July 27, 2011
Thanks to a $211,000 in-kind donation of freshwater equipment from Marine Harvest, the Sturgeon Centre at Vancouver Island University (VIU) in Nanaimo is well on its way to meeting its mandate of supporting and fostering white sturgeon for future use in aquaculture as well as facilitating their conservation.
The donation of several surplus five, eight and ten foot round tanks last summer are used for the first feeding of sturgeon fry. “These tanks are integral to the operation of the freshwater system,” said Don Tillapaugh, Director of the International Centre for Sturgeon Studies at VIU.
There are currently three year classes of sturgeon in the tanks donated by Marine Harvest, ranging from 2008 to 2010.
“This crucial support from Marine Harvest is generous, timely and very important,” said Don.
The costs of building construction went up significantly between 2004 and completion in 2009, he explained. Money had to be reallocated from what was budgeted for tanks to cover the increase in construction costs. Although this isn’t unusual with a project of this magnitude, it left the Sturgeon Centre with a deficit of tanks that was filled by the company.
The Sturgeon Centre has five labs devoted to a variety of research initiatives that focus on the conservation and protection of this ancient species. The juvenile rearing room is currently operational with brood rearing to be up and running soon. By the end of the summer, three additional research labs will have come online as well.
Our dual purpose applied research focuses on both facilitation sturgeon conservation as well as the potential development of the species as a human food source, explained Don. A goal of the Centre is to become knowledge and innovation hub for sturgeon. Our research will produce peerreviewed publications with concrete outcomes, he added.
The Canadian Foundation for Innovation, the BC Knowledge Development Fund as well as the Island Coastal Economic Trust all financially supported the Sturgeon Centre as well.
July 25, 2011
When it came time to begin his career, leaving his home province of Ontario to work with fish in BC was a simple decision for Brad Boyce, Senior Fish Health Technician.
Brad’s grandfather, who instilled in his grandson a love of fishing, knew people in the aquaculture industry and suggested he explore what it had to offer. He took a leap of faith and with a couple of names on a piece of paper, Brad made his way west.
Starting with Stolt Sea Farm’s Projects Crew 13 years ago, Brad began his aquaculture career grading and harvesting fish and netwashing. “It was working with fish and that was enough for me,” he said.
When a position opened up in the fish health department, Brad was happy to put his Bachelor of Science from Trent University to good use. He spends a large percentage of his time on-site now, teaching staff about fish health, including sea lice education.
He remembers a particularly enjoyable workrelated moment with a big smile. “We had a ‘Tacky Brood Day’ and challenged each other to wear our most outrageous clothes. I wore a Hawaiian shirt and red long johns underneath boxers. It was a lot of fun,” said Brad.
Brad has two sisters, one older and one younger. Brad’s parents moved from Ontario to Campbell River shortly before his twins were born six years ago, two years after their older brother.
Brad and his boys, who are avid fishermen just like their dad, also enjoy camping.
By Gina Forsyth