First Land-based Sockeye Farm in B.C.


In the province of British Columbia in Canada, the world’s  first land based sockeye salmon farm, owned by Willowfield Enterprises,   is ready for harvest.       This particular farm expects to produce up to 1100 pounds (or 500 kilograms)of sockeye a week.   They will be sold under the brand West Creek by Albion Fisheries, to be sold at Choice Markets.   The first fish to be harvested will weigh in at a little over 3 pounds (kilograms) and eventually they expect them to weigh in at around 5 pounds (between 2 and 3 kilograms).

Albion Fisheries president Don Read and biologist Larry Albright have been experimenting with sockeye for over 15 years in order to develop a system to produce sockeye salmon that they would be able to be put up on the commercial market.

The farm at Willowfield uses a flow-thru model that sort of filters water through trout ponds (this company has been farming trout for 20 years), and kind of acts as a sort of “biofilter’.   Don Read said “ Our water has been tested by   the Ministry of Environment,’   but I for one will definitely not be the first in line to buy one of these farmed fishes.

Fish farming is illegal in Alaska, however   hatcheries are not.   The difference between the two are quite simple.   Hatcheries are more natural.   They aid the indigenous fish of the area to spawn and reproduce and are eventually released at smolt stage, without introducing fish that can harm the fishes that are natural to the area.     Fish farms, on the other hand, use fish that are genetically selected for fast growth and have a ability to survive in net pens and are kept their until they are ready for the market.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT (or hopefully not):

B.C. produces 70,000 tonnes of Atlantic salmon a year from fish farm’s net pens.

Farmed salmon:

Have seven times the levels of PCB’s as wild salmon,

Have 30 times more sea lice.

Are fed chemicals to give them color.

Are fed pellets of chicken feces, corn meal, soy, etc.

Are administered antibiotics at higher levels than any other livestock.

Are crowded into small areas causing disease.

Have less omega 3’s

Farmed salmon are also harmful to wild salmon because there is a risk of escapement and intermixing with wild salmon creating a sort of   “Frankenfish’

Farmed salmon are also a danger to many fishing communities and fishermen around the world, especially Alaskans.

So take my advice: “DON’T EAT FARMED FISH!”



4 thoughts on “First Land-based Sockeye Farm in B.C.”

  1. Thank you – you really simplified the issue for me (in a good way!). I dont eat farm fish anyway, but I will certainly pass this message to my friends.

  2. Ewww! I didn’t realize it was such a drastic difference with farmed fish… I don’t eat anything except what swims into my own net – but I’m always nervous about what people buy at the store! Good topic and perspective!

  3. I never really looked into farmed fish this much, and I am glad you addressed it and wrote about it. Sounds pretty disgusting to me and very unappealing to consume farmed fish. Thanks for the brain food!

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