Every ticket sold to the Comox by the Sea Celebration will raise invaluable funds for a scholarship to North Island College’s aquaculture technician training program. The proposed eight-month, two-level program will support all aspects of the aquaculture industry: finfish, shellfish, aquatic plants and marine, freshwater and land-based production systems.”Education truly is the first step to change, and this program is integral to the shellfish and seafood industry’s continuing innovation and advancement,” says Susan Auchterlonie, Director, College & Community Relations, NIC. “It is imperative that during a time of heightened environmental awareness, that industry have the structures and training in place to match consumer and citizen enthusiasm for sustainability and ecofriendly practices.” Aquaculture now accounts for over 50 percent of the global seafood supply. As the aquaculture industry continues to grow and diversify, the need for enhanced training also increases to ensure quality and security of the food supply world-wide.
The new NIC program provides anyone from a young high school student to an industry veteran the opportunity to advance their understanding of the technical side of the industry, while earning a credential that will increase opportunities for promotion. Courses are also expected to be transferable to university, encouraging the continuation of learning and involvement in aquaculture, leading to a long, healthy and dynamic career in the industry.
“The BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival is an annual event that has been very well received,” says Dr. Stephen Cross, board member with the BC Shellfish Growers Association and the NSERC Industry Research Chair in Sustainable Aquaculture at NIC. “It’s a showcase of the vibrant and important aquaculture industry and, while there are challenges within this sector, it’s all about producing high quality food. Being a member of the scientific community, and a part of this critically important industry, we’re here to stimulate innovation and offer experiential learning, so programs like this one launching at the NIC are vital to the fulfillment of the mission.”
Comox by the Sea Shellfish and Seafood Celebration will take place from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., Saturday, June 21 at the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park. Tickets are $15 and are on sale now.
Visit discovercomoxvalley.com or call 1-855-400-2882.