INTRODUCTION: BC shellfish farming is highly regulated by all levels of government. At the last count there were around thirty-five applicable pieces of legislation. Over the years, most farms have had an excellent record of meeting or exceeding these minimum regulated standards.
Building on the reputation of shellfish farmers as highly motivated environmental stewards, the BC Shellfish Growers developed and Environmental Management System and Code of Practice in 2001 and it has recently been updated at the beginning of 2013. The aim of this document is to foster and develop “good neighbour practices” and a public attitude of commitment to working with shellfish farmers in protecting and enhancing our marine resources.
Advantages to an industry Environmental Code of Practice:
- The Code of Practice will hold all growers to the same standards and serve to raise the overall level of performance.
- It will facilitate and streamline the new site application process by reducing the amount of information on operational practices currently requested.
- It will allow existing farmers objectively to assess their internal operations for compatibility with ecologically sustainable farming practices.
- The successful integration of a Code of Practice into shellfish business operations will allow the industry to build credibility with the public, environmental groups and regulators and enhance its position as a responsible steward of the marine resource.
- It will provide education for the public as to the types of “normal farm practices” they are likely to encounter in shellfish aquaculture areas.
- It will provide a resource that can be drawn upon by the Farm Practices Board to help in resolving complaints about farm operations in an impartial manner.
INTRODUCTORY MESSAGE: The formulation of an Environmental Management System is a key initiative for the development of BC’s shellfish farming industry. The goal of this project is to provide BC shellfish farmers with guidance for maintaining and protecting environmental quality while improving production efficiencies.
Shellfish aquaculture is a marine-based industry that is affected by other land users such as tourism, recreation, forestry, agriculture and urban development. The effects of these industries, as well as the shellfish aquaculture industry’s impact on them, have been examined in a comprehensive manner in the development of this document. The BCSGA is confident this document forms an important step towards the pursuit of an ecologically sustainable shellfish farming industry in BC.
Click the file below for the BCSGA Environmental Management Code of Practice.