It was the furthest distance that young Lauren Edgar has ever ventured from her house in Sayward.
But as it turns out, travelling to Bergen, Norway was very much worth it.
Lauren had travelled to Bergen in early March because she was nominated for the “Community Ambassador” award at the 2013 IntraFish Aquaculture Awards. Fish farmers had gathered from around the world to celebrate aquaculture, network and reward ‘special’ people working in the industry.
And Lauren won. “I’m so happy to receive this award and have the honour of representing my company Marine Harvest, my family in Klemtu and Canadian aquaculture,” said Lauren after the awards.
Following in her father’s footsteps, Lauren began working for Marine Harvest Canada in 2007 at age 22. Over the years, and in addition to working hard as a salmon farm technician, she has leant her voice and image to salmon farming – a business that has helped her hometown of Klemtu move from an era of over-fishing and limited economic opportunity toward one of sustainable and diverse development.
“I feel like I’m paying it back,” says Lauren. “If my voice can help educate the public about the benefits of farm-raised salmon, I’m more than happy to do it.”
Her hometown of Klemtu, a remote coastal village in British Columbia with about 400 inhabitants, is only accessible by boat or plane.
The people of Klemtu are known as Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation peoples, and have been salmon farming since the mid-1980s. The Nation asked to partner with Marine Harvest Canada in 1998, to ensure their salmon aquaculture business would be able to compete in a very competitive global market. Since salmon farming began, unemployment in the village has been reduced from 90 per cent to about 40 per cent. Today, about 60 Kitasoo/Xai’xais members farm, process and package 10 million pounds of Atlantic salmon yearly.
To show her support of her chosen career, Lauren has appeared in numerous print ads, sustainability reports, educational videos and was featured in the BBC News produced segment titled “Working Lives”.
Marine Harvest would like to congratulate Lauren on this very deserving award.