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June 2013

How do you define health? A quick Google search reveals many different definitions of health. Some focus on ‘lack of disease’, but most focus on the physical and mental well-being of the individual.

In this issue How do you define health?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Humane harvesting practices are a constant priority. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 From music scales to fish scales, hatchery tech embraces North Coast . . . . . 3 Please join Marine Harvest at the following salmon barbeques – in support of local charities.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Eat! Vancouver Food Show. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Positive Aquaculture Awareness. . . . . . . . . . . 4 Employer expectations. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Many thanks!. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Digital Action Tracking System. . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Be responsible: actions and words. . . . . . . . . 5 New Recruits. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6

Did you Know? Plant life in the ocean makes up about 85 percent of all the greenery on Earth.

Trivia time! What mammal can survive the longest without water? Answer on Page 4

Comments about this Newsletter? Please email comments, articles and ideas to Ian Roberts, Communications Manager at

My own definition of health, or specifically good health, means being able to do all the activities that make my life enjoyable: riding my bike to work, going for a walk with the family, or chasing my dogs around an agility course. By Dr. Diane Morrison Fish Health and Food Safety Director

What about the health of Marine Harvest salmon? Well, the first step is to agree that a different set of criteria comes into play when defining health for a food animal. Our salmon have a survival rate which typically exceeds 92% and the majority of mortality which does occur is caused by environmental issues or predators. Although our fish aren’t always free of disease or disease causing pathogens, routine and systematic screening has demonstrated that our salmon rarely have disease. This can be attributed to biosecurity controls designed to prevent the introduction of pathogens to our facilities and fish, as well as our health management plans which include broodstock disease screening, egg disinfection, and smolt vaccination. Together, these practices help ensure that

our salmon are healthy from conception and remain so throughout their life cycle. For a food animal veterinarian the definition of health must also look beyond the health of the individual animal and consider the health of the group, herd or school. In other words, are the animals achieving their targeted and expected production performance as a group? If not, is it due to environment, nutrition, or health status? The production performance of our salmon continues to improve as we reduce stocking densities, improve net cleaning, and improve the diet and delivery of the feed. Do our salmon fit the definition of good health? I believe they do. What about our final product? Those beautiful healthy salmon delivered to the processing plant for processing, boxing and delivery to our customers. Our salmon provide a healthy protein source for the final consumer. A recent paper found that one portion of farm-raised Atlantic salmon provides more omega-3 fatty acids than a same size portion of other species of salmon and four times the minimum daily intake of EPA and DHA as recommended by the World Health Organization ( Jensen et al., 2012). Our salmon are healthy and are a healthy meal choice packed with essential omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins. I’m proud to be a member of the Marine Harvest Canada team which provides customers with salmon that are healthy, and healthy for you.

Humane harvesting practices are a constant priority harvest crew cut each fish’s gills to drain blood and perform a quality check. The fish are sent down a chute that places them into a slurry of chilled water and ice, which is a key part of the harvest process. “The constant chilling the fish receive during transport to the processing plant in Port Hardy helps to ensure the highest quality product for our customers”. This process is repeated until all fish are harvested and the vessel is fully loaded.

By Gina Forsyth

“After three years of ongoing, diligent attention to their fish, the harvesting process is the final opportunity for Marine Harvest Canada employees to treat them in an ethical and humane way as they make their way closer to customers’ plates,” says Jason Stalker, Harvest Manager. A comprehensive harvest plan is put together shortly before the harvest and a weekly conference call with Jason, the manager of the site to be harvested, area managers, and the sales team confirms details and addresses any concerns. At the farm level, nets are organized and at the production end, equipment is checked and deemed ready to go. Michelle Warner, Harvest Coordinator works behind the scenes ensuring essential details are in place. “She’s responsible for scheduling the harvest vessels, crew and equipment and making sure daily volumes are met for Port Hardy Processing,” states Jason.  2

Prior to Jason’s arrival, site staff have calmed the initial group of fish (anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000, depending on cage size) by pre-seining them into a separate net inside the pen. As the process begins, a group of fish (3000-5000) is gently crowded into a long pocket at the edge of the pen in preparation for harvest. The care and attention paid to the fish in the pocket is our final chance to preserve three years of growth, explains Jason. An airlift nozzle is in position in the far corner of the pocket. The fish are attracted by a gentle current (bubbler) towards the nozzle and travel through the airlift into a darkened collection box on the harvest vessel that is positioned beside the pen. The fish are naturally attracted by the current and swim towards it, where they travel into a pneumatic stunner. The fish are instantly killed by a single blow to the head and then released onto a table where the five member

Throughout the harvest process, the main goal is keeping stress levels amongst the fish to an absolute minimum. Fish that are minimally stressed during harvesting are of the highest quality, which Marine Harvest customers can sell with a high degree of confidence to consumers. “Less downgraded product means fewer customer complaints and that’s good news for everybody,” says Jason. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), a registered charity in England and Wales was created in 1824. It provides voluntary guidelines developed for a variety of farm animals, from turkeys, pigs, and chicken to cows, as well as farm-raised salmon. The RSPCA developed comprehensive best practices in July 2010 for all aspects of farming Atlantic salmon, from the hatchery stage through to harvesting. “Marine Harvest Canada has used the RSPCA’s Welfare Standards for farmed Atlantic Salmon document as a guideline [for harvest practices] since it was published,” said Jason. “At a minimum we adhere to their standards and we go above and beyond whenever possible”, he added.

From music scales to fish scales, hatchery tech embraces North Coast located. Accessible only by boat or plane, this Marine Harvest facility is where Dave Porter, Fresh Water Technician, has worked since 2011. “I’ve found my place here,” says Dave with a smile in his voice. Although Dave was born in Vancouver, he grew up and graduated from high school on the other coast, in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. “I was mad crazy about the music industry”, says Dave, which led to a 26 year career as a talent scout for Universal Music in Toronto. He signed such bands as The Matthew Good Band and Big Sugar before leaving the hustle and bustle of the industry and the big city in 2008, when he was offered a buyout. “I took the money and ran,” he smiles.

Dave Porter, Fresh Water Technician By Gina Forsyth

On the north coast of BC’s mainland lays the small community of Ocean Falls, where one of Marine Harvest’s hatcheries is

Fisheries and Aquaculture diploma course at Vancouver Island University, where he learned about the company through human resources presentations and summer jobs. He graduated with honors and joined Marine Harvest soon after. In addition to the usual tasks involved with his position and due to the remoteness of the hatchery’s location, Dave has the ongoing opportunity to increase his equipment maintenance skills, something he’s particularly enjoying. Sabre, Dave’s German Shepherd/Blue Heeler cross, who he describes as “a good bear-scarer”, keeps him company at home, where he’s kept busy chopping wood to fuel his furnace. He enjoys the opportunity to listen to music for pleasure instead of analyzing it and his 70,000 digitized songs give him a wide range to choose from.

After coming out to the West Coast, which he was familiar with through his musical scouting trips, Dave enrolled in the

Please join Marine Harvest at the following salmon barbeques – in support of local charities. St Joseph’s Hospital Foundation / Y.A.N.A. Rotary Club of Strathcona Sunrise Relay for Life, Canadian Cancer Society CR Head Injury Support Society

Done! Done! Done! Done!


Vanier Centre, Courtenay


Marine Park, Comox


PHSS, Port Hardy


Spirit Square, Campbell River

3-4pm 11am-5pm 6-8pm 4-6pm

Beaver Lodge Lands Trust Committee


North Island College, CR


Relay for Life, Canadian Cancer Society


Vanier School, Courtenay

Comox Valley Kennel Club


Pacific Playgrounds, Black Creek


Campbell River Twinning Society


Spirit Square, CR


Salvation Army, Lighthouse Project


Robert Ostler Park, CR


CR and North Island Transition Society


Nunns Creek Park, CR


Campbell River Dragon Boat Society




Dick Murphy Park, CR

BC Professional Firefighters Burn Fund


Robert Ostler Park, CR

Campbell River Salmon Kings


Centennial Pool, CR

Vancouver Island Educational Alternatives Soc


Timberline School, CR

Campbell River Hospice Society


Baptist Church, CR

Port Hardy Rotary / Hospital Foundation


Storries Beach, Port Hardy

Kiwanis Club of Courtenay


Simms Park, Courtenay

Port McNeill Orca Fest / Harvest Food Bank


Port McNeill


Variety, the Children’s Charity


Tyee Chevrolet, CR


1-3pm 5:30-8pm 11am-1:30pm 5-7pm 4-8pm 1-3:30 pm

Our salmon is a popular stop at the annual Eat! Vancouver Food Show held last month. The BC Salmon Farmers Association has represented its member companies – which includes Marine Harvest – at the show every year since it began ten years ago. In the photo: David Minato, Member and Community Relations Manager at the BCSFA serves up some fresh BC farm-raised salmon. 3

Positive Aquaculture Awareness 17th Annual BC Aquaculture Slo-Pitch Tournament Date: Saturday, July 6th & Sunday, July 7th, 2013 Location: Willow Point Park, Campbell River Maximum: 16 teams | Cost: $350.00 per team Format: 3 game Round Robin followed by Single knockout in 2 Play-Off divisions Team reservation on a first come basis, so please reserve your spot as soon as possible. MHC has reserved space for up to 4 staff teams – paid for by MHC. If you are an interested team or individual, please contact Gerry Burry at to sign up.

Employer expectations The Marine Harvest Processing Plant was recently invited to participate in the Employer Expectations Presentation at Port Hardy Secondary School. Tina GarlinskiGonsky (Human Resources Manager) was part of a panel of employers that included representatives from Coastal Community Credit Union, Neucel, Pacificus, and Hardy Buoys. The presentation offered insight to high school students on what local employers are looking for when recruiting new hires and what attributes will result in success within their company. All employers had essentially the same message; we are looking for people who can work safely, are reliable, flexible, proactive, efficient, responsible and adaptable. 

Employees who possess these qualities and are friendly, courteous and respectful are in high demand. As one of the largest private employers on the North Island, Marine Harvest Canada is fortunate to have employees that demonstrate these key qualities. Marine Harvest Canada promotes the closely intertwined 4 P principle: people, planet, profit and product. It is the people of our company that leads to our success and our ability to supply one million meals of fresh Atlantic salmon on a daily basis. Our success is the people of Marine Harvest Canada working together to provide healthy seafood - from egg to plate. 

Many thanks! Fanny Bay Salmonid Enhancement Society was thrilled to recently receive a donation and delivery of several fish rearing tanks from Marine Harvest Canada. Hatchery manager Judith Ackinclose says “Many thanks to Philip Redmond and most of all to Marine Harvest for the donation of terrific tanks. New homes for our Baynes Sound coho!!!”

Answer: The kangaroo rat can last its entire life (3-5 years) without a sip of water.


Digital Action Tracking System helping to ensure effective training and a safer working environment.

By Blaine Tremblay, Health & Safety Advisor

In April/May the management team at Port Hardy Processing plant assembled a Digital Action Tracking System (DATS) training center that includes three computer work stations. Plant employees use the DATS system to update their job site training;

Feedback from employees is very positive; they have enjoyed this style of high quality training and learning. Many employees have asked if they can log in on their own time and do some of the training at home. In addition to the plant employees having access to great training on the worksite, we are seeing an improvement in employee engagement. Processing can be tedious and repetitive work so encouraging employees to learn is giving them a sense of pride and accomplishment outside of how many fish per minute they can process.

The management team is also realizing the potential of the DATS to include weekly automated emails reporting the current training status within each department saving time and resources. The DATS also provides a collaborative environment that the management team can collect notes from “Tool Box Meetings”, manager meetings and office resources. DATS is an amazing resource that has complemented our positive working environment at the plant. Now… DATSFANTASTIC!

Be responsible: actions and words behaviours by using Eye-Check books more consistently our Green Attitudes will align to support those behaviors. Safety attitudes drive safety choices and behaviours, thereby influencing the safety results we get. By Joy Stowe, Freshwater Support and BrainSafe Master Facilitator

I’ve been sending BrainSafe focused emails to your sites for a few months now with the goal of maintaining the program’s concepts as valuable safety resources. This month’s refresher is on the “Be Responsible” module of Brainsafe which speaks to our personal attitudes and beliefs, and how they link to our safety performance.  Fire up your neurons and flashback to the concepts of influence and control; we

can influence others with two things we have in our control - our actions and our words. Using actions, we can be mentors who show a new employee how to work safely and with less physical effort. Using words, we can speak up and offer a helping hand when we see someone struggling to do a job that two people working together could accomplish more safely. Let’s revisit the “Model of Life”; we know the results we want are zero incidents and we know that if we change our

I know from personal experience - my “brain freeze” event in front of the class during Miami training sessions - that it takes an investment of time, energy and repeated focus to change attitudes and develop new habits. Now is the time to keep that focus on the goal of zero incidents. We all share responsibility for improving the safety performance at MHC.  What you think, feel, say and do goes a long way to owning your 50% to influence the safety of yourself and your teammates.


New Recruits Marine Harvest welcomed several new staff members last month. They joined “the veterans” for an orientation of the company’s facilities prior to starting their careers with MHC.

Students toured

CRF&W Donation

Proud to support!

Michelle Warner, MHC’s Harvest Coordinator, recently toured students from Phoenix School to Cyrus Rocks salmon farm. It was harvest time at the farm, so the students were excited to see the large, market-sized fish loaded up for the trip to the processing plant in Port Hardy.

Members of the Campbell River Fish and Wildlife Association dropped by our warehouse last month to pick up donated items for a new family fishing dock being installed at a nearby lake.

Marine Harvest is proud to be an annual supporter of the Great Strides walk in support of cystic fibrosis research and clinical care. Pictured (l-r) is: Jim Costain (Dairy Queen), Cassandra McInnes, Ian Roberts (Marine Harvest), Bob Nichols (Kinsmen Club)


Marine Harvest Canada Wharfside newsletter June 2013  

June 2013 edition of news and information about Marine Harvest Canada - a salmon aquaculture company in British Columbia, Canada.

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