Manatee encouraged by aquaculture hatchery enhancement in Royston

The addition of infrastructure at Manatee Holdings’ Gartley Point hatchery in Royston will help to develop a management plan.

  • Mar. 17, 2013 2:00 p.m.

MANATEE HOLDINGS PRESIDENT Eric Gant believes that aquaculture and a transition from a mindset of hunting to ranching is one way we can improve and protect the ocean's ecology.

The recent addition of several buildings and related hatchery infrastructure at Manatee Holdings’ Gartley Point Aquaculture Hatchery in Royston will help to develop and implement an adaptive management plan.

The plan is in development in consultation with the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) and provincial government, as well as marine researchers.

According to Manatee Holdings company president Eric Gant, this season’s scallop and geoduck clam brood stock have been brought in and the two species have been successfully spawned. Once the animals reach sufficient size, they will be planted in regulated undersea land tenures around Savory, Texada, Cortes, and Marina islands.

The company has employed this same aquaculture management practice for more than 15 years.

While there are future plans to add other indigenous ocean species to the hatchery program — including sea urchins, cockles, sea cucumbers and horse clams — this expansion of the program is still subject to approval. Once underway, it will form part of an extensive marine animal research program in cooperation with UBC and Vancouver Island University.

“Over the past 25 years, Manatee Holdings has helped to successfully develop the geoduck aquaculture industry in B.C.,” explains Gant. “Our efforts have been instrumental in offsetting the detrimental impact that the local geoduck clam fishery is having on the natural stocks.

“The inherent problems with fisheries around the world are well-known, and can be successfully offset with responsible aquaculture practices. What we are doing is vital to the future health of our coastal waters.

“Mindfully planting healthy geoduck clam seed into the substrate of the sub-tidal areas along our shorelines ensures a genetically viable population, creates an organic heat sink that helps to offset the affects of global warming, and helps to offset pollution resulting from human activities.”

Gant says he was initially motivated to create his system of food production because of what he witnessed in his hometown farming district, where grain farmers and cattle ranchers had to destroy the natural ecology of the forest to intensively culture domestic animals and plants.

This is getting worse, he says, as free-range cattle ranching (for example) switches to intensive feedlot systems. Manatee’s Adaptive Management Program, on the other hand, fits into the surrounding natural ecology of the ocean.

“Manatee Holdings has been lobbying with Ottawa for over 18 months, to get the DFO policy-makers to understand that what we are doing is a morally and mentally mature transition from hunting to ranching the sea,” concludes Gant.

— Manatee Holdings

Just Posted

Comox Valley Schools to see trustee shakeup next fall

Four of seven trustees have stated they will not run for re-election in October

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

Merville water bottling proposal heading to public hearing

A contentious business proposal in Merville will be going to a public… Continue reading

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

Fish farm protest held in Comox

The rally took place on Comox Avenue, concluding at the entry to the BC Seafood Festival

Canada won’t ‘play politics’ on U.S. migrant children policy

The U.S. government is under fire over its ”zero tolerance” policy

Late goal gives England 2-1 win over Tunisia

At the last World Cup in 2014, England couldn’t even win a game

Canadian military police officer pleads not guilty to sex assault

Sgt. Kevin MacIntyre, 48, entered his plea today at a court martial proceeding in Halifax

North Island College gets $328,000 for forestry education funding

Announcement in Campbell River part of $1 million around B.C.

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

Most Read