Marine Harvest board of directors meeting

Marine Harvest Canada entourage converged on at the District office for the board of directors' meeting

A Marine Harvest Canada entourage converged on the Regional District of Mount Waddington office for the

Jan. 19 board of directors’ meeting.Ian Robertson, director of public affairs, Dean Dobrinsky, director of human

resources, and Stephen Hall, processing director, were on hand to update the board on what the company has

been up to in the last year.”December of 2014 was the last time I was here,” Roberts said.Roberts explained

that globally Marine Harvest produces about 20 per cent of the world’s farm-raised salmon which is sold in 70

markets. Last year, they produced about 430,000 tonnes.The company’s sales were $3.9 billion in 2015 and

their earnings were $559 million before taxes. Seventy per cent of those sales were in the United States, 25 per

cent in Canada, and five per cents to the Asian market, a number the company is hoping to increase, Roberts

said.The company employs 11,700 people, in 23 countries. On Vancouver Island, Marine Harvest Canada

employs 510 people, with 137 living in the regional district where hiring locally is a big priority.Of those 137

North Island employees, 60 work at sea sites and 77 work at the processing plant in Port Hardy.Dobrinsky said

the average age of employees in the company is 37.”In Port Hardy the average age is closer to 30, said

Dobrinsky.”Most of our sea sites are remote areas” where staff stay eight days and come out for six, said

Roberts, however in order to retain local employees, the company does have situations where employees can

“go in and out on a daily basis.” A new salmon aquaculture operation near Hope Island in partnership and

cooperation with the Tlatlasikwala First Nation is expected to create 21 new direct jobs.Marine Harvest

operates within the traditional territories of 20 First Nations and has formal agreements with 11 and has

relationships with six First Nation-owned businesses.In addition to monthly wages of about $3 million, last year,

Marine Harvest Canada put $10 million per month into the supply chain of communities, spending $15 million

on goods, services and contractors with the RDMW, said Roberts.The company gave out sponsorship dollars

to 112 recipients last year with 34 specific to the North Island.Marine Harvest is building seven new

recirculating aquaculture systems at its Big Tree Creek and Dalrymple facilities at a cost of $40 million. The

new land-based tank systems for raising parr and smolts (juvenile salmon prior to seawater entry) represent a

significant investment in hatchery infrastructure, and will enable the company to increase production while also

improving environmental performance. Recirculation uses about one-hundredth of the freshwater as a

traditional flow-through aquaculture facilities system.Monitoring of the ocean water near the company’s

processing plant in Port Hardy has shown that “we little to zero impact on the bay of Port Hardy,” said

Roberts.The company has also invested $600,000 in a first-of-its-kind pallet robot to take care of the 8,000

boxes that are moved at the Port Hardy plant each day.Marine Harvest is four-star certified to the Global

Aquaculture Alliance Best Aquaculture Practices, and is the first company in North America to have salmon

certified to the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s salmon standard.The Aquaculture Stewardship Council was

co-founded by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in 2009. According to the WWF, 85 per cent of the world’s

marine stocks are either fully exploited or overfished, driving accelerated growth in the farmed seafood

industry.Marine Harvest currently has three sites certified by the Council and is committed “to have all sites

certified by 2020, Roberts said.To satisfy the requirements of salmon certification, the company is also working

on wild fish monitoring which involves sampling wild salmonids in the area to determine baseline sea lice

abundance, as well as reducing its chemical use (antibiotics, anti-foulants and pesticides).”We continue to be

on the downward trend with 2.5 grams of antibiotics used in 2015 per metric tonne of fish harvested,” Roberts

said, adding the company strives to make “that a zero.”A new product for Marine Harvest is ‘Rebel Fish’ – a line

of fresh packaged salmon, including a spice rub, that cooks in the microwave in 90 seconds. It is currently only

sold in the United States.”I would like to get some up here and try it,” Roberts said. Mayor Hank Bood said he

likes some of Marine Harvest’s targets, and that they focus on recruiting employees locally.”I’m always glad to

hear there is that bent locally and I’ve seen the actual results of that,” Bood said, adding that he is happy “to

have an industry in Port Hardy that is world class and as a member of corporate community.”

 

 

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