Oyster farmer Rob Tryon and a farmhand prepare a harvest for market in 2014 on Vancouver Island. Innovate BC is launching its first innovation in aquaculture awards this May with prizes totalling $350,000. (Photo by Quinn Bender)

Oyster farmer Rob Tryon and a farmhand prepare a harvest for market in 2014 on Vancouver Island. Innovate BC is launching its first innovation in aquaculture awards this May with prizes totalling $350,000. (Photo by Quinn Bender)

$350K up for grabs at first-ever aquaculture innovation awards

Innovate BC accepting submissions that increase environmental, social, economic sustainability

Innovators in B.C. aquaculture are vying for $350,000 in prize money in the first-ever awards event for the burgeoning seafood sector.

The Aquaculture Innovation Awards, hosted by the B.C. government through its Innovate BC program, will be given to projects that encourage sustainable growth, competitiveness and adaptability, while solving challenges faced by B.C. aquaculture — whether finfish, shellfish, seaweed, or any other ocean-based food.

Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO of Innovate BC hopes to see saleable innovations for aquaculture directly, as well as adjacent sectors.

“Rather than being prescriptive we provided open and flexible call to see what innovation could exist. We want this to be market driven.

READ MORE: Build a better blue economy through responsible aqauaculture

“The needs and pain points are known, but sometimes you don’t even realize what could be a new and better way to resolve your challenges, until innovation is presented.”

Following a first round of judging, the Top 10 finalists will pitch to attendees of the May 5 virtual event and hear feedback from potential buyers. Two $150,000 prizes will be selected by a panel of judges and a $25,000 fan-favourite award will be voted on by the live audience.

In 2019 the farm-gate value in B.C. aquaculture was worth about $708 million.

Conversations about the sector however is often overshadowed by wild fisheries management, particularly Pacific salmon populations experiencing record-low numbers.

READ MORE: B.C. scientists look at climate change impacts on aquaculture production

Finn Donnelly, B.C.’s fisheries and aquaculture parliamentary secretary, said the province will continue stepping outside its traditional jurisdiction to work with the federal government on wild stock recovery, but it’s important also to encourage development in aquaculture for its economic and social payoffs.

“There is no question it has been a difficult and challenging year for our B.C. fisheries and aquaculture sectors. The pandemic has showed us just how important it is to invest in B.C. food security and local supply chains,” Donnelly said

“We will continue to work closely with the fisheries and aquaculture industry and ensure their products can continue to be enjoyed safely here at home and around the world.”



quinn.bender@blackpress.ca

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID019 cases number have dropped dramatically according to the BC CDC epidemiology mapping for the week of April 11 to 17 . Nurse Angie Z. gets a thumbs up from Delores Campbell, one of the first of 9,008 residents to be vaccinated in the Prince Rupert community vaccination clinics in March. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View.
COVID-19 Case number plummet in Prince Rupert

BCCDC mapping shows a dramatic decrease in pandemic case number in the Prince Rupert region

Dreamfish are hung on the fence at Annunication School in Prince Rupert on April 17 as part of the Stream of Dream eco-education program teaching about local watersheds and salmon habitats. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Stream of Dreams fish swim the fence at Prince Rupert School

Students at Annunciation school learned about watershed protection and salmon habitat

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Registered Nurse, Teresa Friesen immunizes Dunrovin resident, Richard Brophy. Resident’s at the home were the first in Quesnel to receive COVID-19 vaccines. (Submitted Photo)
COLUMN: Vaccine floodgates should be opened

This editor’s column first appeared in the April 14 edition of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on property

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrives for briefing on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, Oct. 26, 2020 (B.C. government)
B.C. sees 1,006 COVID-19 cases Thursday, ‘alarming’ 502 in hospital

Vaccine bookings for people aged 60 and older set to start

Most Read