Community Classroom

Putting New Ideas into Action for the Local Seafood Industry

Deep Bay Seafood Innovation Centre

Tour Deep Bay Marine Field Station’s new Seafood Innovation Centre

VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station is set to become a hub of culinary experimentation and new product research.  

The BC government has announced support for the development of three new food hubs to strengthen food security on Vancouver Island, including a new Seafood Innovation Centre at VIU’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station. The centre will help all parts of the BC seafood sector get their new products to market. 

“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. 

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

The feasibility study completed in 2019 showed there was broad support across the different seafood sectors in the province for an innovation centre that focuses on a number of challenges the industry faces, including improving processing capabilities through new technologies and food sciences support. Stakeholders spoke to the need for innovative packaging that increases shelf life, reduces costs or is biodegradable, and fish product development that would use all of the seafood product, eliminating waste. 

Opportunities exist for students in a variety of departments such as marketing, graphic design, business and the Culinary Arts program to receive training and participate in the activities of the Seafood Innovation Centre, gaining expertise in new and value-added product development.  

“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 BC,” adds Butterworth.  

Take a tour of the Deep Bay Marine Field Centre with Manager Carl Butterworth to learn more about this exciting announcement. 


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