Any operation in a dynamic marine environment is challenging and this is a trial that shellfish growers face daily, highlighted by a recent incident.
On Tuesday evening (December 14), a tugboat moving mussel rafts, contracted by Fanny Bay Oysters, was forced to release a load when weather conditions threatened the safety of the boat and its crew. Fortunately, no one was hurt.
Community members phoned and informed the BC Shellfish Growers Association of debris washing ashore in Campbell River. Several of our member companies, our staff, and our president responded within three hours on Wednesday to start removing material from the shoreline and water. A crew from Fanny Bay Oysters has been hard at work on site and they are committed to recovering the debris from this accident.
The BCSGA and Fanny Bay Oysters are grateful to our members who identified and responded to this incident by acting on their commitment as stewards of our shores and tidelands. We would also like to thank the Coast Guard and Transport Canada for providing us with the location of free-floating rafts which led to their rapid retrieval. A special thank you to the members of the public that assisted the cleanup efforts by notifying the BCSGA of debris locations, we encourage the public to continue this as it is of tremendous help in locating industry debris.
The BCSGA is committed to responsible farming and our members have unanimously adopted our Shellfish Farm Environmental Plan (SHEP) as part of this commitment to the environment. The fact that BCSGA members jumped into action to tackle this debris that originated from an operation other than their own speaks to our values. A core principle of our environmental commitment is to be responsible and accountable for what we are putting into the ocean. Through the SHEP initiative and planned future cleanup events, the BCSGA is looking to clean up the shellfish industry and its reputation.
If you see any debris on our shared beaches, please send pictures and locations to Environment@bcsga.ca