CAMPBELL RIVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - June 22, 2013) - The Honourable John Duncan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, today opened a new Visitor Centre at the Quinsam River Hatchery on behalf of the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans. The Visitor Centre showcases the work of the hatchery and the Salmonid Enhancement Program in sustaining Pacific salmon and supporting fisheries, and is part of the hatchery's $14 million renovation now underway.
"Our government is demonstrating support for preserving the future of Pacific salmon and an important example of this commitment is our investment in the Quinsam River Hatchery, its Visitor Centre and the Salmonid Enhancement Program," said MP John Duncan. "We recognize that education and public awareness are crucial to the long-term protection of Pacific salmon."
The Visitor Centre is a key part of the refurbished hatchery, acting as a gateway for the public to the facility. Interpretive displays and hands-on educational activities invite the public, including children, to learn about the story of Pacific salmon, the work of hatcheries and the importance of sustainable Pacific salmon stocks to British Columbians, including First Nations. The hatchery serves as a focal point for salmon education, watershed stewardship and habitat restoration in the Campbell River area through its work with volunteers, streamkeepers, schools, and community partners.
The Quinsam River Hatchery produces up to 12 million juvenile coho, chinook and pink salmon that have sustained stocks in the Campbell and Quinsam watersheds and contribute to valuable commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries. The hatchery supports fisheries that provide high economic and social benefits to British Columbia and Canada.
The Quinsam River Hatchery is one of the largest in a network of 17 major hatcheries and six spawning channels operated by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, under its Salmonid Enhancement Program, which is celebrating its 35th year. The Quinsam River Hatchery is a popular destination for the local community and tourists visiting Campbell River, with about 10,000 visitors a year, as well as students on school field trips.
The upgrade to the 40-year-old hatchery is designed to improve its efficiency, decrease energy use, safeguard incubating fish, increase production flexibility and improve the health and safety of workers. The Department provided the $14 million in funding through its capital improvement program and the overall project should be completed in 2014.
For broadcast :
The Honourable John Duncan, Member of Parliament for Vancouver Island North, opened a new Visitor Centre today at the Quinsam River Hatchery in Campbell River. The centre focuses on education about salmon enhancement, hatcheries, habitat restoration and stewardship on Vancouver Island. The centre is a key part of $14 million in major upgrades underway to improve the hatchery's operations. The hatchery is one of the largest operated by the Government of Canada and produces 12 million coho, chinook and pink salmon that sustain stocks in the Campbell and Quinsam rivers and support important commercial, recreational and Aboriginal fisheries.
For more information about Fisheries and Oceans Canada, visit www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca.
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