Campbell River is the epicentre of the global aquaculture industry on Canada’s West Coast. It hosts the headquarters of three major farmed-salmon producers: Cermaq Canada, Mowi Canada West and Grieg Seafood BC. The aquaculture industry employs more than 400 people in Campbell River alone (source: Statistics Canada, 2016 Census), with hundreds more employed from smaller communities on the North Island. In 2018, BC’s seafood sector—which includes aquaculture and commercial ﬁ shing operations—generated sales with a landed value of $1.29 billion (Source: Fast Stats 2018: British Columbia’s Agriculture, Food and Seafood Sector). Leading environmental and health practices are being implemented in our waters when it comes to salmon production, and strong relationships with First Nations remain a guiding principle across the industry.
LOCAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT
Campbell River is a small city, and our business and industry leaders are also a tight-knit community. The local aquaculture sector shares customers, suppliers and industry insights in order to maintain global competitiveness and continue pushing the industry forward.
All major players are also represented at the provincial level by the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) and the BC Shellﬁ sh Growers Association. These entities act as liaisons between industry and government, ensuring a transparent business environment that is focused on sustainability, transparency and communication.
The City of Campbell River recognizes the signiﬁ cance of the aquaculture industry to our region, our residents and our local businesses. Support is routinely offered through several municipal departments and players, such as the Economic Development Ofﬁ cer.
Communication and collaborative projects with provincial and federal bodies, in support of local aquaculture, continue to be top priorities of our municipal government.
LAND & REAL ESTATE
Aside from premium sea-site access, Campbell River can accommodate all of the land-use needs that our growing aquaculture sector requires, such as:
- manufacturing and other heavy industrial uses
- light industrial R&D or environmental services
- transportation facilities for shipping product around the world
- ofﬁce space or administration
- technical support functions
Well-connected highway system with the rest of Vancouver Island, including accessible highways to rural and remote North Island communities
Upgraded local airport with capacity for freight and passenger growth
Ocean shipping and towing routes, both northbound and southbound, with high-capacity dock facilities and several local tugboat operators
Salmon farming generates approximately 7,000 jobs in B.C
- Five aquaculture employers are based in Campbell River, including three international producers: Cermaq, Mowi and Grieg Seafood.
- Aquaculture-supporting companies—such as engineering ﬁrms, equipment suppliers and manufacturing outfits—now base their companies here to ensure mutual growth and improve local economic development.
- Farm-raised salmon is BC’s main agricultural export, with an economic impact of more than $1.5 billion. (Source: BCSFA, Raising Opportunity: Sustainability Report 2019)
Aquaculture companies and support industries require access to strong communications infrastructure, due in large part to the off-grid locations of their operations.
- CRadvantage is our municipally owned, enterprise-level, ﬁ bre-optic broadband network. It currently connects the downtown core, with room to expand to other areas in the future.
- Internet providers offer competitive rates for high-volume data needs.
- Telus invested $1.5 million to improve cell phone service on rural Highway 19A in 2016.
Campbell River has access to several quality post-secondary institutions, all within 300 kms. Local and island-based education centres maintain strong partnerships with local employers and industry leaders, helping students ﬁ nd excellent job opportunities in their communities.
Aquaculture programs offered locally include:
- Aquaculture Technician Certiﬁcate
- Aquaculture Technician Diploma
- Hatchery Operations Certiﬁcate
- Shellﬁsh Aquaculture Technician Certiﬁcate
Opportunities also exist to access education for support services such as engineering, bookkeeping, human resources and business management.