A seasoned aquaculture industry expert is named interim CEO of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.
The BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) has announced the resignation of its Executive Director, John Paul Fraser.
Seasoned industry expert Ruth Salmon, who is currently Senior Advisor to the BCSFA, will serve as Acting Chief Executive Officer for the next six months. Salmon, was the former CEO of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) for ten years and a member of the BCSFA team since 2018.
“We are very grateful for the hard work, dedication and commitment John has given us and he will be deeply missed, but despite John’s departure, the Association is in excellent hands moving forward.” BCSFA spokeswoman Michelle Franze said in a letter to association members.
The next six months are critical for our sector, as the reissuance of the 79 licenses and warrants that will expire next June will define the future of our industry, Franze said.
“Over the next six months, our goal at the Association will be to mobilize a coordinated effort with the clear objective of supporting re-licensing decisions. Re-licensing affects not only producing companies, but many of you as as suppliers and service companies,” she said.
The BCSFA represents 70 businesses and organizations across the BC fish farming value chain, supporting approximately 6,500 full-time, year-round jobs in the province.
Consistently ranked as the 4th largest producer of farmed Atlantic salmon in the world, farmed salmon continues to be BC’s most valuable seafood export with a 12% share of total sales in the provincial export of agri-food and seafood products.
However, bowing to demands from anti-fish farming activists, the federal Liberals have planned to transition all salmon farms to open-net, despite his own government’s scientists saying marine operations have less than an impact minimum on wild stocks.
In addition to the phasing out of salmon farms in the Discovery Islands and Broughton Archipelago, many federal salmon farming licenses are due to expire next June in British Columbia.
Activists are pushing the government not to renew any of the permits.
Discovery Island’s decision will have devastating economic fallout and will see British Columbia lose nearly $390 million in annual economic output with $87 million less in wages and benefits and 1,535 fewer jobs, according to independent analysis .
British Columbia salmon farmers are awaiting a judicial review of the Discovery Islands decision.
(Image courtesy of Ruth Salmon, BCSFA Acting Executive Director)