aquaculture

Vet nets 2019 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award

“At a time when so many people and groups seem to be against aquaculture, it’s great to look out and see so many people who believe in fish farming and are dedicated to its sustainability.”
Dr. Leighanne Hawkins of Cooke Aquaculture (on receiving Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award )

Dr. Leighanne Hawkins, one of the most clinically experienced veterinarians in salmon aquaculture, was honored with the 2019 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award.

The award, in recognition of her long-time contributions to the advancement of fish health, was presented yesterday as aquaculture professionals gathered for the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association’s (ACFFA) Annual Science, Research and Technology Forum and Charity Casino Gala this week in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.

 The event raised $2,000.00 for the Charlotte County Cancer Society.

“I started loving fish farming because of my dad and my uncle, and I still love fish farming,” said Dr. Hawkins.

“Thank you to Cooke Aquaculture for believing in the East coast of Canada when no one else believed in the East coast. At a time when so many people and groups seem to be against aquaculture, it’s great to look out and see so many people who believe in fish farming and are dedicated to its sustainability.”

Dr. Hawkins became interested in veterinary medicine at an early age, and the aquatic focus came naturally as her father and uncle were early salmon farmers in New Brunswick.

She graduated with her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College, UPEI, in 1994. Since that time, she has dedicated her skills exclusively to fish veterinary medicine in Atlantic Canada working initially as the Provincial Veterinarian in Newfoundland and then moving into that same position in New Brunswick in 1998.  She then moved to the private sector to work with finfish aquaculture and worked for Maritime Veterinary Services as a practicing veterinarian, before starting in 2005 as the Fish Health Manager for Cooke Aquaculture Inc.

“Dr Leighanne Hawkins is one of the most clinically experienced veterinarians in salmon aquaculture. She skillfully manages through the complex unknowns often encountered when dealing with fish health challenges experienced in aquaculture, and she does it with confidence and undiminished passion,” said Tom Taylor, Chair of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA).

“She is an indomitable force in this industry. Her colleagues respect her abilities, her farm clients value her advice, and her industry admires her ongoing significant contributions.”

“Her 25-year career in Atlantic Canada has witnessed many novel fish health events for the region,” said Taylor.

“Her calm and steady hand and application of the art of veterinary medicine has been invaluable to the Atlantic Canadian industry. She continues to apply this effective approach in her guidance of the industry through other health issues.”

Approximately 120 salmon farmers, industry stakeholders, scientists, researchers, provincial and federal government representatives, and community members attended ACFFA’s 2019 Forum at the Huntsman Fundy Discovery Centre in St. Andrews.

ACFFA established the Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award in 2017. The award honours an industry professional who has dedicated more than 25 years or more in the areas of science, environment and technology in support of the sustainable development of salmon aquaculture in Atlantic Canada.

ACFFA is an industry-funded association working on behalf of Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming industry in addition to a wide range of service and supply companies and organizations. Salmon farming employs over 3500 people in our region and has a value of over $400 million to provincial economies.