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Coastal aquaculture the focus of new research station


Deep Bay, BC – Finding new and more sustainable ways of farming shellfish, and helping re-energize BC’s coastal aquaculture industry are the aims of a new research facility in Deep Bay.

The Deep Bay Marine Field Station is an off-campus research facility of the Centre for Shellfish Research at Vancouver Island University that supports sustainable shellfish aquaculture development along with encouraging preservation of coastal ecosystems.

In addition, it will help support First Nations shellfish aquaculture businesses through training and mentoring, strengthen innovation by increasing interaction between researchers and industry, and link research and training to support coastal economies.

The university received $5.5 million for construction of the centre, including more than $2.1 million from the provincial government and $3.4 million from the federal government.

The centre includes a seawater tank farm, laboratory, demonstration shellfish farm and a combined research facility for shellfish aquaculture, marine ecology and water quality.

“We are very proud of this project and grateful for the funding that has been made available to VIU to make the station a reality,” says Ralph Nilson, president and vice-chancellor of Vancouver Island University. “This field station will provide leading-edge teaching and research through VIU’s Centre for Shellfish Research. The field station will also stimulate job creation and demonstrate the innovative ways that our coastal environment can be protected and enhanced through consultation, collaboration and creative partnerships.”