Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

Save the date!

2018 BC Seafood Expo, June 11 & 12
Comox Valley, BC, Canada

2018 Expo Countdown

Thank you! On behalf of the BC Seafood Expo Steering Committee, thanks to the numerous exhibitors, the hundreds of delegates, Ministry of International Trade Seafood Buyers, Media, sponsors and speakers who attended the 2017 BC Seafood Expo to make it the success it was! Click here to view the growing media coverage of the seafood industry that resulted from the BC Seafood Expo and the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival. Save the date for the 12th annual BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival, June 8-17, 2018.

Click here to view the BC Seafood Month proclamation


Ned Bell

Ocean Wise

Terry O’Reilly

CBC Radio One - Under The Influence


Robert Hanner

University of Guelph

Xiaonan Lu


Stephen Neel

Global Cold Chain Alliance

Gabriel Ibarra

Albion Farms & Fisheries

Pauline Stevenson

Excel Career College

Sarah Dudas

Vancouver Island University

Stephen Cross

North Island College

Michele Patterson

Vancouver Island University

Shannon Balfry

BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science

Kevin Onclin

Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd.

Ahmed Siah

BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences

Gabrielle Kosmider

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Tony Farrell


Darlene Winterburn


Wiley Evans

Hakai Institute

Amelia Hesketh


Debby Ianson

Fisheries & Oceans Canada

Wendy Vandersteen

Miracle Springs Inc.

Terry Brooks

Golden Eagle Aquaculture

Justin Henry

Northern Divine Aquafarms

Chris Roberts

Nanwakolas Council

Shannan Brown

Cermaq Canada

Mark Winowich

Vitsab International AB

Myron Roth

BC Ministry of Agriculture

Brendan Harnett

Flying Fresh Air Freight

Dan McPhee

Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Daniel Rabu

Haida Seafood Products, and Pacific Coastal Shellfish Ltd.

George Iwama


Dean Dobrinsky

Marine Harvest Canada

Allison Witter

BC Ministry of Agriculture

Geoff Krause

Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association

Grant Dovey

Underwater Harvester Association

Jesse Ronquillo

North Island College

Steve Williams



  • June 10
    • 6:30 pm – 10:30 pmFresh Fest

      Top Chefs. Fresh Farm-Raised BC Seafood. Energizing Musical Tones.

      As one of the signature events for the BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival, Fresh Fest features unique culinary creations that showcase seafood sustainably raised in B.C., which will be perfectly paired with B.C. VQA wine to highlight the best of B.C.’s ample bounty.

      Taking place at Coastal Black Winery – an award winning 600 acre fruit winery on the outskirts of the beautiful Comox Valley – Fresh Fest will feature an all-star line-up of the country’s top-level chefs including:

      Jinhee Lee

      2017 Gold Medal Plates Champion – Jinhee Lee (Foreign Concept, Calgary)

      Duncan Ly

      2010 and 2013 Gold Medal Plates Champion, Silver & Bronze Medalist in 2008, 2009, 2012 – Duncan Ly (Foreign Concept, Calgary)

      Trevor Bird

      2017 and 2012 Top Chef Canada Competitor – Trevor Bird (Fable Kitchen, Vancouver)

      • Renowned Chef and Cookbook Author Rod Butters (RauDZ Regional Table, Kelowna)
      • 2015 Chopped Canada Winner Brock Bowes (RauDZ Regional Table, Kelowna)
      • Celebrity Chef Ned Bell (Vancouver Aquarium, Ocean-Wise, Vancouver)
      • Chef Nick Nutting (Wolf in the Fog, Tofino)
      • Chef Ronald St. Pierre (Locals Restaurant, Courtenay)
      • Chef Siddharth Choudhary (Siddhartha’s Indian Kitchen, Vancouver)
      • Chef Darren MacLean (Shokunin, Calgary)
      • Chef Nyle Petherbridge (Kingfisher Resort & Spa, Courtenay)
      • Chef Nathan Tymchuk (Save‐On‐Foods Memorial Centre, Victoria)

      Guests will have the opportunity to personally interact with the chefs at each station, while enjoying the incredible musical talents of local B.C. musician, Ari Neufeld.

      This is a 19+ event and ID will be required.

       Coastal Black Estate Winery
  • June 11
  • June 12
    • 7:00 am – 8:30 amTrade Show Move-in
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 9:00 am – 10:00 amExpo Registration, Networking & Coffee
       Upstairs Lobby, Filberg Centre
    • 9:00 am – 4:00 pmTrade Show Open
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 10:00 amBC Seafood Expo Opening Remarks & Welcome
       Sid Williams Theatre
    • 10:30 am – 12:00 pmSession 1: Keynote Plenary Presentation - "CHANGING THE CONVERSATION: Turning negative perceptions into positive ones"
      Terry O'Reilly

      Keynote: “CHANGING THE CONVERSATION: Turning negative perceptions into positive ones”

      Keynote speaker: Terry O’Reilly, Host CBC’s Under the Influence

      Moderator: Myron Roth, Ministry of Agriculture

      Sponsor: Growing Forward 2, A federal-provincial-territorial initiative

      Session Summary:

      A negative perception in the marketplace is like a kink in a hose. The flow of business can be disrupted and the support of the public can be dampened. Join Terry O’Reilly as he talks about how marketing can help turn a negative perception into a positive one by changing the conversation. Learn how to isolate the obstacle, how to drill into that obstacle to find a leverage point and how to turn science into compelling stories. Terry will break these steps down and will show you how various industries have taken what seemed like insurmountable problems and turned them into incredible opportunities.

       Sid Williams Theatre
    • 12:00 pm – 1:30 pmLunch and Networking
       Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 1:00 pm – 2:30 pmExhibitor Presentations

      Realtime Aquaculture – affordable automated data collecting technology

       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre
    • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pmSession 2: Ocean Acidification and Climate Change


      • Wiley Evans, Hakai Institute
      • Amelia Hesketh, University of British Columbia
      • Debby Ianson, Fisheries & Oceans Canada

      Moderator: Myron Roth, BC Ministry of Agriculture


      Tracking ocean acidification in the northern Salish Sea through regional partnerships and enhanced data coverage

      –Wiley Evans, Hakai Institute

      Ocean acidification (OA) is a global problem with regional impacts; however, baseline data at regional scales are often lacking. This trait is especially true for many areas of the British Columbia coastal margin including the northern Salish Sea. The scarcity of OA data limits: (1) our understanding of patterns and trajectories whereby some regions may be “hot spots” and others may currently be refugia, (2) vulnerability assessments of marine resources including shellfish and finfish, and (3) confidence in models that have been validated using limited datasets. Strategically increasing data coverage in both space and time greatly helps to resolve each of these limitations, which is a core objective for the Hakai Institute. This talk will detail some results that are specific to the northern Salish Sea, including Baynes Sound, and were made possible through a variety of inter-agency and stakeholder partnerships.

      Potential impacts of ocean acidification on shellfish aquaculture in BC

      –Amelia Hesketh, University of British Columbia

      Ocean acidification (OA) poses a significant threat to shellfish over the next century, particularly in areas where pH is naturally low due to coastal upwelling. While the direct effects of OA on larval shellfish are relatively well established, less is known about how OA affects juvenile and mature shellfish, which have lower calcification requirements. In my presentation, I will discuss ongoing efforts in the Strait of Georgia to characterize the effects of OA on later life stages of the Pacific oyster. Currently, I am examining the direct effects of OA on oyster growth, health, and stress tolerance using the Strait of Georgia as a natural laboratory. In the future, I will concentrate on characterizing the indirect effects of OA on oysters, namely how OA changes predator-prey dynamics and disease transmission to influence mortality rates in oyster populations. This work may help us better predict how future changes in ocean pH and carbonate chemistry could impact farmed shellfish and design strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of these changes.

      Ocean acidification challenges in inlets and nearshore environments on the Pacific Canadian Coast

      –Debby Ianson, Fisheries & Oceans Canada

      The Canadian Pacific coast is filled with fjords and islands. The character of this coastline makes for unique challenges with respect to OA. We discuss these challenges in the context of aquaculture, contrasting seasonal cycles and variability in the carbonate system in inlets with those on the outer coast. We further contrast these regional patterns with our initial observations in nearshore environments, where the aquaculture industry operates. We work in three general regions within the Strait of Georgia. Our study sites include beach, tray and long-line shellfish operations, as well as large (dense) and small sets. Our study sites also encompass a wide variety of estuarine conditions, including tidally-mixed, well-stratified and inter-tidal. Our observations will provide context for ecological experiments and validation for developing high-resolution biogeochemical models.

       Filberg Centre, Rotary Hall
    • 1:30 pm – 2:30 pmSession 3: Seafood Food Fraud & Traceability


      • Xiaonan Lu, University of British Columbia
      • Robert Hanner, University of Guelph

      Moderator: George Iwama, University of British Columbia

      Sponsor: Growing Forward 2, A federal-provincial-territorial initiative


      Construction of advanced spectroscopic techniques to detect seafood fraud and adulteration

      –Xiaonan Lu, University of British Columbia

      Seafood is a global commodity traded worldwide that follows a long, non-transparent and complicated supply chain. Seafood fraud and adulteration has been an emerging topic discovered during the past decade. According to a recent survey, 69% wild pacific salmon on the market was indeed farmed Atlantic salmon. In comparison to other techniques, advanced spectroscopic techniques have unique advantages in tracing food fraud and adulteration in a rapid and less/non-destructive manner that can facilitate high-throughput screening. Infrared spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, and NMR spectroscopy and their application in the detection of seafood fraud will be discussed. The portable and handheld spectroscopic devices developed at UBC Food Safety Engineering Laboratory will be introduced as well.

      Seafood forensics – do we know what we are eating?

      –Robert Hanner, University of Guelph

      The diversity of species and regulatory frameworks involved, together with complex global supply chains supporting the seafood trade, yield challenges for traceability and accurate labelling of these commodities. This is particularly true for processed products, raising questions about their authenticity and sustainability. New DNA-based methods provide powerful tools for the forensic analysis of seafood and suggest that mislabelling is widespread and carries with it a variety of economic, environmental and human health implications which will be discussed.

       Native Sons Hall, Lodge Room
    • 2:30 pm – 3:30 pmHappy Hour & Networking Break
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pmSession 4: Cold Chain and Evolving Seafood Transport Logistics


      • Stephen Neel, Global Cold Chain Alliance
      • Gabriel Ibarra, Albion Farms & Fisheries
      • Steve Williams, Gfresh
      • Rob Flood, Air Canada

      Moderator: Brendan Harnett, Flying Fresh Air Freight

      Sponsor: Flying Fresh Air Freight

      Session Summary:

      As global consumption of seafood continues to rise, the importance of quickly adapting to new logistics best practices, market entry and transport requirements, e-commerce and potential disruptive changes in the way products are delivered to markets becomes critical to your bottom line and customer satisfaction. This panel discussion will aim to answer your questions and provide you with their respective experiences and innovative approaches to moving your seafood products through increasingly complex and changing supply chains.

       Filberg Centre, Rotary Hall
    • 3:30 pm – 4:30 pmSession 5: Aquaculture and Marketing Research Projects


      • Stephen Cross, North Island College
      • Shannon Balfry, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science
      • Michele Patterson, Vancouver Island University
      • Sarah Dudas, Vancouver Island University

      Moderator: Dan McPhee, Fisheries and Oceans Canada


      Exploring the potential for salmon-kelp integrated aquaculture in BC

      –Stephen Cross, North Island College

      The siting of many salmon farms in British Columbia would support excellent sugar kelp production. Sugar kelp is a sustainable crop with diverse commercial applications. This presentation will present the technical feasibility of salmon-kelp integrated aquaculture in BC, with the added bonus of improving the environmental and socio-economic performance of salmon farm tenures.

      Are sea lice on the menu for local perch species?

      –Shannon Balfry, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Science

      This presentation will discuss research to determine the feasibility of using Kelp Perch and Pile Perch to remove sea lice from farmed Atlantic Salmon. The results of several trials will be presented and videos of perch actively feeding on parasitic sea lice will be shown. The use of cleaner fish on salmon farms is potentially an environmentally friendly solution to reducing the number of sea lice on farmed Atlantic salmon.

      Atlantic salmon aquaculture in BC: New research into social-cultural characteristics of the sector

      –Michele Patterson, Vancouver Island University

      Farmed Atlantic salmon is one of the world’s most valuable and widely traded seafood commodities. It is a significant component of Canada’s agri-food sector, and provides much needed employment in rural, remote and in some aboriginal communities in BC. However, the sector has been consistently challenged by social license; a constraint that reflects the diverse perspectives about farmed salmon. This research project is aimed at better understanding these perspectives by following the fish along the commodity chain from production to consumption, and documenting the values and meanings, both positive and negative of people who touch it along the way.

      The presence of microplastics in cultured shellfish, potential impacts, and mitigation measures

      –Sarah Dudas, Vancouver Island University

      Plastics are of concern as a contaminant in the marine environment and as such have the potential to negatively affect the shellfish aquaculture industry in BC. This presentation will provide preliminary data from a project started in 2016 with Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the BC Shellfish Growers Association that evaluated the level of microplastic pollution in commercially produced shellfish. Results from depuration and other methods to remove the microplastics will also be presented.

       Native Sons Hall, Lodge Room
    • 4:00 pmTrade Show Closes for the Day
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 5:30 pm – 8:30 pmInternational Buyers Reception — sponsored by Flying Fresh Air Freight

      Proudly sponsored by Flying Fresh Air Freight, the BC Seafood Expo Trade Show floor will be transformed into a robust and decadent surf and turf inspired International Buyers Networking Reception featuring incredible national and international Chef Tasting Stations, BC Craft Beer, Wine and Spirit beverages, live entertainment, and special guests – the International Seafood Buyers Delegation with the Ministry of International Trade. Pre-registration required.

       Upper Filberg Centre and Outside Area
  • June 13
    • 8:30 amExpo Registration, Coffee & Networking
       Lobby, Filberg Centre
    • 9:00 am – 10:30 amSession 6: New Cultured Species in BC



      • Justin Henry, Target Marine / Northern Divine
      • Wendy Vandersteen, Miracle Springs Inc.
      • Terry Brooks, Golden Eagle Sable Fish
      • Daniel Rabu, Aboriginal Aquaculture Association

      Moderator: Tony Farrell, University of British Columbia

      Sponsor: Tides Canada


      Land-Based Sea Urchin & Sea Cucumber Culture Trial

      –Daniel Rabu, Aboriginal Aquaculture Association

      Sea Urchin Roe or Uni, a popular delicacy in Japan, has long been considered BC’s “Ocean Gold” but the market price for sea urchin is a roller coaster that is closely linked to roe quality which can vary greatly throughout the year. Roe quality (and therefore price) depends on the animal’s ability to eat its preferred diet; kelp, which is becoming less and less abundant in BC waters these days. The farming or enhancement of sea urchins using land-based aquaculture facilities promises to greatly increase this wild fishery’s value by taking low-quality urchins and “enhancing” their roe by feeding them a uniquely formulated organic feed. The prospect of farming sea cucumbers alongside urchins as “janitors” of the grow-out systems adds an exciting polyculture element; that of being able to grow two high-value species all within the existing aquaculture rules & regulations using land based systems. Can this be the future of farming urchins and sea cucumbers in BC? Stay tuned.

      Arctic Char

      –Wendy Vandersteen, Miracle Springs Inc.

      Arctic char possess many traits that make them an excellent candidate for land-based recirculating aquaculture systems, but challenges associated with the high phenotypic plasticity demonstrated by this species (such as highly variable growth, variable flesh colour, and precocious maturation) and low fertilization success have limited the growth of the industry in Canada. Along with the production of rainbow trout, steelhead, and bottled water sales, Miracle Springs Inc. has initiated a selective breeding program to select for a strain of Arctic char specifically optimized for land-based RAS and with more consistent performance metrics. Development of the Arctic char market in parallel with the growth of our broodstock and production outputs will be an important factor in the success of this program.

      Sablefish Aquaculture

      –Terry Brooks, Golden Eagle Sable Fish

      Golden Eagle Sable Fish is part of the Golden Eagle Aquaculture Group that produces land based Coho in a RAS system and net pen raised sablefish. GESF operates a hatchery and broodstock holding facility on Salt Spring Island. The Grow out farms are located in Kyuquot Sound. GESF has been producing and marketing fresh cultured sablefish for 8 years to markets in Japan, Europe and North America.

      Sturgeon: British Columbia’s Most Versatile Fish

      –Justin Henry, Target Marine / Northern Divine

      White sturgeon is aquaculture’s slow fish. Individual fish take 10 – 20 years to reach maturity; but when they do, you can end up with something truly amazing. British Columbia’s most creative chefs are preparing Northern Divine’s certified organic sturgeon in almost every way possible and have incorporated almost every part of the fish.

       Filberg Centre, Rotary Hall
    • 9:00 am – 10:30 amSession 7: BC Wild Shellfish Dive Fisheries


      • Grant Dovey, Underwater Harvesters Association
      • Geoff Krause, Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association
      • Jesse Ronquillo, North Island College

      Moderator: Allison Witter, Marine Fisheries & Seafood, BC Ministry of Agriculture

      Sponsors: Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association, & Pacific Sea Cucumber Harvesters Association


      History of the BC Wild Geoduck Fishery with a Description of Current and Emerging Markets

      –Grant Dovey, Underwater Harvesters Association

      The Underwater Harvesters Association (UHA) represents the geoduck licence-holders, divers, and exporters in BC. The geoduck fishery is a co-management success story and is consistently one of the most valuable fisheries on the Pacific coast. The BC Geoduck fishery started in the late 1970s. Many of the original divers are still involved in the fishery and all have a unique story to tell. Grant will share some of those stories as well as the story of the evolution of the Wild Geoduck Fishery into a one of the best managed fisheries in BC. The UHA co-manages the geoduck fishery with Federal agencies. The presentation will finish with a description of the current and emerging markets for BC Geoducks.

      A current assessment of BC’s Sea Urchin Fisheries

      –Geoff Krause, Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association

      The Pacific Urchin Harvesters Association (PUHA) represents all 110 and 49 licence-holders in the Red and Green sea urchin fisheries respectively. BC’s urchin fisheries are managed for sustainability using annual stock surveys, experimental harvest sites and/or index sites to establish a precautionary total allowable catch within an Integrated Fisheries Management Plan for each fishery. Like many of BC’s dive fisheries, urchin harvests started in the late 1970’s, grew rapidly in response to demand for the products in Japan until sometime in the early 1990’s when limited entry was implemented and individual quotas assigned. In the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) urchin fishing in the Kuriles by Russians saturated urchin markets in Japan and the industry resolved to find new markets for our products. PUHA has been working on a series of international marketing projects through Agriculture and AgriFood Canada since 2003 and has seen demand in other world markets pick up substantially. The fisheries undoubtedly face a number of challenges, most immediately with sea otter predation and alienation of productive grounds. PUHA however remains committed to responsible stewardship of the resources their livelihoods depend on and to preserving the fisheries for the economically and environmentally sustainable benefit of all concerned. They expect to do this the “Canadian way”, namely through scientifically sound management, enhanced marketing, continuing operational innovation and increasingly effective collaboration with First Nations, Coastal Communities, senior government authorities and other stakeholders.

      Spawning and Larval Rearing of Geoduck (Panopea generosa)

      –Jesse Ronquillo, North Island College

      Geoduck is one of the most important commercial shellfish species in British Columbia. Unfortunately, commercial production is limited by the reliable supply of high quality hatchery-produced juveniles. Developing viable and sustainable culture protocols for this species will provide the industry with the needed seedstock to expand production. Benefits from expansion include new economic and employment opportunities for shellfish growers, seafood exporters, and First Nations communities plus a new source of sustainably produced seafood products. The UBC and British Columbia Pacific Oysters, Ltd. (BCPOL) have established a research collaboration to develop sustainable geoduck aquaculture production techniques through NSERC Engage Grant. The preliminary research outcomes include: (1) design and construction of a prototype closed-culture system for controlled geoduck spawning; (2) fabrication of an elegant yet inexpensive seawater filtration system; (3) successful induction of geoduck broodstock spawning based on environmental manipulation among desiccation, temperature shifts, UV-filtered water stimulation, microalgal addition, and various combinations of the above; and (4) successful development of inexpensive system for efficient and continuous culture of microalgae for feeding geoduck seedstock. This simple and inexpensive closed-culture system for geoduck spawning can be replicated as needed. The portability of the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) design of a seawater filtration system can be adopted to prevent microbial contamination during microalgae production and for inducing geoduck broodstock spawning. The developed protocol for inducing broodstock spawning will improve geoduck gamete production and simplify hatchery operations.

       Native Sons Hall, Lodge Room
    • 10:00 am – 4:00 pmTrade Show Open
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 10:30 am – 11:00 amNetworking Break & B2B Opportunity
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 11:00 am – 12:15 pmSession 8: Keynote Plenary Presentation
      Ned Bell

      Keynote: “Farmed & Wild Fish, It’s ALL Seafood!”

      Keynote speaker: Chef Ned Bell, Seafood Champion; Executive Chef of Ocean Wise, Canada

      Moderator: Dr. Myron Roth, Ministry of Agriculture

      Sponsor: AgriMarine Holdings Inc. & Sea Agra Seafood Ltd.

      Session Summary:

      As the Executive Chef of Ocean Wise, and the Founder of Chefs for Oceans, Ned believes chefs have a unique opportunity, quite honestly a responsibility, to engage, educate and advocate for healthy lakes, oceans and rivers. The conversations surrounding seafood, both locally and globally, are and continue to be challenged, especially when it comes to the farming and cultivation of fish and shellfish, and the wild capture of some of the most delicious things we have on our dinner plates. Ned’s talk will focus on the importance of a deeper understanding of these challenges and the opportunities we all are facing.

       Sid Williams Theatre
    • 12:30 pm – 2:00 pmLunch and Networking
       Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 1:00 pm – 4:30 pmPrivate Board Meeting; Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
       Soroptimist Lounge, Filberg Centre
    • 1:30 pm – 3:30 pmDeep Trekker ROV Demonstrations
       Courtenay Slough Marina, 2 blocks from the Filberg Centre
    • 2:00 pm – 3:30 pmSession 10: Shellfish Production & Protecting Public Health


      • Mark Winowich, Vitsab International
      • Ahmed Siah, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences
      • Darlene Winterburn, BCSGA

      Moderator: Gabrielle Kosmider, Fisheries & Oceans Canada

      Sponsor: MNP

      Session Summary:

      Developments in the rapid testing for Vibrio parahaemolyticus and Norovirus

      –Ahmed Siah, BC Centre for Aquatic Health Sciences

      The BC oyster industry endures harvesting closures due to the seasonally ubiquitous bacteria Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vpara) and viral human pathogen Norovirus (NoV) contamination. Recently, several shellfish farms and zones have been closed to harvest which compromising the sustainability of the local shellfish economy. Classical bacterial and viral laboratory testing techniques involve great expense and time. Our approach is to develop molecular tests for Vpara and NoV by modifying existing molecular methods to be expedient and less expensive. If validated for accuracy and comparability to classic method data, these rapid tests will provide information to ship or hold oyster products before they enter the value chain. Along with industry and the Ministry of Agriculture and NRC IRAP, we have modified a Vpara technique to give accurate detection in oyster samples. However, while accurate, validation with the ‘presumptive’ MPN testing has been problematic because the molecular tests are very sensitive. We have yet to equate molecular readings with MPN bacterial counts.

      Current testing for NoV uses an ISO 15216 standards test that is prohibitively expensive and provides both qualitative and quantitative results of the presence and number of viral particles. As a consequence of cost, no biosurveillance program is implemented in BC. Our approach is to design a rapid qualitative test with lower cost. This will help to permit a routine testing of NoV in oysters as an early warning strategy and allow a rapid detection of the virus at the farm level.

      Vitsab’s Smart Shellstock TTIs use the dynamic relationship of time and temperature to indicate potential risk of vibrio growth

      –Mark Winowich, Vitsab International AB

      Mark’s presentation will discuss the Vitsab Smart TTI (Time Temperature Indicator) technology platform. Starting in the lab with FDA vibrio predictive growth data for both vibrio parahaemolyticus (VP) and vibrio vulnificus (VV), Vitsab designed TTI formulations to follow the dynamic time/temperature relationship of vibrio growth. Next, Vitsab took to the waters to test their formulations during real world harvesting practices. Finally, soliciting feedback from over 30 leaders in the industry, Vitsab received FDA acceptance for their shellstock formulations. Mark will even give you a sneak peek of their new smartphone app due to be released later this year.

      Review of the 2017 Norovirus Outbreak – Industry Perspective

      –Darlene Winterburn, BC Shellfish Growers Association

      The presentation will provide an overview of the history of events related to the norovirus outbreak that impacted BC’s shellfish industry from December 2016 to May 2017. The virus was widespread in coastal waters and the source of the virus remains unknown. Several farms were closed and the Canadian markets slowed to a trickle. The impact to farmers, processors and the reputation of our product was significant – as detailed by one of our BCSGA members. Many questions that have been raised by industry and by government during the outbreak remain unanswered. The BC Shellfish Growers Association has sought out partnerships to initiate projects to delve deeper and to find answers to some of those questions. We look forward to sharing that information with you.

       Native Sons Hall, Lodge Room
    • 2:00 pm – 3:30 pmSession 9: HR and Training Round Table


      Speakers & Panelists:

      • Pauline Stevenson, Excel Career College
      • Kevin Onclin, Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd.
      • Chris Roberts, Nanwakolas Council
      • Shannan Brown, Cermaq Canada
      • Dean Dobrinsky, Marine Harvest Canada

      Moderator: Pauline Stevenson, Excel Career College

      Sponsor: Excel Career College


      A look at the skill requirements of the seafood industry

      –Pauline Stevenson, Excel Career College

      Pauline will introduce the session with a short presentation outlining the incredible growth of the seafood industry in BC and the very real concerns about the ability to access skilled labour 10 years from now.

      The change in hiring practices in the past 10 years

      –Kevin Onclin, Badinotti Net Services Canada Ltd.

      Kevin’s presentation will discuss the changes in hiring practices due to new technology, millennials, attrition and growth.

      Roundtable Discussion:

      Discussion 1: First Nations – Merging of cultures and the work environment.

      • Discussion Lead: Chris Roberts, Nanwakolas Council

      Discussion 2: Training provided in 2017 won’t be relevant in 2022.

      • Discussion Lead: Shannan Brown, Cermaq Canada

      Discussion 3: Academic institutions – where are the disconnects with the real needs of the employers.

      • Discussion Lead: Dean Dobrinsky, Marine Harvest Canada
       Filberg Centre, Rotary Hall
    • 3:30 pm – 4:00 pmHappy Hour & Networking
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall
    • 4:00 pm – 5:30 pmBC Craft Beer & Exhibitor Reception
       Gladstone Brewery
    • 4:00 pm – 6:00 pmTrade Show Move-out
       Conference Hall, Filberg Centre and Grand Hall, Native Sons Hall

* Events subject to change.


BC Seafood Expo International Buyers and Media Reception; Where Surf Meets Turf

Attendees will be immersed in a seafood tasting journey visiting 10+ Chef Stations where top international and domestic chefs will present an array of shellfish & fin fish dishes, not to mention locally produced pork, bison and beef stations. Join delegates, VIPs, plus 25+ Ministry of International Trade Seafood Buyers, and visiting international media in celebration of British Columbia’s seafood sector; proudly sponsored in part by Flying Fresh Air Freight.



Chindi Varadarajulu

L'attitude 49

Freddy Raoult

The Nest

E. Michael Reidt

Pilgrim Culinary INC


Nathan Fong

Fong on Food

Chance Wilke

Avenue Bistro

Aaron Rail

The White Whale

Ronald St. Pierre

Locals Restaurant

Nigel McMeans

Blackfin Pub

Laura Agnew

As You Like It Catering

Dave Ryan

Vancouver Community College

Geoffrey Davidson

Vic's Steakhouse & Bar


Best Western

Holiday Inn


View Exhibitor Information Sources, Registration and Trade Show Events




Participation Package

Businesses that want to gain exposure by leveraging western Canada’s largest seafood festival, and a whopping $350k marketing campaign, should view the Official Festival Participation & Sponsorship Package.

Contact Geoff Crawford for more information:
250-334-2427 ext 225,

Festival – Advertising Opportunities

The 2017 BC Shellfish and Seafood Festival offers outstanding advertising opportunities that speak directly to your market. Whether you’re an aquaculture industry or tourism-based business, our comprehensive media partner list offers prime advertising space in publications that can increase exposure and improve your brand awareness at rates only buying power can achieve. Leverage the power of partnerships today!

Be a BC Seafood Expo Exhibitor

Includes: Expo Pass items PLUS Exhibitor space with table, chairs, and access to power and internet. If you have any questions, contact Geoff Crawford.

BC Seafood Expo Program Committee 2017

Ian Roberts bio photo

Ian Roberts

Marine Harvest Canada

Myron Roth

Ministry of Agriculture

Linda Hiemstra

Mel Mor Science

Richard Hardy

Pentlatch Seafoods

Guy Dean

Albion Fisheries

Tony Farrell


Darlene Winterburn




For any questions regarding the BC Seafood Expo, Trade Show space, and sponsorship, contact:

Comox Valley Economic Development
#200-580 Duncan Ave
Courtenay, BC V9N 2M7

phone      250-334-2427
tollfree    1-877-848-2427
fax             250-334-2414