Who We Are

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

Who We Are

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.”

BCSFA Youth Council Members

Alex Taylor

Operations Manager Tofino, Cermaq Canada, BSc. Agriculture Major Aquaculture

I love working in this industry because we operate in such beautiful and pristine environments. Going to work every day in a Rainforest full of ecological diversity is rewarding.

The people who work in this industry are committed to providing a sustainable protein source for an ever growing population. This common goal unites the industry together and makes for a collaborative and engaging work environment.

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.

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!

Brianna Viscount

Hi, I'm Brianna Viscount. I am a Hatchery Tech at Freshwater Farms with Mowi. I am from Halifax, Nova Scotia and have a Marine Environmental Technology Diploma from Marine Institute in St. John's Newfoundland, graduated in 2011. I have been involved with aquaculture off and on since then, working in a Cod Hatchery, with DFO on Mussel farms as well as in an Oyster Processing plant and an Oyster Farm.

I have been with Mowi for two years and have the opportunity to work at the Port Hardy Processing plant as well as helping with many projects around site. I am eager to continue to grow and learn about the industry here in BC.

Fish Farming is vital to a sustainable food source and with the technology and research today we are always learning new things. I am passionate about educating people on the topic.

Cory Cossenas

Hello, my name is Cory Cossenas and I am currently a site technician for Mowi Canada West at Chancellor Channel, previously a technician at the Ocean Falls hatchery. I have had many good experiences and learned a lot in my short four years within the industry and I hope to continue to grow my skills with the company in the years to come. The aquaculture industry provides a vital role in food security for us at home and for people around the globe and I am honored to be a part of this industry.

“Progress is not achieved by luck or accident, but by working on yourself daily.” - Epictetus

Emma Mercer

Hi everyone! My name is Emma Mercer. I am currently a Scuba Diver for Allpen Diving, and work from Broughtons to Sechelt with Greig and Mowi. I am currently also doing my 3rd year of a BSc in Biology.

I believe aquaculture is a great sustainable source of protein in a world with too many mouths to feed. I would like to help promote and improve the industry, and I hope that my diving will come in handy in this council, and the industry (outside of my regular job). I'm all for having discussions about my job, what I see/experience, and ways to educate through my job and experiences.

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.

Jay Pudota

I am Jay Pudota. I am the president at Samudra Environmental Consulting and Microthalassia Consultants. I have been in aquaculture and the associated industries for the past 15+ years. I have started my career in aquaculture as a shrimp and fish farmer in India while I was doing Bachelors in fisheries and aquaculture from SV Veterinary University, India. Later I did master’s in marine coastal development from NTNU, Norway and advanced diploma in sustainable aquaculture from Marine Institute, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. Currently, I am doing second master’s in marine technology management. I am also a Registered Professional Biologist (RPBio).

In my career, I farmed shrimp, carp and aquarium fish in earthen ponds, silver pompano, cobia and sea bass in small cages, Atlantic salmon in commercial size cages. After I moved to BC, I was working for Marine Harvest as a plankton sampler in the summer and fish farmer in winter months for the first few years and I worked as a water quality manager for few years at Mowi. Couple years go I started my own consulting firm Samudra and acquired Microthalassia. I have been working on many different projects mostly related to water quality and environmental monitoring.

I come from a farming family and I have been a farmer. So, choosing fish farming was a very easy choice for me. As a farmer my thoughts have always been that we have limited land and vast oceans with great untapped potential. Marine aquaculture is the future of food production. Responsibly farming the oceans would support the food security for the generation to come.

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

Hi friends! My name is Kirstyn Nygren and I am currently an Environmental Specialist with Grieg Seafood BC. I started my journey in aquaculture just 14 months ago as a sea site technician, then I worked as an assistant manager of Concepcion Point farm in Nootka Sound. Recently I moved into our company's environmental department and I love it!

I have a BSc in Marine Biology and Oceanography from the University of Victoria and I am so excited to work in a department more specific to my skills and passion.

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

Also... I just love fish! They're my favorite animal.

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.

Muhammad Shoaib

Hi, I’m Mohammed Shoaib and I work at Mowi Canada Weat as a Category Manager in the procurement department.

I have an MBA from Vancouver Island University.

I love salmon farming because it is a sustainable substitute to the consumption of the fish in the ocean. The resources in the oceans are depleting due to overfishing and the by-catch. Aquaculture helps us get away from it and being a part of this industry makes me feel I am contributing something to the world, as 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.

Renée Hamel

Hi everyone! I'm Renée Hamel and I'm the Certification Manager for Mowi Canada West. I have a degree in marine biology from University of Newfoundland and an advanced diploma in aquaculture from Marine Institute. I've been working in aquaculture for 8 years.

I've been passionate about the ocean since I was very young. From exploring tide pools and beachcombing to cod jigging and boat adventures, I knew I wanted a career related to the marine environment.

I look forward to working with everyone on showcasing our future in sustainable aquaculture.

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 Hartley

My name is Sam Hartley, I am an assistant manager at a sea site for Mowi Canada West. I took the Aquaculture Technician course at NBCC Saint Andrews in New Brunswick (2014-2015). I have been working in the Aquaculture industry for the past 5 years.

Being able to have this amazing career and opportunities that come with it, has been a dream I could never have imagined. The industry provides a sustainable product, economic benefits and supports the communities they operate in. That is one of the many reasons why I am incredibly proud to be a part of this industry.

Sam Tomkinson

Hello, my name is Sam Tomkinson and I am the Certification administrator at Mowi Canada West. I have a BSc, double degree of Biology and Physical Geography from Wilfird Laurier (2013-2017) and a post grad in aquaculture from Fleming College (2017-2018).

I have been working with Mowi since 2018 when they recruited me from my post grad program. I love this industry because it has come so far in the past 10 years and we are constantly growing and looking for ways to be better at our jobs both socially and environmentally.

Sandi Huynh

My name is Sandi Huynh and I am the Water Quality Assistant Manager at Mowi. I have a Bsc in Marine Biology from the University of Western Australia and a Msc in Sustainable Aquaculture from Curtin University. I believe Aquaculture is a vital part of the solution to feed an ever growing global population while alleviating the enormous pressures on wild fish stocks to do so. The industry has made leaps and bounds in terms of responsible and sustainable practices that are backed by scientific evidence with only further improvements to be made to help secure our food safety.

Scott Stangret

My name is Scott Stangret and I am a Saltwater Site Manager for Cermaq Canada in Tofino, BC. I have a BA in Geography from Brock University as well as an Aquaculture Graduate Certificate from Fleming College. I chose to work and study in the field of aquaculture due to the immense role it plays in providing the world with sustainable healthy protein all while taking pressure off the worlds remaining wild stocks.

Sean Lindsay

My name is Sean Lindsay and I work with Cermaq LTD. on our delousing Vessel, the SALAR. I have a BSc double major in Environmental Studies and Geography from the University of Victoria. I have a strong bond to our coastal environment and believe aquaculture plays an important role in the diversification of our coastal communities. As aquaculture workers we are heavily invested in the health and wellbeing of the coast and all those who inhabit it. I work to help ensure our industry is making substantial efforts to minimize our impact on the environment and promote the longevity of our Provincial resources.

Sreepad Kowkuntla

My name is Sreepad Kowkuntla and I’m responsible for supply chain operations for AKVA Group North America. I have a master’s in business administration from the Humber College. I believe aquaculture plays an essential role in the global food supply. It is estimated by the United Nations that the world population is expected to exceed 9.5 billion by 2050 and the demand for meat consumption is only going rise exponentially. So, it is more important than ever that we have a predictable and sustainable food supply to meet the unprecedented demand and aquaculture has a huge role to play in this challenge.

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.

Thi Nguyen

Hi Everyone, my name is Thi Nguyen. I am a Research Assistant at UBC within the Zoology Aquatics Facility, otherwise known as the Initiative for the Study of the Environment and its Aquatic Systems (InSEAS). I have a diploma in Fish and Wildlife from Fleming College and another one from VIU in Fisheries and Aquaculture. I have worked for Cermaq as a technician in both saltwater and hatchery departments as well as with Cargill EWOS Canada as their Research and Development Associate.

I have a passion for fish. Held a rod before I could walk, my first pet was a goldfish named Fishy. I believe that aquaculture can be the positive change that our society needs to reduce pressure on current demands for a sustainable and healthy food source as well as on our environment. With respects to salmon aquaculture, I think it plays such a vital role in our B.C province and local communities, providing jobs and food security.

Wajid Ali

Sanitation Supervisor, Cermaq Canada

I have a Bachelor of Pharmacy and Post Grad in Food Microbiology & Industrial Biotechnology. I had been working in Food Safety & Quality Assurance of RTE Meat Protein for the last 6 years in Ontario. And recently in April 2020 moved to Tofino, British Columbia starting work in Aquaculture.

I love Aquaculture because It is one of the most eco-efficient forms of protein production to meet the global challenge of increased demand for food with growing population. And together I believe we can drive a positive change at scale for promoting healthy and sustainable food systems for future generations.

Questions?

Have a question for the council or want to join us?

Performance Dashboard

2019 Technology Report

Performance Dashboard

2019 Technology Report