Field Trip! Chefs visit to Marine Harvest Salmon Farm

A couple weeks ago we facilitated a very fun end of semester field trip for our colleagues the Chef Instructors from the Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island.  Read on for a photoessay

Sarah and Salmon
Sarah showing a gorgeous Skuna Bay Salmon raised on Vancouver Island by Grieg Seafoods.

We serve a lot of locally raised salmon at Station events and VIU’s Fisheries and Aquaculture programs have provided trained graduates to the salmon farming industry for more than 25 years. A chance conversation with one of the instructors made us realize that they did not know much about how salmon are raised here on the Island. So a scheme was hatched to get the Chef instructors out to a farm to see for themselves. Ian Roberts of Marine Harvest Canada graciously offered to take a group out to for a tour and an end of semester Field Trip was organized.

After an early start and a  stop for more coffee in Campbell River where we met up with Ian.  Our tour started at the Dalrymple freshwater hatchery site north of Campbell River.  Note that Faculty get only the finest of the VIU vehicles.


Biosecurity is key and everyone observed the hatchery systems from a viewing room (not unlike the Deep Bay labs!) and we were given a description of the freshwater phase from the hatchery manager Graeme. Lots of questions from the Chefs.  Everyone was really impressed by the scale of the recirculation systems.

Our next stop was Kelsey Bay where everyone was issued lifejackets, met Mike the Captain who has 25+ years in the industry and we got onboard the crew boat Liard River II for our 20 minute trip to the Hardwicke Island farm site in Johnstone Strait. The guy in grey in the photo? A visiting curious tourist from Ontario who was wandering around the dock and got invited aboard to take an available seat on the boat. He’d later say best day of his trip!


The nice thing about traveling with the Chefs is they pack great lunches! Ian eating his sandwich en route.


Our tour started in the feed  shed where we met the Andy the farm site manager, Ironically I had been at the farm a couple weeks earlier when I had been competing the in the Van-Isle 360 Yacht Race  and the fleet had over nighted at the farm.  It was nice to see the flag from the race leg signed by all the crews proudly hanging in the shed.

Marine Harvest dinner

Here was the shed a couple weeks earlier when Marine Harvest threw a salmon barbecue for 400 sailors.


Through the shed, the group spilled out on to the pen system


We had about an hour of Q&A with Ian and the staff on the pens  and everyone got their questions out.


Checking out the Fish TV.  Each pen has cameras in it so that staff can monitor the feed consumed so that none is wasted and the fish can be observed.


The view inside the box was labelled “FTV” for Fish TV Channel.

The feed systems are controlled and monitored by the computer tablet in the floating case being carried by one of the farm technicians.

Salmo salar latin for jumping salmon

Restricted to pictures only – there were unanimous complaints that we couldn’t take any home directly.

Thanks Ian, crew and Marine Harvest we had a great day and everyone was really impressed.




One Response to “Field Trip! Chefs visit to Marine Harvest Salmon Farm”

  1. Jenn Holden Says:

    Awesome photos of a salmon farm. Really impressive – so clean!

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