“These activists are demanding we move ocean farms on land…but science has proven time and again that this will never be a sustainable solution.“
By Samantha Bacchus McLeod
The newly unveiled Youth Council of the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) is all about greening forward for sustainable aquaculture to feed Canada and the world. This strong group of young individuals, who are already making waves in aquaculture, will act as advisors for concepts brought forth by salmon farmers and as seafood ambassadors for BC. Over the next few months, SeaWestNews in a special series of Q and A presentations, will explore how members of BCSFA’s Youth Council play a role in British Columbia’s Blue Revolution. This segment on BC’s Blue Revolution features Justin Fortier, Grieg Seafood BC, Sea Site Technician, and member of the BCSFA Youth Council.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
“My family comes from Saskatchewan, BC and Quebec, but I was born in Comox, British Columbia. I was lucky enough to be raised on the island. Vancouver Island is the best place for a young kid. Currently, I live in the North Island, Campbell River, BC.”
Where do you work?
“I work for Grieg’s at the Gore Island Site. I have always had a passion for anything ocean related so when I found Aquaculture, I grew a huge passion for it in a very short period of time. Now I’m on a dedicated path to build and maintain a life career in the industry.”
How are you doing that?
“Along with on the job training at work, I am also furthering my studies in Aquaculture at Excel Career College.”
What is your favourite body of water?
“Anyone who knows me would never have to guess, I love the ocean! I enjoy sports fishing, boating, swimming, and I also love hunting, hiking…really just about anything to do with the ocean and nature. Vancouver island is the best place to be!”
What do you think are the most crucial issues facing salmon farming in BC?
“Some of the issues we are facing within the aquaculture industry is incorrect information being spread by protesters. Because of that misinformation, many people are opposed to ocean-based farms. These activists are demanding we move ocean farms on land…but science has proven time and again that this will never be a sustainable solution.”
What do you like about being a member of the BCSFA Youth Council?
“Well, my goal is to hopefully help impact the aquaculture industry by continuing to provide the world with healthy, delicious salmon. Being a member of the BCSFA Youth Council giving me the ability to have a voice in the industry!”
How do you see the future of fish, both farmed and wild, in BC?
“I see that within time, there will have to be more restrictions put in place to protect wild stocks and overfishing. I also see that aquaculture will continue to advance, as it has in the last decade. We will continue to provide the world with more salmon, which will help lower the need for wild stock.”
Your favourite seafood dish and why do you like it?
“I love all seafood, my favourite go-to dish of all is a seafood platter of deep fired halibut, salmon, prawns and crab.”