Grieg Seafood donates gear to help contain active oil leak in Nootka Sound

Spill response crews using boom on oil spill off Bligh Island in Nootka Sound.

 

To help the Canadian Coast Guard and spill response teams contain oil leaking from the MV Schiedyk shipwreck in Nootka Sound, Grieg Seafood has donated mooring gear to anchor a heavy 10,000-foot-long boom in place.

A concerning oil slick was spotted from the shipwreck earlier this month near Bligh Island. The 150-metre ship sank in 1968 while carrying wood pulp and barley after it hit an underwater ledge. The crew survived but the ship sank with oil on board.

Grieg Seafood, which operates in the area, was contacted on Saturday, Dec. 12 by Diversified Marine (a company contracted to help stem the oil leak) to see if they could assist with containing the active oil leak.

“It was a no brainer to get involved,” said Mike Crivea, Operations Manager for Grieg Seafood BC. “The surrounding environment, ecosystem and communities around Nootka Sound mean a lot to us at Grieg, and if we can be a part of containing the spill, we will.”

Diversified Marine, which also contracts for Grieg, already had mooring equipment onboard their barge from a recent system upgrade to a Grieg site. The rest of Grieg’s gear needed for the spill was being stored nearby at the Gold River dock. Some of the equipment donated were anchor blocks, buoys, rope, chains, shackles and thimbles.

Multiple anchors were dropped at the spill site on Dec. 16, 17 and 21 as the Coast Guard and Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) test how the boom reacts to the mooring placements.

“This boom is very heavy,” Crivea said. “One-hundred feet of it weighs probably around 6,000 lbs, so to secure a 10,000-foot boom in Nootka’s currents and tides takes a lot of planning and heavy-duty mooring equipment.”

“We hope the mooring of the oil boom is a success, so we can get the leak contained as quickly as possible.”

The Coast Guard and WCMRC are working around the clock to contain the spill, which is already impacting wildlife. A heron and sea otter were both found covered in oil and sent to the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Mammal Rescue Centre to recover.

 

Statement on DFO’s decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands

 

After consultations with First Nations in the Discovery Islands, today Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, announced the move to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands by 2022. This may affect our one farm out of the 20 that we operate in BC.

We know that these changes are the results of First Nations voicing their concerns.

We have heard these concerns and will continue to listen and work hard every day to improve in the areas required.

Our goal is to be the salmon producer that has earned the trust of Rights Holders in the traditional territories where we farm.

 

 

Rocky Boschman
Grieg Seafood BC

GRIEG SEAFOOD NOW HOLDS LARGEST ASC MULTI-SITE CERTIFICATION GLOBALLY

Gus the Great Blue Heron flies away from Barnes Bay farm, which was ASC certified on Sept. 1, 2020

CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – Yesterday Grieg Seafood received its sixth and final Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) certification for its multi-site certificate for its Sunshine Coast and Okisollo Channel farms.

On Sept. 1, Grieg’s Barnes Bay farm in Okisollo Channel received its ASC certificate, which makes Grieg’s ASC multi-site certificate the largest globally with a total of six farms.

ASC is an independent, international non-profit organization that manages the world’s leading certification for aquaculture. Its standards are transparent, science-based and inclusive, and were developed in line with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“This is a big achievement for us at Grieg, considering the ongoing complications of working around Covid-19,” says Kristin Storry, Certification & Regulatory Affairs Manager at Grieg Seafood BC.

“Our team of farmers and staff worked hard to get this multi-site certificate, to make sure that we are becoming better stewards of the environment and better partners with the Nations in whose territories we operate.”

The other farms under this ASC multi-site certification are Ahlstrom, Culloden, Site 13, Salten and Vantage.

Grieg’s Nootka Sound farms received ASC certification earlier this year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it was vital for Grieg to continue pursuing its certification goals and get its Sunshine Coast farms ASC certified as well.

The next farms Grieg will be pursuing ASC certification for are Esperanza, Hecate and Steamer in the Esperanza Inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Grieg Seafood partners with California start-up to analyze ocean data, reduce environmental impact

Aerial shot of Grieg Seafood’s Gore Island farm in Nootka Sound British Columbia.

 

CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – Grieg Seafood and Scoot Science of Santa Cruz, California have partnered to launch an innovative ocean analytics and data management platform that will provide real-time data on ocean environmental conditions to Grieg’s salmon farms in British Columbia.

This platform, the SeaState Dashboard, unifies existing sensor networks on farms to collect information and provide a clear window into how salmon farms react to changing ocean conditions using in-pen data and publicly available data. This means better predicting ocean trends, giving Grieg an opportunity to reduce its exposure to marine risks, such as harmful plankton blooms and sea lice outbreaks, as well as improve fish welfare and efficiency.

Some of the data collected by this platform will also be accessible to Indigenous groups, universities, scientists and eNGOs in order to study ocean trends and understand the interaction between ecological systems (like wild salmon) and the changing ocean environment. The portal will also make other data available to the public, such as Grieg’s sea lice numbers and compliance with regulatory bodies, which aligns with Grieg’s transparency goals.

“As salmon farms are located in remote areas along the coastlines of our oceans, we have a unique opportunity to capture remote environmental data continuously 365 days a year,” said Dean Trethewey, Director of Seawater Production, Regulatory and Certifications at Grieg Seafood BC.

“We know accurate data drives sustainable decisions. With climate change and a new horizon of challenges in our oceans, our stewardship towards sharing data with key stakeholders is paramount.”

Grieg gave Scoot Science 20 years of archived data to use alongside the real-time data currently collected in the SeaState dashboard. With a deep background in ocean science informing Scoot’s artificial intelligence and statistical approaches, the team is beginning to understand important trends in the coastal ocean and has identified striking correlations between various environmental parameters in Grieg’s data. The result is that the SeaState platform can provide an accurate forecast in the ocean within three to four days.

This SeaState Dashboard will be implemented at all 22 of Grieg’s salmon farms in BC, before expanding to other Grieg Seafood regions in the world.

“Aquaculture can play an important role in providing healthy nutrition to people in the coming decades, but only if we find new ways to reduce our impact and improve fish welfare. It is exciting that start-ups outside traditional aquaculture are now looking to help us improve and solve our challenges. That’s exactly what we need,” said Grieg Seafood CEO Andreas Kvame. “We are still at the beginning of the digital revolution in fish farming, but I am confident that digitalization will transform our industry and make it more sustainable.”

Tools like the dashboard will provide a deeper understanding of how salmon farm operations are driven by the surrounding ocean environment, as well as inform more accuracy in precision aquaculture.

“We’re thrilled about this partnership. Grieg is a leader in precision aquaculture, and we believe that implementing our SeaState Dashboard and forecasting models will give a distinct competitive advantage. The scale of Grieg’s operations will give our team new insights and feedback for refining our analysis tools and will undoubtedly help us to best serve the top producers in aquaculture,” said Jonathan LaRiviere, co-founder and CEO of Scoot Science.

“Grieg’s commitment to the lowest possible environmental impact, strong community outreach, and focus on the welfare of their fish strongly align with our team’s mission of improving humanity’s relationship with the ocean.”

Once the Scoot Science platform is successfully integrated at Grieg’s BC farms, it will then be deployed at Grieg Seafood’s farms in Newfoundland and the Shetland Islands.

 

 

Media contact:

Grieg Seafood BC

Katie Maximick, katie.maximick@griegseafood.com

 

ScootScience Media Contact:

Brad Dugard, brad@sandcpr.com

 

About Grieg Seafood

Grieg Seafood ASA is one of the world’s leading salmon farmers, targeting 95,000 tonnes of harvest (GWT) in 2020. Their farms are in Finnmark and Rogaland in Norway, British Columbia and Newfoundland in Canada and Shetland in the UK. Grieg’s headquarters is located in Bergen, Norway. Grieg Seafood ASA was listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange in June 2007. More than 800 people are employed by the company globally. Sustainable farming practices are the foundation of Grieg’s operations.  To learn more, please visit www.griegseafood.com and www.griegseafoodcanada.com

 

About Scoot Science

Founded in 2017, Scoot Science is aquaculture’s leader in ocean analytics and forecasting. Scoot Science offers a wide range of products and services designed for fish farmers who need to understand ocean risks and protect their operations. Scoot Science delivers unified data access and analysis of your local ocean environment to mitigate the impact of ocean threats to farms.  For more information, visit ScootScience.com.

GRIEG SEAFOOD ACHIEVES ASC MULTI-SITE CERTIFICATION FOR SUNSHINE COAST FARMS

 

Grieg Seafood received ASC’s multi-site certification for 5 of its Sunshine Coast farms earlier this month. Grieg is only the second company in the world to achieve this.

CAMPBELL RIVER, BC – Earlier this July, Grieg Seafood BC achieved multi-site certification from the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) for five of its Sunshine Coast salmon farms.

ASC is an independent, international non-profit organization that manages the world’s leading certification for aquaculture. Its standards are transparent, science-based and inclusive, and were developed in line with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The five farms were audited and then issued certification as a group. Mowi is the only other aquaculture company in the world to have received ASC’s multi-site certification.

“At Grieg Seafood, we work hard to reduce our environmental impact and improve fish welfare. We are proud of our team in British Columbia for the progress they are making, this time as one of the first companies in the world to achieve ASC’s multi-site certification,” says Andreas Kvame, CEO of Grieg Seafood. “It is important to Grieg to continue to advance in areas of sustainability and environmental accountability wherever we farm in the world, and attaining ASC certification at our farms is a step in that direction.”

The farms that were issued ASC certification are Ahlstrom, Culloden, Site 13, Salten and Vantage. Meanwhile, Grieg’s Barnes Bay farm in Okisollo Channel will be added to this group certificate in the coming months.

“Across the board, our employees worked hard to get this multi-site certification, all while working around COVID-19 distancing protocols, and that’s incredible,” says Rocky Boschman, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood BC. “Despite that challenge, we are still on track to have all of our farms ASC certified by 2021.”

“ASC is important because we believe that the ASC standard has helped us to become a better partner with the Nations in whose territories we operate.”

Grieg’s Nootka Sound farms received ASC certification earlier this year prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the ongoing challenges of the pandemic, it was vital for Grieg to continue pursuing its certification goals and get its Sunshine Coast farms ASC certified as well.

“As the new COO of Farming North America for Grieg Seafood ASA, it is inspiring to see our BC team demonstrating to our market how we are passionate about improving ourselves as farmers, as stewards of the environment, and as community partners,” says Roy Tore Rickardsen. “BC’s push to receive full ASC certification will motivate many others who work for Grieg around the world.”

The next farms Grieg will be pursuing ASC certification for are Esperanza, Hecate and Steamer in the Esperanza Inlet on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

Statement regarding Grieg’s sea lice management in Nootka Sound

 

July 22, 2020

 

This spring and summer we have experienced higher than normal sea lice levels at our farms in Nootka Sound and our crews have been working hard in response to this. Treatments have been very successful, resulting in reduced sea lice numbers. We are also harvesting out the fish from these farms to further remove the possibility of sea lice transferring between our fish and wild salmon.

The most unfortunate part of this lice outbreak is its timing, which was during the outmigration of wild juvenile salmon. Each year during the outmigration and in-migration of wild salmon, our industry works together via area management plans to make sure our farms have the least impact on migrating salmon. Coexisting with wild salmon is, and always has been, of foremost importance to us.

A series of events has led to higher sea lice levels on our Nootka Sound farms, particularly the timing of when our new treatment and transport wellboat, the Ronja Islander, arrived for commissioning just before the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Ronja Islander has some of the best technology available to treat for sea lice. When we prepared to start treatments this spring, our farm and vessel crews were impacted by government-authorized self-isolation protocols in the early onset of COVID-19. This put us behind our treatment schedule in advance of the annual outmigration of wild juvenile salmon.

We are proud of our new wellboat and with new technology the vessel and her crew had to overcome a steep learning curve while working with changes to safe distancing protocols. We continue to learn how to work through the pandemic’s complications and disruptions every day. That has, and will continue to be, a challenge for us as it is for so many.

In addition to the new lice removal technology of the Ronja Islander, we are also researching the effects of installed partial-closed containment systems at two of our Sunshine Coast farms, which will trial the effects of reduced wild lice attaching to farmed salmon. With these advances, we hope to further decrease interactions between wild and farmed salmon.

The timing of these challenges, as well as adapting new sea lice management tools, has created an anomaly year for Grieg’s Nootka farms – one we will learn from and improve on to be even better stewards of the environment.

 

Dean Trethewey

Director of Seawater Production, Regulatory and Certifications

E: dean.trethewey@griegseafood.com

Grieg, Cermaq partner with Food Banks Canada to donate 120,000 cans of salmon

Marilyn Hutchinson, Director of Indigenous & Community Relations (left) and Linda Sams, Sustainable Development Director for Cermaq Canada, hold cans of salmon in Campbell River, BC.

CAMPBELL RIVER, BC — Today the BC Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) announced a new national salmon donation initiative with Food Banks Canada to feed Canadian families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Together Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC are donating 60,000 pounds of salmon to Food Banks Canada’s national hamper distribution initiative to assist with the demands on food banks due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Protein donations are hard to come by, especially since COVID-19, where protein has become short in supply. Shelf-stable healthy protein is highly desired by food banks, but often the least donated because it’s expensive,” says Chris Hatch, Chief Executive Officer for Food Banks Canada.

Food banks have seen an increased demand since COVID-19 and expect it to last beyond the pandemic as the economy slowly bounces back.

“We knew we had to find a way to make something happen, and we would like to thank both Grieg and Cermaq for stepping up and filling this need,” says John Paul Fraser, Executive Director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. “Canned salmon isn’t a product we normally produce, so this is truly a tailor-made product for food banks.”

 

From Provincial to a National Level 

In April, Cermaq and Grieg partnered with Food Banks BC to produce and distribute 86,000 cans of salmon across the province. Aquatrans donated costs to transport the fish to St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse in Nanaimo and then to the five major food bank hubs across the province. The donation was so well received that Food Banks Canada approached BCSFA to partner for a national donation of canned salmon.

“When we saw the BC salmon farmers’ generous donation to Food Banks BC in April, we reached out to BCSFA to see if we could work together on a national project,” says Hatch.

Mowi Canada West began distributing one-pound portions of Atlantic salmon to food banks in Campbell River and Port Hardy in early April, donating 1,000 pounds a week. They have to date donated 10,000 lbs of salmon portions, and partnered with a Port Hardy company, Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish, to produce 2,000 packs of salmon jerky. Mowi will continue this contribution for the length of the pandemic.

 

Salmon farmers step up for a second time  

After the canned salmon was distributed throughout the province, BCSFA was approached by Food Banks Canada to participate in their national hamper distribution imitative to assist in the increased demand on food banks during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The partnership with Food Banks Canada includes salmon donated by Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC with processing and canning costs covered in part via an investment through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund emergency funding.

“When Food Banks Canada reached out to the BC Salmon Farmers Association to participate in this national initiative, there was no doubt that Grieg would contribute canned salmon again, alongside our friends at Cermaq,” says Rocky Boschman, Managing Director of Grieg Seafood BC.

“We know how hard people have been hit during this pandemic, so getting healthy, canned salmon to homes across the country is one thing we can do as salmon farmers to help.”

Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC both committed to donating 60,000lbs of Atlantic salmon, which would produce contents of approximately 120,000 cans in total.

Due to the pandemic many food banks shifted their distribution towards pre-packaged, shelf-stable foods that require less volunteer or client handling of products. Therefore, salmon farmers teamed up with St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse once again to can their fresh B.C. farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

“This pandemic has affected us all, and we are proud of the way Canadians have come together as a nation to support each other. We are pleased to be able to share our healthy, sustainably grown and harvested salmon for families and individuals across Canada to help ensure they have access to nutritious, Canadian grown food,” says David Kiemele, Managing Director for Cermaq Canada.

“We would like to thank the BC Salmon Farmers Association and Food Bank Canada for organizing the donation, and Nuu-chah-nulth Seafoods, the owners of St. Jean’s Cannery and Smokehouse, for canning our salmon to ensure it could be easily shared and distributed.”

Aquatrans Distributors Inc. has donated their trucking costs to transport the product within BC. “It is with great pride that Aquatrans is taking part in the generous donation from Cermaq Canada and Grieg Seafood BC to feed those in need in Canada,” says Ryan Brush, General Manager of Aquatrans. “The health qualities from Salmon are undisputed being loaded with protein and omegas. There is no better feeling than helping fellow Canadians on a large scale.”

While, Seaspan Ferries Corp has donated their ferry costs to help move the cans off Vancouver Island, “Seaspan Ferries is proud to support Aquatrans and BC salmon farmers’ with the donation of multiple ferry drop trailer services between SFC’s Duke Point Terminal and Tilbury on the Lower Mainland,” says Doug Jesson, Commercial Manager for Lower Mainland of Seaspan Ferries Corp.

“We anticipate that this tremendous kind act by all concerned will be well received by the Food Banks Canada’s food hamper program, and on behalf of Seaspan Group we are pleased to be a part of the event.”

 

Together, with the salmon farmers previous donations, this brings total salmon donations equivalent to over half a million meals to Canadians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are truly thankful to the BC salmon farmers’ for answering our call,” says Hatch. “This donation will feed thousands of Canadians in need this summer.”

Marilyn Hutchinson shows off some of Grieg’s canned salmon, which were designed specifically for this Food Banks Canada initiative.

More information:

  • In April, BC salmon farmers partnered with Food Banks BC to produce and distribute 86,000 cans of salmon across the province.
  • Out of this initial canned salmon donation, Cermaq supplied 62,000 cans, and Grieg donated 24,000.
  • In this new donation, the salmon donated by Grieg and Cermaq will be distributed to food banks across the country starting at the end of June.
  • Aquatrans Distributors Inc and Seaspan Ferries Corp are donating transportation costs
  • The processing and canning costs are covered in part via an investment through the Government of Canada’s Local Food Infrastructure Fund emergency funding
  • Food Banks Canada supports a unique network of over 3,000 food related organizations in every province and territory.
  • Food Banks Canada typically supports about 800,000 Canadians each month.
  • More than one-third of food bank recipients are under 18 years old.
  • Properly stored, canned salmon has a shelf life of three to five years.
  • Mowi Canada West has committed to continue its weekly donations of 1,000lbs of salmon portions to food banks in Campbell River and Port Hardy for the length of the COVID-19 crisis. To date Mowi has donated 10,000lbs of salmon portions and 2,000 packs of salmon jerky (processed and packaged by Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc).

VIDEO: sea lice recapture system on the Ronja Islander

What happens to the sea lice after we treat our fish?

In this video, Kristin and Greg will introduce you to the sea lice recapture system on our new wellboat, the Ronja Islander, and how it works.

If you have any questions about our new wellboat technology or Grieg’s sea lice management, email us at community.relations@griegseafood.com