Big Hike in Worker's Compensation Premiums Will Hurt Aquaculture Industry

By Susan Farquharson

New Brunswick’s salmon farming industry plays a vital role in this province’s economic renewal plan.

 Our farmers are producing one of the healthiest foods in the world while creating jobs in our rural and coastal communities. Our industry employs people directly on farms as well as in feed production, manufacturing, packaging, transportation, supply and services, research and innovation and spin-off jobs in many other sectors including retail and tourism.

 Our industry employs thousands of people in areas where labour opportunities have been transitioning for the past several decades. Whether it’s in a hatchery, on a fish farm, in a processing plant, on a transport truck, or in administrative roles, New Brunswickers who are employed in the fish farming industry work in varying and challenging conditions. Our industry knows that safe and healthy work environments are imperative. We also know the importance of having a functional workers’ compensation system in place that balances the needs of employees and employers.

 Our companies want to continue to aid economic growth in our province, which is why we feel compelled to add our voices to the chorus of industry professionals who are raising the alarm over WorkSafeNB’s unexpected announcement of an immediate 33 per cent hike in employer premiums. Increasing the average assessment rate for employers from $1.11 per $100 in 2016 to $1.48 in 2017 will have an immediate and significant impact on the budgets of both big and small companies and subsequently the entire provincial economy. WorkSafeNB’s warning that subsequent rate hikes are likely for the foreseeable future is alarming as well.  How can companies operating in New Brunswick plan and support provincial economic development, while operating under these unknowns?

 It seems there has been a long and murky road of ineffective policy and politics that has taken us to where we are today – dealing with such a sudden hike in premiums unseen in both percentage and raw dollars in the past 20 years.

 There is no doubt that our companies are frustrated that this increase came without warning and is now seemingly irreversible. Like other industries, we are dedicated to operating here in New Brunswick, but we are already struggling to navigate increased taxes, rising operational costs, changing global markets and a significant labour shortage.

 We know that our people, our labour force, are our greatest resource. Our industry supports having a healthy worker’s compensation program to support our employees when they need it. However, the system we have in place now that allows for such sudden, unplanned and disruptive increases is simply not acceptable, professional or productive. New Brunswick businesses need stability and predictability in order to survive and thrive. Developers need confidence to invest in New Brunswick. Entrepreneurs invest less and take fewer risks when they are forced to operate in an unpredictable environment.

 We strongly urge the provincial government to work with WorkSafeNB and New Brunswick businesses, including those in our industry, to act quickly to find a solution that works for both employers and employees.

 Susan Farquharson is the Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association.

 

New global report highlights the role of land based farming systems for Atlantic salmon

October 27, 2016 – The global salmon farming industry continues to lead the way in the use of land based farming systems, says a new report.

 The International Salmon Farmers’ Association (ISFA) released a report today – The Evolution of Land Based Atlantic Salmon Farms that highlights the history and the current state of land based farms for Atlantic salmon.

Salmon farmers are experts in land based freshwater farming systems and have been successfully using these systems for smolt production and a variety of broodstock programs for almost half a century. They fully understand the value and limitations of this technology,” says Trond Davidsen, President of the International Salmon Farmers Association. “This report serves as an excellent resource in the ongoing discussion about the future of land based farms for Atlantic salmon.”

The report reviews available studies and information on land based Atlantic salmon farms from around the world, the current state of knowledge and technology as well as the challenges that have to be overcome as these systems continue to evolve.

“For us, the conversation is about growing healthy, nutritious seafood in an efficient and sustainable manner,” says Mr. Davidsen. “By using both marine and freshwater resources in the most efficient way, the global salmon farming industry represents one of the best ways to feed the world’s growing population with a minimal environmental footprint.”

A 2012 ISFA report showed that the global salmon farming industry produces 14.8 billion meals every year and creates 121,000 jobs in coastal communities around the world.

 Copies of the report are available at www.salmonfarming.org.

For more information, please contact:

Trond Davidsen

President, International Salmon Farmers’ Association

Tel: +47 90180702

Email: trond.davidsen@fhl.no

Salmon Farmers Host Farm Tour to Celebrate Bay of Fundy Seafood Week

Event will raise funds for the Heart and Stroke Foundation

May 30, 2016 – Letang, N.B. – New Brunswick salmon farmers will celebrate Bay of Fundy Seafood Week by hosting a guided farm tour to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, on behalf of local salmon farmers, will offer the farm tour on Saturday, June 4 to give the public an opportunity to learn about salmon farming.

 “Salmon farming is always evolving and has changed significantly in the 40 years since it began in our province. These popular tours are a tremendous way to learn about our innovative and sustainable sector and to celebrate New Brunswick seafood,” says Sue Farquharson, Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers’ Association.

The salmon farm tour, on an Island Quest Marine vessel, will leave St. Andrews main wharf on Saturday, June 4 at 3:00 p.m., weather permitting. The tour will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Call (506) 755-3526 for reservations. Space is limited. Cost is $10; children 12 and under are free. ACFFA representatives will be onboard to provide an overview of the salmon aquaculture industry and to answer questions about our operations. Participants will also get the chance to sample some delicious Atlantic salmon, courtesy of True North Salmon. Proceeds from the tour will be donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

“The Heart and Stroke Foundation encourages healthy lifestyle choices to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke for men and women. Eating more heart-healthy foods like salmon is a big part of that, and our members are pleased to raise money for this worthwhile cause,” says Farquharson.

The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) is an industry-funded association working on behalf of the salmon farming industry in Atlantic Canada. The ACFFA represents salmon producers in addition to a wide range of supporting companies and organizations.

For more information, please contact:

Susan Farquharson, Executive Director

Ph: 506-755-3526

Email: s.farquharson@atlanticfishfarmers.com

STATEMENT: GMO SALMON

Letang, N.B. - Atlantic Canada salmon farmers take pride in growing healthy, fresh and nutritious salmon that is in high demand with consumers.
 
Members of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) do not farm or sell GMO salmon, nor are they researching or considering the possibility of raising transgenic fish. Our farmers have no plans to change farming practices, which already produce the highest quality fresh salmon for consumers in Canada and abroad.  Our farmers are committed to sustainability and responsible best practices and a science-based management approach.
 
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The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) is an industry funded association working on behalf of the salmon farming industry in Atlantic Canada. The ACFFA represents salmon producers in addition to a wide range of supporting companies and organizations.
 
For more information, please contact:
Sue Farquharson

Executive Director
Ph: 506-755-3526
Email: s.farquharson@atlanticfishfarmers.com

 

ACFFA Position: Genetically Modified Salmon

Salmon grown in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia originate from Saint John River wild salmon. However, through careful selective breeding programs like the Atlantic Salmon Broodstock Development Program, the offspring from this superior stock were supplied to our salmon farming industry allowing us to produce the highest quality salmon in the most economical and environmentally sound manner possible.

Statement: Aquaculture Activities Regulations

The federal government’s proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations will do the opposite of what detractors are claiming. They will, in fact, strengthen environmental protection measures, ensure greater public reporting and transparency while at the same time allowing farmers to continue to grow healthy and sustainable seafood in a responsible manner.
 
The Fisheries Act was created at the time of Confederation – when commercial aquaculture in Canada did not exist. The proposed regulations will help to modernize aquaculture regulation and don’t cover just salmon farming. The proposed regulations cover all aquatic species farmed in Canada, including trout, clams, mussels and oysters to name a few – in both freshwater and the oceans.
 
Canada’s aquaculture industry is now regulated by no fewer than 10 federal agencies in addition to provincial ones too. The regulations and rules often overlap and are even contradictive in many cases, making it cumbersome for operators and confusing for the public.
 
The proposed regulations will now set clear parameters around issues such as how mussel farmers can remove invasive species such as sea squid from their mussel socks; how barnacles can be removed from equipment; or how salmon farmers use sea lice treatments and feed their fish. Although these matters are largely covered in provincial regulation, they will now be articulated within a clear, federal regulation.
 
Aquaculture is one of Canada’s most promising industries. We produce one of the healthiest proteins in the world. The regulations governing our industry need to be updated and modernized if we want it to continue to evolve and meet the growing demand for seafood.
 
None of the proposed regulatory changes will change the way sea lice treatments are approved or used in Canada. Only treatments that have undergone extensive risk assessments by Health Canada to ensure they are safe for salmon and other species, the environment and human health are registered for use.  Farmers have access to two approved bath treatments for sea lice management – both used under the direction of a veterinarian and by prescription.
 
Based on independent field research conducted right here in New Brunswick, Canadians can be confident the use of Salmosan or hydrogen peroxide pose very little risk to the marine environment and to fisheries. The risk assessments conducted on each product plus an independent review by the Canadian Science Advisory Secretariat also comes to this conclusion. The treatments used in Canada have been used in other countries in Europe for more than a decade.
 
The aquaculture industry will continue to be regulated and monitored by both the provincial and federal governments. We will always have to consider the Fisheries Act.  We welcome that.  The proposed regulations address that. There are Fisheries enforcement officers from both the federal and provincial governments on the water. They stop at our farms on a regular basis and inspect records and operations. This will continue to be the case. The proposed regulations do not change that.

Our farmers have built this industry and co-existed with traditional fishermen for nearly 40 years.  Many of our salmon farmers are lobster fishermen too.  We are partners in a diversified economy so important for New Brunswick. As our industry has grown, so too have the lobster catches.
 
I encourage anyone interested in the getting the facts about the proposed Aquaculture Activities Regulations to read about them in the Canada Gazette on the Government of Canada website.

Pamela Parker
Executive Director
Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association

SALMON FARMING’S RESPONSIBLE GROWTH CAN BRING JOBS TO NOVA SCOTIA

Salmon farmers are ready to work with the Nova Scotia government to complete a strong regulatory aquaculture framework and move forward with responsible industry growth that will bring jobs and prosperity to coastal communities.
 
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) welcomed today’s final report from the Doelle-Lahey Panel’s Independent Aquaculture Regulatory Review for Nova Scotia.
 
“Now that the review has been completed and a report has been submitted, we must continue to move forward to grow the sector and create jobs in rural Nova Scotia,” says Pamela Parker, Executive Director of the ACFFA. “Our industry already meets high regulatory standards that cover all aspects of our farming operations. We look forward to working with the Province of Nova Scotia to finalize any regulatory amendments or, where necessary, the introduction of new regulations in a timely manner.”
 
Nova Scotia’s salmon farming industry generates about $80 million in economic activity and employs 670 people in direct and supply and service jobs, largely in coastal communities. The industry contributes $41.9 million to Nova Scotia’s GDP.
 
“Our industry has shown over the past 40 years that we can grow Atlantic salmon in their natural environment with minimal potential for risk to wild stocks or the marine habitat. Salmon farming is bringing much needed jobs and prosperity to Nova Scotia, especially to its coastal communities.  However, we have not tapped our potential,” says Parker. “Our region is facing record debt, skyrocketing health care costs, an aging population and high unemployment. Salmon farming represents an extraordinary opportunity to bring economic prosperity to our rural communities – while producing one of the world’s healthiest foods.”
 
She says it’s time Nova Scotia moved ahead with its Aquaculture Strategy to grow this valuable and important sector.
 
“Tremendous economic opportunity awaits. Nova Scotia can’t afford to keep saying no to responsible industries that can bring jobs to our province. Salmon farming offers one of the few bright spots of hope in our region’s challenging future. It’s time to embrace it – not shun it,” says Parker.
 
 The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) is an industry-funded association working on behalf of the salmon farming industry in addition to a wide range of service and supply companies and organizations in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Salmon farming employs over 3000 people in our region and has a value of over $356 million to provincial economies.
 
For more information, please contact:
Pamela Parker, Executive Director
Ph: 506-755-3526
Email: p.parker@atlanticfishfarmers.com

 

SALMON FARMERS INSPIRED BY MINISTER’S MESSAGE; SECTOR IS JOB CREATION ENGINE

St. Andrews, N.B. – Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming industry has the expertise and experience to ignite this region’s economy and create much-needed jobs for coastal communities, New Brunswick’s new Minister of Aquaculture told ACFFA annual dinner guests this week.
 
Rick Doucet, who was sworn in last month as New Brunswick’s Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries, was guest speaker at the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association’s (ACFFA) annual fall conference this week in St. Andrews. The Minister said salmon farming is already one of this region’s biggest economic drivers, employing over 3,000 people in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia alone and generating $356 million to those provincial economies.
 
Doucet said salmon farmers have built a strong industry over the past 30 years, becoming an economic backbone, especially in Charlotte County where salmon farming creates 1,600 jobs alone.
 
“On behalf of the province of New Brunswick, I would like to thank you sincerely for the jobs and the GDP that you have brought to the table. Your industry helps pay for our roads, helps pay for our schools, helps pay for our hospitals. You help pay for a way of life for many of us,” said Doucet. “I don’t know if historically, you have ever had somebody stand up and thank you for what you are doing for this province, but from what I have seen over the past 12 years as being your elected member, I want to thank you, because I am pretty proud of what you do.”
 
Larry Ingalls, ACFFA Board Chair and CEO of Northern Harvest Sea Farms, said this region should be proud of what our family-owned salmon farming companies have accomplished on the world stage.
 
“Few people have any idea that the Atlantic industry is led by two privately-owned, Charlotte County family businesses. We produce upwards of 50 per cent of all the salmon in North America,” said Ingalls. “We’ve done that while facing stiff competition from publicly-owned, multinational companies. It’s something we should be proud of.”
 
Minister Doucet, who also serves as New Brunswick’s Minister of Economic Development, said in his speech that the province needs to get serious about promoting a business-friendly atmosphere and that he plans to take steps to streamline government decision-making processes, reduce red tape and cut fees for small businesses. He pledged to work together with industry to create an atmosphere that promotes stability and growth and to assist the industry in getting its products to the rest of the world.
 
“We are going to work hard and work together to tap into your industry’s economic potential, because it’s there. It’s on our doorstep,” said Doucet.
 
Ingalls said 2014 was a solid year for salmon farmers, with stable market prices, strong production and few fish health issues. He said salmon consumption is slated to increase around the world.
 
“The outlook for 2015-16 is bright for our industry. It will give us a chance to strengthen our position in the world, which is very important for companies like ours that are competing in a global industry,” said Ingalls.
 
Approximately 120 salmon farmers, industry stakeholders, scientists, researchers, provincial and federal government representatives, and community members attended the ACFFA’s fall conference held in conjunction with its AGM.  The conference was launched with a presentation from Ruth Salmon, Executive Director of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance who reviewed a recent study on Social Licence and the Aquaculture Industry in Canada.
 
“The research suggests that even in the face of a very small but vocal group of activists, aquaculture companies in Canada have achieved, and continue to maintain, high levels of support with their communities,” said Salmon. “In addition the demand for the quality salmon and other seafood products continues to rise.”
 
Workshop participants also heard presentations on an award-winning collaborative partnership that relies on the expertise of salmon farmers to help recover wild salmon stocks; the latest innovations in net technology, climate change, ocean acidification, sea lice trends and eco-system based management of fish farming.

The ACFFA 2014 Year in Review can be found here.
 
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) is an industry-funded association working on behalf of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia salmon farming industry in addition to a wide range of service and supply companies and organizations. Salmon farming employs over 3000 people in our region and has a value of over $330 million to provincial economies.
 
For more information, please contact:
Pamela Parker, Executive Director
Ph: 506-755-3526
Email: p.parker@atlanticfishfarmers.com
 

Salmon Farm Tours Celebrate 2014 Open Farm Day

Letang, N.B. – The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, on behalf of local salmon farmers, will host two tours on Sunday, September 21, 2014 to give the public an opportunity to see how salmon are farmed.  The tours are part of New Brunswick’s 2014 Open Farm Day.
 
"Few people realise that 50 per cent of the world’s seafood comes from farming the ocean. And that is only going to increase as the world population grows,” says Pamela Parker, Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA). “Atlantic salmon farmers play a key role in meeting the global demand for seafood. Farmed salmon is New Brunswick’s largest agri-food export.”
 
ACFFA representatives will be onboard to provide an overview of the salmon aquaculture industry and to answer any questions about the sector. Participants will also get to sample some delicious smoked Atlantic salmon, courtesy of True North Salmon.
 
“These tours are a terrific opportunity to learn about modern salmon farming and enjoy what we hope will be a beautiful day on the water too,” says Parker.
 
Boat tours (Island Quest Marine) will leave the main wharf in St. Andrews at 11:30 am and 2:00 pm, weather permitting. Due to boat capacity limitations, reserve your seat by Thursday, September 18th by calling (506) 755-3526 or emailing info@atlanticfishfarmers.com. Cost is $10 each for participants over the age of 10, with proceeds going to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
 
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) is an industry-funded association working on behalf of the New Brunswick and Nova Scotia salmon farming industry in addition to a wide range of service and supply companies and organizations. Salmon farming employs over 3000 people in our region and has a value of over $330 million to provincial economies.
 
For more information, please contact:
Pamela Parker
Executive Director
Ph: 506-755-3526
Email: p.parker@atlanticfishfarmers.com

Salmon Farmers Host Tours to Celebrate Bay of Fundy Seafood Week

Letang, N.B. – New Brunswick salmon farmers will celebrate Bay of Fundy Seafood Week by hosting guided farm tours to raise money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
 
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association, on behalf of local salmon farmers, will offer two farm tours on Saturday, June 7 to give the public an opportunity to learn about salmon farming.

"The salmon farming industry is always evolving and has changed significantly in the 30-plus years since it began in our province. These popular tours are a tremendous way to learn about our innovative and sustainable sector and to celebrate New Brunswick seafood," says Pamela Parker, Executive Director of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers' Association.

 The salmon farm tours, on an Island Quest Marine vessel, will leave St. Andrews main wharf on Saturday, June 7 at 11:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m., weather permitting. The tours will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited. Cost is $10 for adults; children 12 and under are free. ACFFA representatives will be onboard to provide an overview of the salmon aquaculture industry and to answer questions about our operations. Participants will also get the chance to sample some delicious Atlantic salmon, courtesy of True North Salmon. Proceeds from the tours will be donated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation.
 
“The Heart and Stroke Foundation is near and dear to our hearts. Our staff and members raise money for this organization annually with our Five Easy Pieces Campaign,” says Parker. “Atlantic salmon is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. It’s one of the world’s best sources of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also high in protein, low in saturated fat and loaded with vitamin D and E. And it’s grown right here.”
 
 The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA) is an industry-funded association working on behalf of the salmon farming industry in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. The ACFFA represents salmon producers in addition to a wide range of supporting companies and organizations. Salmon farming employs over 3,000 people in our region and generates over $330 million to our provincial economies.
 
 
For more information, please contact:
Pamela Parker
Executive Director
Ph: 506-755-3526
Email: p.parker@atlanticfishfarmers.com

Job Posting: Executive Assistant/Event Manager

The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association is seeking an Executive Assistant/Event Manager to join our staff on a part-time basis.
 
This position will be responsible for day-to-day administrative duties in addition to special event organization. This position reports to the Executive Director.
 
Applicants must have a superior ability working with the Microsoft office suite and excellent typing and other clerical expertise.  Experience in event organization and management is also required. The ideal candidate will have excellent interpersonal skills.
 
This position will generally work half time although additional hours will be expected from time to time including some weekend and evening work. Starting salary range will be $15 and $20 per hour based on qualifications and experience; plus benefits. 
 
Interested candidates should submit their resume and a brief cover letter to Pamela Parker, ACFFA Executive Director at p.parker@atlanticfishfarmers.com or by mail to 226 Limekiln Road, Letang, NB E5C 2A8. Please provide information that relate to the core competencies. Only those candidates who are short listed will be contacted. 
 
Deadline for application is Monday, April 21, 2014
 
About the ACFFA
 
The Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association is an industry-funded association that works on behalf of salmon farmers in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.  Membership in the Association includes aquaculture operators, feed companies and suppliers as well as other supporting businesses. This position is located in our office in Letang, New Brunswick