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Who We Are

Young Professionals of Salmon Farming in B.C. (formerly the BCSFA Youth Council) is a diverse group of millennial leaders (under 35) that represent virtually every aspect of BC’s salmon farming value chain. Our group includes farm/hatchery technicians and managers, water quality technicians, engineers, transportation managers, veterinarians, communicators, procurement managers, biologists, fish processors, certification managers, environmental specialists, and divers. Together, we aim to be an inclusive body that leads, informs, and sustains a positive dialogue about ocean-based salmon farming in rural coastal Vancouver Island communities.

For many of us, coastal North Vancouver Island is our home. Fish, forests, and the ocean are our identity. We care deeply for those resources and want to protect them for generations to come.

Our focus is on the future and we’re proud to work in a sustainable sector that feeds Canadians, including our own families. We’ve witnessed a positive dialogue change regarding salmon farming in our coastal communities, our friends respect the work we do and we’re confidently prepared to speak out against misinformation and disinformation.

Who We Are

Young Professionals of Salmon Farming in B.C. (formerly the BCSFA Youth Council) is a diverse group of millennial leaders (under 35) that represent virtually every aspect of BC’s salmon farming value chain. Our group includes farm/hatchery technicians and managers, water quality technicians, engineers, transportation managers, veterinarians, communicators, procurement managers, biologists, fish processors, certification managers, environmental specialists, and divers. Together, we aim to be an inclusive body that leads, informs, and sustains a positive dialogue about ocean-based salmon farming in rural coastal Vancouver Island communities.

For many of us, coastal North Vancouver Island is our home. Fish, forests, and the ocean are our identity. We care deeply for those resources and want to protect them for generations to come.

Our focus is on the future and we’re proud to work in a sustainable sector that feeds Canadians, including our own families. We’ve witnessed a positive dialogue change regarding salmon farming in our coastal communities, our friends respect the work we do and we’re confidently prepared to speak out against misinformation and disinformation.

Read our letter to North Island & West Coast Provincial Election Candidates

What Matters to Us

Consider what matters to millennials working in the industry:

  • Climate Change
    The future of the mountains that we climb in parks like Strathcona and the rivers that we fish up and down the coast depend on leadership taken today on climate change. We’re proud to be a solution sector, with the lowest emissions of all animal protein sectors.
  • Indigenous Peoples and First Nations Reconciliation
    We’re learning about truth and reconciliation from Indigenous Peoples and care deeply about our sector’s commitment to principles articulated in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).
  • Innovation
    Our sector is made up of highly skilled and educated millennials from across Canada. Part of what excites us is constantly upskilling, innovating, and deploying ground-breaking new technologies that move our sector forward.
  • Food Security
    During COVID-19, it has become apparent just how critical secure food systems will be for Canada’s future. By 2030, 60% of all fish consumed will originate from aquaculture. Raising healthy, tasty, and affordable salmon protein is exciting to us “salmon nerds,” and we’re poised to help grow Canada’s Blue Economy.
  • Wild Salmon
    We love fish. Wild salmon is part of who we are as Islanders. The science tells us that wild salmon and salmon farming can co-exist sustainably, but first we need to move away from the divisive dialogue of “this vs. that” and move toward “this and that.”

What Matters to Us

Consider what matters to millennials working in the industry:

  • Climate Change
    The future of the mountains that we climb in parks like Strathcona and the rivers that we fish up and down the coast depend on leadership taken today on climate change. We’re proud to be a solution sector, with the lowest emissions of all animal protein sectors.
  • Indigenous Peoples and First Nations Reconciliation
    We’re learning about truth and reconciliation from Indigenous Peoples and care deeply about our sector’s commitment to principles articulated in the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act (DRIPA).
  • Innovation
    Our sector is made up of highly skilled and educated millennials from across Canada. Part of what excites us is constantly upskilling, innovating, and deploying ground-breaking new technologies that move our sector forward.
  • Food Security
    During COVID-19, it has become apparent just how critical secure food systems will be for Canada’s future. By 2030, 60% of all fish consumed will originate from aquaculture. Raising healthy, tasty, and affordable salmon protein is exciting to us “salmon nerds,” and we’re poised to help grow Canada’s Blue Economy.
  • Wild Salmon
    We love fish. Wild salmon is part of who we are as Islanders. The science tells us that wild salmon and salmon farming can co-exist sustainably, but first we need to move away from the divisive dialogue of “this vs. that” and move toward “this and that.”

Young Professionals of Salmon Farming in B.C. Members

Amanda Luxton

Hi everyone, my name is Amanda Luxton and I am the Assistant Manager at Big Tree Creek Hatchery with Mowi Canada West.

I graduated from Dalhousie (Agricultural Campus) in 2013. I have been with Mowi ever since. I have had many different opportunities in this industry. I have been to different freshwater sites and have also had the opportunity to learn and promote the industry on numerous occasions.

I truly believe that we need aquaculture to feed the world and that many people do not understand what we do and why we love to do it. Being able to promote and educate people is what I am most excited about.

Andrew Richford

My name is Andrew Richford and I’m a Site Manager with Mowi Canada West, near the community of Klemtu on the Central Coast.

I’ve always had a keen interest in the marine environment and the salmon farming industry, which eventually lead to moving from the east coast in 2014 to pursue a career in the industry. While I have been a salmon farmer for a relatively short period of time, I’ve been fortunate to have the unique opportunity to visit and see parts of the coast that most people will never get to experience: through both the supplier and production sides of the industry.

I’m looking forward to working with everyone in this group to help grow, evolve, and improve the industry in British Columbia.

Brad Rempel

Co-Founder

Hey all, my name is Brad Rempel. I work for Mowi Canada West as an Assistant Manager at Sargeaunt Pass in the Broughton. Fresh out of high school I started at a processing plant on Quadra Island doing various tasks but mainly off-loading harvest boats on the dock. I eventually applied for Marine Harvest (at the time) after a stint in Alberta.

What drove me to Aquaculture is knowing that it is a growing industry, sustainable, and incredibly increasing innovation to further drive our environmental impacts down and provide a healthy protein to the ever-growing population. We work in remote areas and are protectors of our respected areas and help keep our oceans clean!

Jaramar Balmori

My name is Jaramar Balmori. I am the Fish Health Lab Manager for MOWI Canada West.

I have a DVM degree from Mexico and a Masters in Pathobiology from the Ontario Veterinary College.

I got into Vet school and specialized in aquatic species because I am committed to providing sustainable, quality food and doing my part in helping with food security. Aquaculture has allowed me to do both.

Jordan Frizzley

Hello, my name is Jordan Frizzley, I'm a Saltwater Farm Tech with Mowi working in the Broughton Archipelago. I joined Mowi just this past April.

I am originally from Campbell River and just recently returned to BC. I graduated from UNBC with a BSc. in Environmental Science.

I am new to the aquaculture industry and very exciting about. I believe it has tremendous potential for sustainable food production.

Justin Fortier

Hi, my name is Justin Fortier I’m a Salt Water Technician for Grieg Seafood BC. I am currently studying Aquaculture with Excel Career College, I’m just over a year into my career in Aquaculture, but my previous work was also marine based. I’ve commercial fished, offloaded F/V and briefly farmed shellfish.

I realized I had a passion for the ocean, as well as aquaculture now I’m dedicated to learn as much as possible while building a career in the amazing industry! I’m very excited to be part of the BCSFA Youth Council, and I hope to make an impact ensuring aquaculture is here to stay while maintaining wild salmon stocks!

Kaitlin Guitard

Hello! My name is Kaitlin Guitard, I am a water quality technician for Mowi Canada West in the saltwater department.

I graduated from Dalhousie University Agricultural campus in 2018 with a BSc in Animal Science. I made the switch from agriculture to aquaculture when I moved to B.C. shortly after graduation. I have been in the industry for a year and four months now.

I am a highly motivated and eager individual wanting to make positive change for our societies and future generations, this was one of the main drivers behind my entry into salmon production. My core values around food security and sustainability tie into the goals that salmon industries promote and stand by. I strongly believe that aquaculture is and will be the future for sustainable food production, and for that reason I am determined to be an individual who is a part of this movement.

Kenny Leslie

Co-founder and Chair

My name is Kenny Leslie, I am the Fry/First Feed Supervisor at Big Tree Creek Hatchery for Mowi Canada West.

I have a BA (known as a Master of Arts in Scotland) in Environmental Sustainability from the University of Dundee.

I believe that Aquaculture plays a vital role in future food security, especially as we face uncertain times with climate change. Our terrestrial ecosystems are stretched thin and land use for food production is shrinking, it is time to explore the oceans and the options available there. As it stands responsible and sustainable Aquaculture will help alleviate some of these issues.

Photo - I am in Ottawa in February at the CAIA Lobby days where I got to speak to a range of MPs about the importance of our industry and hear what DFO had to say about their plan and Act.

Kirstyn Nygren

Hello, my name is Kirstyn Nygren and I work as an Environmental Specialist with Grieg Seafood BC.

I was born and raised on west coast of British Columbia and have always been passionate about the environment and the ocean.

I have been with Grieg since beginning my career in aquaculture in 2019. I started in the salt water division as a farmer, before moving into the environmental department where I currently work as an Environmental Specialist. My job is to support operations and to ensure production continues through environmental challenges.

I enjoy working in aquaculture because I believe it is such a vital part of the future of our world. I want to be part of the changes and innovations that come with providing a sustainable source of protein while protecting our natural environments.

Laura Audrey

Hi Everyone! I am the Commercial and Customer Development Manager at AKVA group North America. I have a BSc in Marine Biology from Dalhousie University and have been working in the aquaculture industry for the last 7 years.

Prior to AKVA I worked for Cermaq in the saltwater department, so I understand both sides of the table from production to technology provider.

I look at the aquaculture industry as a solution for sustainable food protein as well as being responsible for protecting the oceans.

Liam Peck

Hey everyone! I’m Liam Peck and I work for Grieg Seafood!

I am the Senior Environmental Specialist and have been with the company since April of 2017. Our department is responsible for all things related to water quality at our farms, from algae blooms to low oxygen events and everything in between, with a focus on data collection and management systems. I love the challenge that comes with the job and see aquaculture as an integral part of the worlds growing demand for food.

I’m originally from Halifax but received my BSc in Biology from New England College in Henniker, NH, and my MSc in Biology from Acadia University in Wolfville, NS.

Matthew McDonald

My name is Matthew McDonald. I’ve had many job titles in the world of aquaculture, and I have visited many aquaculture operations in Canada, America and New Zealand.

My father is a BC commercial fisherman, and has always told me not to follow his tracks, as he works for a dying industry. But I was born with the love of the ocean in my heart, and no matter where I go, I always find my way back to the sea.

I have worked in aquaculture for over a decade. From repairing nets, to packing fish for market. From installing high end feeding systems to building metal and plastic farm structures.

I have been teaching people on the job for years, and now I have the privilege to teach them my passions in the classroom.

It is a honor to be a part of the BCSFA, and I hope I can contribute to the industry any way I can.

Matt McGoveran

Hi everyone, I am Matt McGoveran and I am a Water Quality Technician and Sea Site Tech for Mowi working in the beautiful Broughton Archipelago.

I completed an Honors Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences majoring in Ecology from the University of Guelph in 2013. I completed a Post Degree Diploma in Fisheries and Aquaculture from Vancouver Island University in 2018. Prior to working with Mowi, I worked as a Commercial Diver for 5 years with Allpen Diving and Flotation, and Dive Co. for just under half a year before that.

I have been diving recreationally since 2007 and have had amazing experiences in both marine and freshwater environments. I am keenly interested in aquatic ecosystem dynamics and am passionate about aquaculture and aquaponics. Sustainable aquaculture has many benefits and I am grateful to have been a part of the industry for this long.

Michelle Franze

Co-founder and Director

My name is Michelle Franze and I am the Manager of Communications, Partnerships and Community for the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA). I have a BSc in Marine Biology and Business from Dalhousie University. I began my career in aquaculture working as a Biologist/Larval Supervisor for an Indigenous owned scallop production company in BC, before my position with BCSFA.

I think aquaculture plays a vital role in food security and reducing our impact on the environment. With our human population and climate change effects increasing, we don't have enough wild resources to sustain everyone. We need responsible aquaculture, such as salmon farming, to support our population and wild stocks.

Mike Bryan

I am awesome, but my friends and family call me Mike Bryan. I work as a Sea Site Technician for Mowi Canada West in British Columbia.

I have a diploma in Ecosystem Management and Aquaculture, earned from Sir Sandford Fleming College School of Environmental Science and Resources.

I first chose to pursue Aquaculture to help preserve our waters via stocking so future generations can continue to fish. Throughout my duration of this career and witnessing the cool technology, the knowledge, production, and the vast amount of potential to come, I also truly see it as being vital for global food security. I like how Aquaculture provides great opportunities for younger forces and builds up their skills and character, it for one helped me develop more confidence. I especially believe it's important for job opportunities as fish farms can offer varieties of positions whether be a vet, water quality, diver, office work, sales, maintenance, vessel and heavy equipment operator, processing, labourer, research, fish technicians, and so forth!

Just like our farmers in Agriculture our farmers in Aquaculture will help feed our cities, especially the secluded areas or coastal communities that do not have easy access to many commodities.

Muhammad Shoaib

I’m Muhammad Shoaib and I work as a Procurement Manager at Cermaq Canada.

I have an MBA from Vancouver Island University and have been a part of the three major Aquaculture companies on Vancouver Island.

The resources in the ocean are depleting due to overfishing and by-catch. I love salmon farming because it is a sustainable substitute to the consumption of wild fish in the ocean. By being a part of this industry, I believe that I provide value to the world, and every little bit helps.

Navi Grewal

Hi there, my name is Navi Grewal. I am the Operations Manager at Aquatrans Distributors Inc for the reefer/van division. I got involved with Aquatrans eleven years ago through my background in transportation.

I am excited to be a part of this group, to learn and help bridge the knowledge gap between industry and community. I believe aquaculture is the way to farm for a sustainable future. This industry values the preservation of our ecosystem and supports local economies, especially the isolated coastal communities.

Ryan Mitchell

Hi, my name is Ryan, I am a breeding and broodstock technician for Mowi Canada West. I previously attended VIU fisheries and Aquaculture diploma and have had experience with enhancement, and commercially raising fish. I have raised sturgeon, steelhead and Atlantic salmon over the past 5/6 years.

I have always had a passion for aquaculture as well as aquaponics since I first went to university and love working in the industry and all of its challenges. I'm super excited to be on this council and help the industry as I believe it is vital to the future of sustainable good and helping out the planet.

Sam Tomkinson

Hello, my name is Sam Tomkinson and I am the Regulatory Affairs Specialist at Grieg Seafood BC.

I have a BSc, double degree of Biology and Physical Geography from Wilfrid Laurier (2013-2017) and a post grad in aquaculture from Fleming College (2017-2018).

I have been in the industry for 3 years. I love this industry because it has come so far in the past ten years and we are constantly growing and looking for ways to be better at our jobs both socially and environmentally. I want to do everything I can to make sure our industry is understood.

Terra MacDonald

Hello! I'm Terra MacDonald. I'm the veterinarian at Mowi Canada West. I have a BSc in Animal Science from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (now Dalhousie) and my Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI.

I've been working in aquaculture since my undergrad where I started with alternative protein diet trials with rainbow trout and Atlantic salmon, and never looked back! I've done field work for DFO in New Brunswick and Newfoundland as well as research on ISAv and sea lice on the East coast. I moved to BC in 2018 and have worked for Cermaq and now Mowi. I am super passionate about aquaculture as from the very beginning I saw an industry full of innovation and potential. Coming from a family of farmers I feel that aquaculture can allow us to strike an important balance between providing a sustainable food source and protecting our ocean environment and the critical species that we've taken advantage of for too long.

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