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A RECENT study of more than two years' worth of accumulated data reveals the miniscule proportion of fisheries grants that go towards Canada's salmon farming industry – a reflection of the economically sustainable nature of salmon production.

Over nine quarters of public reporting by the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans on grants and contributions, members of the BC Salmon Farmers' Association accounted for just 0.22 per cent of the funding given to fisheries in Canada. Of over $250-million reported, about $555,000 went to BCSFA-related projects.

Members of the association are sometimes asked about subsidization of their farming operations, and are committed to providing information to the public about any public funding they receive.

To be clear, BC's salmon farmers receive no money to assist with their basic operations. All of the funding relating to the BCSFA was from the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program and went toward the development of new technology, improved environmental reporting systems and certification standards.

"Our farmers are proud to be successful in a challenging international market without needing to rely on subsidies from government," said Mary Ellen Walling, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.

For people interested in this topic, the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance also recently released a review comparing subsidies of the aquaculture industry across Canada with that of other resource sectors in the country. Based on Statistics Canada data, in 2009, the national aquaculture industry received less government support per dollar output (0.17%) than the average Canadian industry (0.67%).

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