keep farms out of production for at least another two years, Backman said.
However, B.C.’s rigorous rules also mean that Marine Harvest is not in a position to pick up market share now available because of Chile’s problems. Approvals for a new site takes several years, Backman said.
“Our company doesn’t have any application on the books right now,” he said.
“We are trying to take our 43 sites and maximize their efficiency. Some of them were developed years ago and there’s a chance to increase production on existing sites.”
The company would like to grow by five or six per cent a year to meet the market opportunity, Backman said.
© Copyright (c) The Victoria Times Colonist
Shared via AddThis
July 13, 2009
Real (pronounced “Ray-al”) Lachance feels fortunate to be “working on 10 years” at United Hatchery as a Technician, a job he adores because it allows him to combine his enjoyment of the outdoors and his love of animals. “They (the hatchery) needed people to pick eggs,” Real said recently, adding that this temporary job worked into a full-time, permanent position.
Born in Quebec City and now living on-site at the hatchery south of Courtenay on Vancouver Island, Real has been on the West Coast for 31 years, including six years spent in Abbotsford, working on a mink farm. Married to Fedelin, who calls herself Fe, the couple has four kids.
Visual arts has always been a love of Real’s, going back to his childhood when he watched his dad work in the family’s darkroom at home. Photography is still very much a part of his life. Armed with his Canon Rebel, Real is currently “getting into bird photography now”. A big part of this is the outdoor bird studio he’s designing. Complete with lush ivy as background and a bird feeder, Real is able to get close up shots as the “birds come to pose for me for free instead of having to chase them through the bush!” Another way Real cultivates his artistic side is through the creation of postcards that he sells on his website, www.reallachancepostcards.com/. Specializing in cruise ships, trains and other forms of transportation, “they’re selling like crazy,” Real commented, particularly in Europe.
By Gina Forsyth
July 8, 2009
Shared via AddThis
Published: July 07, 2009 3:00 PM
The Marine Harvest Stray Katz walked away victorious from the annual Positive Aquaculture Awareness Slo-Pitch Tournament at Willow Point Park on the weekend.
Marine Harvest, lead by Port Hardy captain Dave Adams, managed a perfect record of six wins and no losses in the two-day competition.
The A division finalcame down to the wire, with Marine Harvest edging out Creative Salmon from Tofino by just two runs in a 10-8 victory.
Stray Katz’ Brayden Demoe of Port Hardy and Susanne Grundison of Campbell River were named male and female tournament MVPs respectively. The Marine Stray Katz also play ball in Port Hardy’s Slo-Pitch League.
The year’s tournament was attended by 16 teams from aquaculture producers and suppliers located from Tofino to Port Hardy.
The B division trophy went to the Mainstream Maniacs who beat Campbell River’s Okee Dokies 15-11. MVP awards were presented to Mainstream’s Tanner Paul (male) and Jeanine Paul (female).
The 13th annual tournament was hosted by the Positive Aquaculture Awareness Society. The society promotes the aquaculture industry through public education and community involvement.
July 6, 2009
Thanks to Derek Amos for the fantastic photos.