The Campbell River-based Tula Foundation is leading a new funding program to help fisheries and aquaculture deal with climate change.
The Climate Ready Seafood Program will oversee $2 million in provincial funding for seafood farmers and harvesters to manage changes in the ocean, particularly increasing acidification and decreasing dissolved oxygen levels.
Rebecca Martone, Executive Director for the Foundation’s Ocean Decade Collaborative Center, says the goal is to help fund new research and strategies for changing oceans.
“Specifically, what I think is important to flag for aquaculture and commercial fisheries, is that there are definitely actions related to improving our understanding of what species really might be susceptible to these stressors in the marine environment,” she says. “We see increases in warming of the marine environment, but that also leads to these changes in acidifying waters and also reduced oxygen for species.”
The program comes out of the BC government’s Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Action Plan, developed after years of collaboration with scientists on both sides on the border.
The foundation will start taking applications this summer. Eligible applicants include Indigenous organizations, research institutions, industry associations, aquaculture producers, the commercial fishing industry, and non-governmental organizations.