VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station hosts international seafood experts

Vancouver Island University

NEWS RELEASE

Jan. 27, 2011

The Vancouver Island University Deep Bay Marine Field Station will host its inaugural culinary event Saturday, Jan. 29, with a feast of locally grown sustainable shellfish served to international seafood experts who are gathering for SeaWeb Seafood Choices 2011 Seafood Summit.

Fanny Bay Berray Road oyster bed

Photo by Jon Rowley – Bill Taylor white shirt, leading a previous tour.

The tour and dinner at VIU’s new Deep Bay facility is a pre-conference field experience offered in conjunction with the annual international Seafood Summit that is being held in Vancouver this year from Jan. 31 to Feb. 2.

The Seafood Summit brings together all facets of the global sustainable seafood industry for a conference with the goal of making the seafood marketplace environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.

Now in its ninth year, the Summit is internationally recognized as the forum that inspires productive dialog towards helping today’s business leaders critically examine the many factors influencing their place in a rapidly changing global landscape.

“Through the Seafood Summit we saw a tremendous opportunity to showcase the BC shellfish industry to the world,” said Bill Taylor, President Taylor Shellfish and Fanny Bay Oysters, BC’s largest shellfish producer.  “We thought we could put an exclamation mark on shellfish farming sustainability by having the tour culminate in one of the greenest buildings in Canada – the Deep Bay Marine Field Station.”

“We’re proud to partner with Fanny Bay” says VIU President and Vice-Chancellor Ralph Nilson. “This is a stellar example of one of the principal roles of our brand new Field Station – engagement – where people with diverse interests can come to discuss key issues – in this case sustainable shellfish.”

Field Station Manager Brian Kingzett goes on to say “providing real-life experiential learning opportunities is another principal role of the Field Station.”

Award-winning chefs and student trainees from VIU will be working with, acclaimed chef Xinh Dwelley of Xinh’s Clam & Oyster House in Shelton, WA., to prepare a feast of locally grown sustainable shellfish at Saturday’s event.  “We are educating the chefs of the future about seafood sustainability through this training experience,” states Kingzett.

Xinh Dwelley, Xinh's Clam & Oyster House, ready to serve her famous oyster stew.

Xinh Dwelley – Photo credit – Jon Rowley

Chef Shore and Students

Chef Debbie Shore (second from right) and students of the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island.

The dinner caps a day-long excursion sponsored by Taylor Shellfish Farms and Fanny Bay Oysters.  In addition to the tour and dinner at the Field Station, the itinerary for “Discovering Sustainable Seafood on Vancouver Island” includes visits to a shellfish hatchery, scallop farm, oyster farm, floating upwelling system (FLUPSY) and processing plants. For lunch, the group will have the opportunity to try the locally famous Fanny Bay Inn Oyster Burger and later in the afternoon sample oyster and wine pairings by lantern light on the Berray Road oyster bed.

Qualicum Bay scallop harvest

Photo: Brian Yip, Fanny Bay Oyster

“We’re delighted that Fanny Bay Oysters and Taylor Shellfish are hosting the Vancouver Island shellfish field trip as it ties in perfectly with the Summit’s theme of ‘Sustainability Without Borders’ by following highly sustainable aquaculture practices from production to consumption, farm to plate,” says Becky Marshall, Director of North American Programs for SeaWeb. “What participants will see and taste exemplifies many of the sustainability aspirations of the seafood industry.”

Harvest - afternoon tide

Photo: Brian Kingzett

“The Deep Bay Marine Field Station was conceived and designed to connect people to the marine environment,” says Don Tillapaugh, Director of the VIU Centre for Shellfish Research.  “The world needs marine protein; BC needs sustainable jobs in coastal communities.  We have provided an architecturally inspiring place for discussion on how we achieve both while protecting the ocean we all value.”

The Field Station, about 62 kilometres northwest of Nanaimo, has already attracted national and international attention. Prime Minister Stephen Harper toured the facility during final stages of construction in September.

Additional photos are available through Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/viucsr/

For more information, contact:

Don Tillapaugh,
Director, Centre for Shellfish Research
Vancouver Island University
Cell: 250-618-6056
Email: Don.Tillapaugh@viu.ca

Brian Kingzett,
Deep Bay Field Station Manager,
Centre for Shellfish Research,
Vancouver Island University

Cell: 250-714-9077

Email: brian.kingzett@viu.ca

Web links:

Vancouver Island University, Centre for Shellfish Research, Deep Bay Marine Field Station:
viu.ca/deepbay/index.asp /

updates blog:  www.viudeepbay.com

Seafood Summit: http://seafoodchoices.org/seafoodsummit.php

Fanny Bay Oysters: fannybayoysters.com/

Taylor Shellfish: taylorshellfishfarms.com/

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