VIU students showcase innovative seafood creations during Urchin Tank

Culinary arts students serve their seaweed creations to attendees during Urchin Tank, 2022.

VIU students serve their seafood creations to attendees at Urchin Tank (Photo from 2022 event). Vancouver Island University Photo

November 20, 2023 - 10:30am

What: Urchin Tank – Seaweed Challenge

When: Friday, November 24, 5 to 7:30 pm

Where: VIU’s Malaspina Theatre (Building 310), Nanaimo campus

Vancouver Island University’s (VIU’s) Urchin Tank is back this fall with five new student teams competing to see who has created the best fermented seaweed product.

Urchin Tank is a Dragons’ Den-style show where students pitch their products to a panel of industry judges. Judges include Majid Hajibeigy, Canadian Pacifico; Dafne Romero, North Pacific Kelp Wild Foods; and Mark Smith, Pacific Seaweed Industry Association. The event is hosted by VIU’s Centre for Seafood Innovation. It is the culmination of a semester-long innovation challenge where VIU microbiology and culinary arts students teamed up to develop fermented seaweed products with the goal of creating products suitable for commercialization.

Behind-the-scenes footage of the teams creating their products will be screened as each team enters the Urchin Tank show. The documentary footage was captured by VIU digital media students.

“Once again the students are blowing my mind with their creativity and enthusiasm,” said Debra Hellbach, Manager of VIU’s Centre for Seafood Innovation. “This project provides meaningful learning experiences through applied research and public education.” 

The event is open to everyone. Attendees will have a chance to sample the students’ seaweed creations and learn about the science behind the seaweed fermentation process before the main event. 

Doors open at 5 pm to allow time to sample products and the Urchin Tank show begins at 6 pm. Tickets are by donation and are available on Eventbrite. Proceeds will help fund future experiential learning opportunities at VIU.


Media Contact:

Rachel Stern, Communications Officer, Vancouver Island University

C: 250.618.0373l E: | T: @VIUNews

Tags: Biology | Centre for Seafood Innovation | Culinary Arts | Research | Announcements

Sign up for our VIU news and experts email