Port Hardy’s mayor and council went out on the water to experience local aquaculture firsthand, learning just how Marine Harvest’s net-pen fish farms operate and do business.
Council was invited by Chrissy Chen, the Indigenous Partnership Liaison for Marine Harvest Canada, to experience the fish farm tour on July 10, and all but one Port Hardy councillor was able to attend the tour (Fred Robertson was unavailable to make it due to previous work commitments). In a phone interview with the Gazette, Robertson stated while he wasn’t able to go out on the tour, he does feel aquaculture plays “an important role in the North Island’s economy, particularly here in Port Hardy.”
As for the rest of Port Hardy council, here’s how each councillor and the mayor summed up the tour during their verbal reports at the district’s last council meeting on July 10.
“I had an interesting tour of the fish farms — it was very informative and enjoyable and the weather was just fantastic” – Coun. John Tidbury.
“The Marine Harvest tour was excellent, I learned a whole lot about fish farming and I’m very, very impressed. It was a good day out on the water” – Coun. Leightan Wishart.
“The Marine Harvest tour we had was incredibly interesting — there was a lot of interesting information that they gave us, and the amount of work that goes into those sites is unbelievable. I was quite impressed, especially with all the boats and people that are out there working, it’s great for our community and I definitely know that all of us here on council and the mayor support that industry and will continue to do that in the future” – Coun. Dennis Dugas.
“I enjoyed the (Marine Harvest) tour, it was very well put on and enlightening” – Coun. Rick Marcotte.
“The tour was wonderful” – Coun. Pat Corbett-Labatt.
“One of the things I’ve always liked about Marine Harvest from day one is the people of Marine Harvest. Every person we met out there was a really quality person, and they gave us a great tour. We were on a boat and we saw all sorts of wildlife – whales, dolphins, it was like we had a paid tour out there, and it was a lot of fun” – Mayor Hank Bood.
Marine Harvest ASA is one of the largest seafood companies in the world, and the world’s largest producer of Atlantic salmon. The company employs 13,233 people, and is represented in 25 countries.