BC farmed oysters of the Pacific Kiss brand. (Photo: British Columbia Shellfish Growers Association/ FIS )
Farmed oysters receive sustainability seal
Monday, January 11, 2010, 11:10 (GMT + 9)
The British Columbia Shellfish Growers’ Association (BCSGA) has launched a brand to endorse shellfish aquaculture as a sustainable and high-quality source of seafood. The association’s Pacific Kiss brand was launched last week.
“Shellfish farming has been recognized for its ecological benefits and sustainability and we need to get that word out there,” said Roberta Stevenson, executive director of BCSGA. “In addition to being absolutely delicious and nutritious, shellfish farming is environmentally sustainable.”
BCSGA members who meet all of the food and production requirements of BC are permitted to use the Pacific Kiss brand. It has been promoted by Ocean Wise, the conservation programme of the Vancouver Aquarium, which educates consumers about sustainable seafood, Comox Valley Record reports.
“More and more people around the world are looking to eat shellfish product that’s been grown through aquaculture,” Hamilton pointed out. “There’s more and more people making choices about sustainable food options.”
Baynes Sound is Canada’s biggest producer of shellfish in part due to the area’s cold waters, which are rich in nutrients, and its clean and healthy ecosystems. These all help the shellfish flourish, Hamilton said.
Shellfish aquaculture is called sustainable because it involves continuous planting, growing and harvesting of the animal – which makes the harvesting and depletion of wild stocks unnecessary.
The launch of Pacific Kiss arrives just ahead of the tourism boom expected for the 2010 Olympics. BCSGA plans to advertise Baynes Sound’s oysters during the events.
“What else are you going to eat in February that are at its best? — Oysters are at their best in February,” Hamilton observed.
The Russian fisheries minister is also set to arrive this month and is bringing a delegation to learn more about the industry.
“We’re seen worldwide as leaders in shellfish aquaculture,” Hamilton asserted.
The BCSGA is made up of 180 members, and its product development project was funded by a grant awarded last August by the federal government.
By Natalia Real