Institute for Coastal Research hosts symposium on BC's Seafood Economy

November 9, 2011 - 1:57am

The prospect of wolf eels as a commercially viable food source and the role of shellfish in signalling the health of coastal environments are among the topics up for discussion at a symposium on Opportunities in BC’s Seafood Economy.

“We have a tremendous wealth of seafood resources but in many ways it is undervalued,” says Michele Patterson, Program Lead for VIU’s Aquatic Foods Initiative and organizer of the symposium.

“My job is to develop strategies to increase the value of BC’s seafood resources economically, socially and ecologically.”

The day-long symposium, hosted by Vancouver Island University’s Institute for Coastal Research, brings together specialists from a variety of fields but focuses on a basic question: “Can we have both healthy, sustainable marine and coastal ecosystems and a thriving, innovative seafood sector that together benefit BC’s coastal communities?”

The event will be held Tuesday, Nov. 22, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm in the Nanaimo campus library boardroom and is open to the public.

Patterson sees advantages in looking for solutions with a broader approach than a single-sector focus. In addition to teaching and research, VIU has a role in encouraging dialogue and promoting innovation as stakeholders work together to ensure a sustainable future for our seafood communities in BC.

“It’s important that the public is engaged in this,” says Patterson.

Morning presentations and discussion:

• Dr. Craig Stephen, President, Centre for Coastal Health

Food Security and Health –Whose Food and Whose Health

• Dr. Luis Afonso, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences

Improving the competitiveness of BC’s Aquatic-based Industries by Advancing FishHealth Management

• Dr. Shannon Balfry, University of British Columbia

Aquaculture Diversification – Wolf Eels on the menu

• Dr. Stephen Cross, University of Victoria

Sustainable Ecological Aquaculture (SEAfood) Systems – Using Nature’s Design for Aquatic Food Production

• Dr. Helen Gurney-Smith, Vancouver Island University

Flexing Your Mussels: Shellfish as Powerful Ecosystem Indicators

Afternoon presentations and discussion:

• Bruce Young, Managing Principal, Earnscliffe Strategy Group, Vancouver

Culture and Society–If Only Fish Could Vote

• Michael Grant, Director, Centre for Food in Canada. Conference Board of Canada

Fish or Foul? Will Markets or Regulation Determine the Future of Food?

• Dr. Mark Zacharias, Assistant Deputy Minister, BC Ministry of Environment

Environment and Sustainability: Marine eco-labelling and ecocertification –

Assessing market development opportunities for Canadian aquaculture products and results for nature

[Event poster]()

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