Centre for Seafood Innovation celebrates success following three-year program

A group of students holds a trophy, all are wearing green shirts

File photo of the Urchin Tank event held in fall 2023. 

April 8, 2024 - 4:45pm

Initiatives transitioning to VIU departments, industry associations and First Nations organizations.­­

Since April 2021, the Centre for Seafood Innovation (CSI) has played an important role in providing valuable experiential learning opportunities to post-secondary students while supporting innovation among seafood entrepreneurs. Following three successful years, many initiatives will now be continued by industry, First Nations and Vancouver Island University (VIU).

The Centre was launched with three years of funding through the BC Ministry of Agriculture and Food. This funding successfully created a legacy of valuable programs and relationships that will endure. In the three years, the centre completed 24 projects, organized 19 events, provided experiential learning opportunities to more than 300 students and engaged more than a thousand community members.

“VIU has a successful history of working collaboratively with local First Nation communities, companies, associations, researchers, students and funders on challenges facing the seafood industry as well as researching ways that industry can get more value out of their harvests,” said Dr. Eve Stringham, Dean of VIU’s Faculty of Science and Technology. “We are continuing this work, including the successful initiatives created by the Centre for Seafood Innovation. We are grateful to the Ministry of Agriculture and Food for providing the initial funding that created a pathway for VIU to launch these valuable programs and initiatives. We are also grateful for the dedication and commitment of the staff and students who supported the Centre in making these initiatives successful, and thank our community partners for their support.”

The CSI-created events that will continue through VIU’s Faculty of Science and Technology include the Urchin Tank Seaweed Challenge, where Biology and Culinary Arts students create fermented seaweed products and “pitch” them to a panel of judges at a Dragon’s Den-style event. Let’s Talk Seafood … and Eat it Too is a series of events that bring together local residents, industry and VIU faculty and students at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station in Bowser to learn about seafood. Finally, the Seafood Business Accelerator program, initially funded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Food and Island Coastal Economic Trust, will continue its work via outside organizations as a self-directed online learning series. The T. Buck Suzuki Foundation, BC Commercial Fishing Caucus and Coastal Nations Fisheries have partnered to run the program, targeting Indigenous seafood entrepreneurs, pending funding approval. CSI’s Deep Bay commercial kitchen and event space will continue to operate and can be booked through VIU. In addition, VIU will continue to work with community, industry and government partners to expand this activity in the future.

Community members looking to connect with the centre’s initiatives can contact:


Media Contact:

Jenn McGarrigle, External Communications Manager, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.619.6860 | E: Jenn.McGarrigle@viu.ca | T: @VIUNews

The VIU community acknowledges and thanks the Snuneymuxw, Quw’utsun, Tla’amin, Snaw-naw-as and Qualicum First Nation on whose traditional lands we teach, learn, research, live and share knowledge.

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