Vancouver Island, B.C. – The new International Centre for Sturgeon Studies at Vancouver Island University (VIU) received a federal grant this month.
The federal government gave the centre, which is scheduled to open Oct. 3, a $717,700 grant.
The funding will be used to equip the research facility with an electrical generator, a freshwater recirculation system, and other components.
Research scientists and industry representatives say the funding will be spent on working toward making sturgeon aquaculture a major economic driver for the province, reports the FishSite.com.
In fact many see sturgeon as having the potential to be a huge aquaculture species for the region, especially with growing markets in China.
The new state-of-the-art, 13,000 sq.-ft. facility will focus on working with the industry and other parties to develop the best land-based, closed-containment freshwater systems for sturgeon farming in B.C.
A little sturgeon history
Image from Vancouver Island University.
According to VIU, sturgeon have existed for more than 200 million years and outlived the dinosaurs. Yet, in less than one sturgeon’s lifetime humans have brought the fish to the brink of extinction. Almost all species and populations worldwide are in trouble.
VIU has been working with white sturgeon since 1984 but eventually reached a stage where it needed to expand its facilities. VIU, along with the World Sturgeon Conservation Society, identified a need for a dedicated sturgeon research centre and the university constructed the centre on its campus.