The province has announced it will fund equipment and renovations at Vancouver Island University for a new fish health centre.

Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training said climate change is threatening the sustainability of coastal communities that depend socially and economically on fisheries and that’s why the lab is needed.

President and Vice Chancellor of VIU, Ralph Nilson said the new Centre for Innovation in Fish Health will foster partnerships between researchers, industry and concerned communities throughout B.C. and help VIU become a worldwide hub for innovation in fish health.

“We are going to be able to engage with industry partners and continue to grow. What we are doing is we are going to be able to revolutionize fields of study and fish health here on the West Coast. From my perspective, adding in this kind of research is going to be exceptional and I think expanding the capacity in these types of programs is critical to the B.C. coastal economy as we continue to move forward.”

Nanaimo North Cowichan MLA, Doug Routley said climate change is threatening the sustainability of coastal communities that depend socially and economically on fisheries and the new centre will ensure our fisheries are viable and prosperous.

The new laboratory is being developed with a level of biosecurity that can accommodate research into a broad range of diseases relevant to fish in B.C. while maintaining high standards of safety.

The investment totals 215,000 dollars.