— October 28, 2021 —

Science & Research Coordinator Earns 2021 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award

ACFFA auction raises $2500 for Charlotte County Cancer Society

Betty House, a veteran Science & Research Coordinator for the salmon farming sector, is the recipient of the 2021 Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award.

Aquaculture professionals came together both in-person and virtually for the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association’s Annual Science, Research and Technology Forum this week in St. Andrews, NB where the award was presented to House. Watch a video celebrating House and her work . A live auction held during the forum dinner raised $2,500 for the Charlotte County Cancer Society.

“Betty House is a passionate champion of aquaculture, of the science-based research behind it and the people who work in it. She’s truly one of our industry pioneers,” says Tom Taylor, Chair of the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association (ACFFA). “Her work as ACFFA’s Science and Technology Coordinator has been crucial to the evolution and continued sustainable growth of Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming sector.”

A graduate of Memorial University’s Bachelor of Science program and the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s Advanced Aquaculture program, House’s career in aquaculture has spanned three decades. She began her career on salmonid farms as an aquaculturist, then working at a Newfoundland eel farm before moving to New Brunswick to become one of the few women in our region at the time to work as a marine site technician on a haddock farm and later as a fish health technician on salmon farms. In 2008, she took on the role of Saltwater Certification Coordinator at Kelly Cove Salmon – a position that laid the foundation for today’s third-party audited farm certification programs in our region.

In 2009, the New Brunswick Salmon Growers’ Association – now known as the Atlantic Canada Fish Farmers Association – was fortunate to hire House as its Research & Development Coordinator (now called Science and Technology Coordinator). For the past 12 years, House has coordinated science, research, and innovation activities for Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming sector. She organizes the speakers for ACFFA’s annual Aquaculture Research, Science and Technology Forum that attracts researchers from around the globe to exchange information on topics ranging from innovative production approaches to fish health and environmental management to new farming technology. In 2010, House led a comprehensive pilot project on well-boat technology that transformed how salmon farmers handle sea lice in Atlantic Canada.

House coordinates the salmon farming sector’s participation in an innovative partnership that is revolutionizing wild salmon restoration. Her work with all the partners in Fundy Salmon Recovery has been crucial to the success of this project which has resulted this year alone in over 100 wild salmon returns in Fundy National Park rivers, the highest numbers in three decades. Seeing this many Atlantic salmon return to the park rivers brings biologists hope that these adults will spawn a large number of strong, healthy juveniles helping to bring back this iconic endangered fish.

“There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you put a wild salmon back into its native river,” says House. “It’s like being a part of nature, part of the ecosystem and delivering a missing member of that system into the rivers where it will have an impact on many future generations and help the healing.”

Taylor says House is often described as ‘the glue’ that brings people and projects together.

“She has earned a reputation for technical and organizational excellence as she guides and coordinates research and innovation efforts,” says Taylor. “Betty’s focus always is: how can we do this better and continue to grow? Her leadership is remarkable when it comes to bringing forward new ideas and following through with planning, execution and follow-up.”

Approximately 155 salmon farmers, industry stakeholders, scientists, researchers, provincial and federal government representatives, and community members participated in ACFFA’s 2021 Forum at the Huntsman Fundy Discovery Centre in St. Andrews. Of the 155 participants, 88 attended virtually.

“I’m surprised and humbled by this award. I have been fortunate to work with a large number of very smart people in the aquaculture sector over the years who have taught me a lot and introduced me to the many facets of this industry that most people don’t get an opportunity to see,” says House. “We’ve seen many changes within the industry, and though some frustrations and challenges remain, we stay because we share a love of fish farming and growing food, despite the days with -25 windchill and long hours. We enjoy working together to see the industry grow and improve.”

ACFFA established the Atlantic Canada Aquaculture Award in 2017. The award honours an industry professional who has dedicated more than 25 years or more in the areas of science, environment and technology in support of the sustainable development of salmon aquaculture in Atlantic Canada.

ACFFA is an industry-funded association working on behalf of Atlantic Canada’s salmon farming industry in addition to a wide range of service and supply companies and organizations. Salmon farming employs over 8,000 people in our region and has a total economic output of $2 billion annually in Atlantic Canada.

For more information, please contact:
Susan Farquharson, Executive Director
Ph: 506-755-3526
Email: info@atlanticfishfarmers.com

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