Posted by: marineharvestcanada | December 10, 2008

Phase One Recirculation Flourishing at Dalrymple Hatchery

First was the installation of Dalrymple Hatchery’s new recirculation system followed by staff training and now the first fish produced by the system are thriving in the Campbell River South and the Broughton areas. This initiative represents a number of significant milestones for Marine Harvest.

Jamie Gaskill, Production Director, said recently that this system represents phase one of a four year freshwater management plan. Both Dalrymple and Big Tree Creek Hatchery will be expanded under this regimen. At its conclusion, both facilities will be able to produce four million smolts each by 2012 using recirc technology.


“These fish (from Dalrymple) are the first benefits we’ve reaped through the moving bed technology”, added Gaskill. Moving bed technology is a newer style of water treatment for the conversion of ammonia to nitrate.


Also noteworthy in this endeavor is the successful use of the Project Management style of planning spearheaded by Dalrymple Manager Craig Schelter and Philip Redmond, Freshwater Technical Operations Manager.


Developed by Priority Management, a workplace skill development company, the key is starting with both the deadline and end product in mind. From there, the project is “worked backwards” until reaching the initial task while assigning a deadline for each one.  This method clearly shows how being late on one task can cause numerous tasks to fall behind.


“The contractor was involved up front with our plan and helped with the budget and timeline. Without the planning the project would not have finished on-time and under budget”, said Schelter.


And naturally smolt quality is a most important component of the entire picture.


“We recently shipped our first group of smolts from this system and they were some of the nicest quality produced in the Freshwater Department.  The fins were in excellent condition and the size was right on budget”, said Phillip Redmond.

Manager Len Wells agrees. His Larsen Island site received 300,000 smolts during the third week of October.  “These are awesome, big, healthy fish with extremely low mortality”, he enthused.


This positivity about the Dalrymple fish was echoed by Jeanine Siemens, Manager of Cyrus Rocks, which took delivery of 125,000 smolts.


“The fish entered well and grouped up right away”, Siemens said, adding that the move to the site “went like clockwork”, a testament to both the Cyrus site staff, who did an excellent job, and the Orca Chief crew, who paid a great deal of attention to the many details.


Benchmarking, both internally and with an outside company, hasn’t been overlooked either.


Schelter remarked, “If we don’t know how we are doing not only against ourselves but others we have no measure where we sit… we grew larger, better quality fish, cheaper and easier than before and we have data to prove that so we know the project was successful.”


“You have to know where you are to know where you want to go”, he observed. Clearly where this innovative technology is headed, backed by a team of committed employees, is in the right direction.

 By Gina Forsyth

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