“I remain somewhat baffled by how much hate the poor little sea louse has been able to garner. People seem to view them as some horrible force of destruction created by industry, but they are not…”
By: Samantha McLeod
Aquaculture is responsible for thousands of high-paid, skilled, and rewarding jobs across British Columbia. As the demand for sustainable and affordable farmed salmon grows worldwide, there is a fit for virtually any career path in this industry. In the second of our Q&A series with young professionals in BC’s salmon farming sector, we caught up with another shining example of the young professionals in the sector.
Jordan Joseph Frizzley, Sea Site Technician at Mowi Canada West is originally from Campbell River, on Vancouver Island. Although he has always loved marine life and being out on the water, he took an extended detour into landlocked Alberta. Thankfully, he’s back living in Campbell River again, working, sea kayaking and home-brewing his own craft beer.
What are some opportunities you can access as a young professional in BC’s salmon farming sector in British Columbia?
There is a lot of innovation going on in aquaculture and that creates a very exciting environment for young people. The industry needs new ideas and creative thinking so there is a lot of potential for young, motivated individuals to leave their mark and make a positive impact.
Going forward into the future aquaculture is going to be a big part of how humans interact with the oceans and produce food. Human populations have risen dramatically, and wild caught fisheries do not have the ability to meet the food demands of such large populations. Young people have a chance now to be a part of this blue revolution and lead the sustainable development of sea food.
What are a couple of challenges you face as a young salmon farmer in British Columbia?
Certainly, there is a lot of political uncertainty that can add stress to our work. We all want to build a life for ourselves, and we all want to have a future with a career built around it.
In a larger sense there is the uncertainty that climate change will create for aquaculture, the oceans are changing now in our lifetime, and we will need to find ways of adapting to those changing conditions.
Do you have any insights to share about the sustainable practices and/or environmental considerations that are important in salmon farming?
I don’t think a lot of people outside of the industry realize just how much work and science goes into our breeding and Broodstock programs. The industry has been carefully performing genetic selections for the healthiest and most diseases resistant families, all the while maintaining good genetic diversity, and avoiding inbreeding. With careful attention and breeding the sustainability and resiliency of our salmon stock is improving with every generation.
In your experience, what are some misconceptions or misunderstandings people may have about salmon farming, and how do you educate the public about it?
I remain somewhat baffled by how much hate the poor little sea louse has been able to garner. People seem to view them as some horrible force of destruction created by industry, but they are not, they are just another animal that is a natural part of BC’s Ocean ecosystem. Pacific salmon and the sea louse have been living together for millennia. People seem to jump on this idea that sea lice are the cause of the wild salmon decline without ever actually knowing what a sea louse is.
I wish more people, would read the available scientific literature and learn how little risk sea lice actually pose to wild salmon. Wild salmon are highly resistant to sea lice and the lice themselves serve as an important part of the food web.
Here is a fun question…where is your favourite place to grab sushi?
I love my sushi and sashimi! Sushi Mong in Campbell River is a great place to get nice, fresh salmon sashimi.