Grant will fund North Island College salmon aquaculture research

North Island College was successful in its application for a grant to fund research into hard seabed substrates in salmon aquaculture.

North Island College was successful in its application for an Entry Level Innovation Enhancement (IE) grant to fund research into the utilization of hard seabed substrates in salmon aquaculture.

This grant was awarded under the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) College and Community Innovation Program, NIC announced Tuesday.

IE grants are designed to foster partnerships between colleges and the private sector that will lead to business innovation at the local, regional and national levels. Specifically, this grant will build North Island College’s applied research and technology transfer capacity to support and collaborate with the Vancouver Island salmon aquaculture industry.

The BC Salmon Farming Association (BCSFA) and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) have identified a need to strengthen capacity in monitoring of hard bed substrates where some fish farms are, or may, in the future, be located.

This project addresses two fundamental research issues of concern to fish farmers and regulators:

1) What are the significant ecological changes likely to occur at hard bottom sites associated with salmon farm operations?

2) What are the physical, biological and/or chemical habitat indicators and their threshold(s) at which significant negative macro-benthic changes occur?

In consultation with the industry and research partners, a two-year research program intended to address these questions was proposed. This investigation will provide a solid foundation for future industry growth in hard bottom areas. It will also help to inform a broader, more thoughtful dialogue about the impacts of the industry in the region.

North Island College will receive $99,464 in the first year of the project and $100,000 in the second, to support direct research costs and the enhancement of research infrastructure at the college.  Aisling Brady, PhD, a NIC Biology instructor at both the Comox Valley and Campbell River campuses, will be the primary researcher.

NIC’s vice-president, education, Jan Kubli Carrie, notes establishing applied research capacity is an important component of the college’s Strategic Plan, specifically as it relates to the development and growth of our communities.

“Northern Vancouver Island has become the principal salmon farming region in the province. Strengthening the sustainability and vitality of this industry offers direct and tangible benefits for communities across the region. But critical to any further development of the industry is a clearer understanding of the environmental impacts of farm sites and that is the objective of this project,” she states.

“North Island College is extremely excited to have received this grant. Only projects and proposals of the highest calibre receive funding,” adds NIC’s manager of the Natural Resources and Applied Research Centre, Derek Marcoux.

“As a follow-up to this project, North Island College recently submitted a second application to NSERC for the establishment of a research chair, which, if successful, would further the college’s work with regard to environmental seabed monitoring of salmon aquaculture operations.”

For further information on applied research at North Island College, please visit www.nic.bc.ca/research or contact Derek Marcoux at 250-923-9719.

— North Island College

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aria Pendak Jefferson cuddles ChiChi, the family cat that ran away two years ago in Ucluelet. The feline was missing until Courtney Johnson and Barry Edge discovered her in the parking lot of the Canadian Princess earlier this month. Aria and her parents were reunited with ChiChi in a parking lot in Port Alberni. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
A little girl’s wish is answered as her cat came back

Courtenay family reunited with cat that went missing in Ucluelet in 2019

John Ludlow is making leis for sale for $20 each, with all proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Celebrating kindness, joy and helping others on Lei Day

Ludlow is making leis for sale with proceeds to be donated to the Comox Valley Transition Society

Cumberland is finalizing its tax rate bylaw for the year, which will see a 4.93 per cent increase. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Cumberland moving ahead on 4.93 tax hike

Residential rates’ hike was less than projected during planning stages

The Coastal Fire Centre is looking ahead to the wildfire season on Vancouver Island. (Phil McLachlan – Western News)
Coastal Fire Centre looking ahead at wildfire season on Vancouver Island

‘We’re asking people in the spring to be very careful’

The Connect Warming Centre is located at 685 Cliffe Ave. in Courtenay. File photo
Potential new space for Courtenay warming centre falls through

The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness had hoped to move the… Continue reading

A large crowd protested against COVID-19 measures at Sunset Beach in Vancouver on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. (Snapchat)
VIDEO: Large, police-patrolled crowds gather at Vancouver beach for COVID protests

Vancouver police said they patrolled the area and monitored all gatherings

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

A teacher-librarian in Nanaimo was fired in 2019 for checking out an age-inappropriate graphic novel to a student. The discipline agreement was published Wednesday, April 21. (News Bulletin file photo)
Nanaimo teacher-librarian fired for checking out too-graphic graphic novel to student

Teacher had been previously disciplined and suspended on two occasions

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus is putting a 41-passenger electric bus through its paces in a three-month trial run between Nanaimo and Victoria. (Photo submitted)
Electric bus on trial run serving Victoria-to-Nanaimo route

Vancouver Island Connector and Tofino Bus trying out 41-seat electric coach for three months

FILE – The Instagram app is shown on an iPhone in Toronto on Monday, March 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Judge acquits B.C. teen boy ‘set up’ on sex assault charge based on Instagram messages

The girl and her friends did not have ‘good intentions’ towards the accused, judge says

Kai Palkeinen recently helped a car stuck on the riverbed near the Big Eddy Bridge. While the car could not be saved, some of the driver’s belongings were. It’s common for vehicles to get stuck in the area due to significantly changing river levels from Revelstoke Dam. (Photo by Kai Palkeinen)
“I just sank a car’: Revelstoke resident tries to save vehicle from the Columbia River

Although it’s not permitted, the riverbed near the city is popular for off roading

Meng Wanzhou, chief financial officer of Huawei, walks down the street with an acquaintance after leaving B.C. Supreme Court during a lunch break at her extradition hearing, in Vancouver, B.C., Thursday, April 1, 2021. A judge is scheduled to release her decision today on a request to delay the final leg of hearings in Meng Wanzhou’s extradition case. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rich Lam
B.C. judge grants Meng Wanzhou’s request to delay extradition hearings

Lawyers for Canada’s attorney general had argued there is no justification to delay proceedings in the case

B.C. Premier John Horgan announces travel restrictions between the province’s regional health authorities at the legislature, April 19, 2021. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

Recreational travel restrictions set to begin Friday

Most Read