On behalf of the newly formed BCSFA Youth Council, we are writing to congratulate you on your recent nomination as a candidate in the upcoming provincial election! It’s communities
like Campbell River, Port Hardy, Port McNeill, Comox, Courtenay, Port Alberni, Sechelt, and Tofino that our 30-member strong Youth Council live, work, and play in every day.
A little bit about us. We’re a diverse group of millennial leaders (under 35) that represent virtually every aspect of BC’s salmon farming value chain. Our group includes farm/hatchery technicians and managers, water quality technicians, engineers, transportation managers, veterinarians, communicators, procurement managers, biologists, fish processors, certification managers, environmental specialists, and divers. Together, we aim to be an inclusive body that leads, informs, and sustains a positive dialogue about ocean-based salmon farming in rural coastal Vancouver Island communities.
For many of us, coastal North Vancouver Island is our home. Fish, forests, and the ocean are our identity. We care deeply for those resources and want to protect them for generations to
come. Our focus is on the future and we’re proud to work in a sustainable sector that feeds Canadians, including our own families. We’ve witnessed a positive dialogue change regarding salmon
farming in our coastal communities, our friends respect the work we do, and we’re confidently prepared to speak out against misinformation and disinformation. We are optimistic that during your time getting to know our sector, you will consider what matters to millennials working in salmon farming. We’ve outlined this information below:
- Climate Change – The future of the mountains that we climb in parks like Strathcona and the rivers that we fish up and down the coast depend on leadership taken today on climate change. We’re proud to be a solution sector, with the lowest emissions of all animal protein sectors.
- Indigenous Peoples and First Nations Reconciliation – We’re learning about truth and reconciliation from Indigenous Peoples and care deeply about our sector’s commitment to principles articulated in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).
- Innovation – Our sector is made up of highly skilled and educated millennials from across Canada. Part of what excites us is constantly upskilling, innovating, and deploying ground-breaking new technologies that move our sector forward.
- Food Security – During COVID-19, it has become apparent just how critical secure food systems will be for Canada’s future. By 2030, 60% of all fish consumed will originate from aquaculture. Raising healthy, tasty, and affordable salmon protein is exciting to us “salmon nerds,” and we’re poised to help grow Canada’s Blue Economy.
- Wild Salmon – We love fish. Wild salmon is part of who we are as Islanders. The science tells us that wild salmon and salmon farming can co-exist sustainably, but first we need to move away from the divisive dialogue of “this vs. that” and move toward “this and that.”
So, this is what matters to us. Want to learn more? Check out your Vancouver Island region and salmon farming’s positive impact by visiting: BCSalmonFarmers.ca/Today In the coming weeks, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or want more information about the BCSFA Youth Council. Connect with one of the BCSFA Youth Council Cofounders and Directors, Michelle Franze at Michelle@BCSalmonFarmers.ca.
Good luck in the election.
BCSFA Youth Council
Roxanne van Velzen