VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Station is now part of B.C.’s food hub network. (Vancouver Island University photo)

VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Station is now part of B.C.’s food hub network. (Vancouver Island University photo)

VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Station now part of B.C. food hub network

Bowser hub will focus on seafood processing

Vancouver Island University’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station will play a vital role in helping the shellfish industry on the Island.

It is now a part of the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture Food and Fisheries food hub network. It is one of three new hubs established on Vancouver Island that include Cowichan Valley and Victoria.

“B.C. food hubs create new opportunities for small- and medium-sized businesses and strengthen food security so British Columbians can rely on locally grown and processed food now and for generations to come,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.

The B.C. government is investing up to $2 million to purchase food-processing equipment and other startup costs for the three hub in partnership with the City of Victoria, the Victoria Community Food Hub Society, Cowichan Valley Regional District, Cowichan Green Community Society and Vancouver Island University.

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach, Errington farmers markets to bring back non-food vendors

“We are thrilled to harness the potential of Deep Bay’s world-class research labs and state-of-the-art experimental commercial kitchen facilities to link together the culinary, business, distribution and research expertise needed to put new ideas into action in the regional seafood industry,” says Carl Butterworth, manager of the Deep Bay Marine Field Station.

“We hope that the lasting benefit of the centre will be a track record of continuous innovation, technological and process development, answered research questions and a greatly expanded seafood sector that contributes to the food security of British Columbians and the general economy in B.C.”

The Bowser food hub is located close to the majority of shellfish operations on the Island and will focus on seafood processing. It was one of six regions the B.C., government that was granted funding in 2019 to develop a feasibility study or a business plan to determine the potential and capacity to offer a food processing centre in the region.

“The facility is perfectly positioned to become a world-recognized seafood product innovation centre, said Butterworth.

The Ministry of Agriculture indicated there are more than 100 species of wild and farmed fish, shellfish and marine plants harvested commercially in B.C. In 2016, seafood companies in the province produced a total of 506 different seafood commodities.

The marine fisheries, aquaculture and seafood sectors are vital contributors to the provincial economy. They are the foundation for many coastal communities in the province. Harvesting, aquaculture and processing contribute more than 7,700 jobs in BC and generate a wholesale value of approximately $1.7 billion annually.

— NEWS Staff, submitted

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cheryl Dill visits the PQB News/VI Free Daily studio. (Peter McCully photo)
PQBeat: Talking jobs, tourism and business with Cheryl Dill in Parksville

Podcast: COVID-19 has far-reaching impacts on Vancouver Island

(File photo)
PQB crime report: Vandals strike in Parksville, prowler lurks in Nanoose Bay

Oceanside RCMP receive 276 complaints in one-week period

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
Island Health seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

VIHA says Ladysmith-area Chakalaka Bar and Grill also violating water and sewer regulations

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
B.C. to target people ages 40+ in ‘high risk communities’ with AstraZeneca vaccine

A total of 13 neighbourhoods and communities will receive the AstraZeneca vaccine

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

Most Read