Hello Chefs from the farms!
I wanted to share with you the latest from our Skuna Bay farms. Since we resumed harvesting earlier this year we’ve been really happy with how our salmon is responding. Feeding has gone well and our fish are showing us their appreciation – at almost 11 lbs, our average size has never been larger! Mother Nature seems to be cooperating and while I have been raising salmon too long to expect an easy ride, we feel like we’re in the best position we have ever been, positioned for great quality fish and lots of them in the months and years ahead. One thing that gives me a lot of optimism is an innovation that we have introduced and are starting to perfect. This is a “graded harvest”.
What it means simply is that we are able to use a grading net to only harvest out specific sized fish – those that perfectly meet the Skuna Bay standard. This allows us to take out larger fish and leave those smaller ones behind to continue to grow. By doing this we give ourselves more fish for the year to continue to meet our demanding Skuna Bay standards but it also solves many biological challenges as well. It helps us keep those densities in the pen down – as you know, low densities, lots of water means fish have lots of room to swim and grow thick, healthy and firm muscles that results in a great salmon experience for our customers. It also helps the fish health and it reduces the chances that we will have situations with low dissolved oxygen (just like us, fish need oxygen and this will help). And if we experience any harmful plankton which sometimes happens in our Vancouver Island waters, it’s the big fish that usually suffer, so taking them out early helps deal with that problem as well. Most importantly, it allows us to get more larger fish out to our customers and it means we can get more out of a single farm. So it’s not necessary to get bigger, only to do things more productively. This is one small example of the innovative ideas our farmers are coming up with out here to continue to improve but there are many other exciting things we are introducing and I’ll tell you all about them in future letters. Mainly I just want you to know that I am really optimistic about our future and more, better Skuna Bay Salmon for you for this year but also the years ahead! Thanks for your support.
Dean, Skuna Bay Head Farmer