VANCOUVER, June 15, 2018 /CNW/ - "Surprised and dismayed that we are excluded," said Christina Burridge, Executive Director of the BC Seafood Alliance and Chris Sporer of the Seafood Producers Association of BC following Premier Horgan's announcement of the Wild Salmon Advisory Committee.
"Our two organizations represent the people who catch wild fish and the people who process it. They are the people who provide food to Canadians and the world and jobs and income up and down the Coast," said Burridge. "If the Premier is serious about protecting wild salmon and the jobs that depend on them, then we need to be involved." Adds Sporer, "Seafood processing is the responsibility of the province, managing fisheries the responsibility of DFO, so we are shocked that our members—the people who provide jobs—have no voice on the Committee."
Wild fisheries in BC contribute more in sales value, wages and benefits, employment and GDP than either aquaculture or tidal recreational fisheries, explains Burridge. "Our members are hundreds of licence holders and vessel owners in communities all along the Coast who have invested heavily in sustainability, including Marine Stewardship Council certification for sockeye, pink and chum salmon. It's wrong that we are not involved."
"Despite our disappointment," said Sporer, "We will work together to bring our perspective the advisory council because we too want to see strong runs, good jobs and plenty of salmon for all Canadians."
The BC Seafood Alliance is an umbrella organization representing licence holders and vessel owners in most major fisheries in BC. The Seafood Producers Association of BC represents the major processors of salmon, herring, groundfish and many specialty products. The members of the two organizations account for about 90% of the value of wild harvested seafood from Canada's West Coast.
SOURCE BC Seafood Alliance