Chinook salmon is renowned for its pleasing red colour, firm flesh and delicate texture.
Sustainable Indigenous Chinook Salmon
Creative Salmon is a Canadian company located in beautiful Tofino, BC, on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The company was founded in 1990 by a group of investors committed to raising indigenous Chinook salmon. Although one of the smallest salmon farming companies in the world, Creative Salmon is fully integrated, from producing its own broodstock and smolts to raising and harvesting the fish and processing them in a plant located right on the dock in Tofino.
Creative Salmon operates six farm sites, with two generally being kept in fallow in order to reduce environmental impacts.
In the early days, under the guidance of the company’s first General Manager Bill Vernon, Creative Salmon had just four employees and one farm (the 11th in all of British Columbia) that stocked 20,000 Chinook. Today, Creative Salmon employs 55 people full-time year round, operate four farms simultaneously with its six site tenures, and through its parent-company Lions Gate Fisheries, processes Chinook and distribute the fish to locations in Canada, the United States, and Japan.
Highly skilled staff maintain the sites and monitor our fish in order to ensure the highest possible levels of health and safety.
Creative Salmon operates in the traditional territory of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, one of the company’s most important neighbours and stakeholders. Back in 1998 Creative Salmon established a full-time Aboriginal Liaison position – becoming the first salmon farming company in B.C. to formalize such a role. In July 2014, after two decades of relationship building and cooperative effort, the company finalized a protocol agreement with the Tla-o-qui-aht which establishes guiding principles for the farming operations within their traditional territory.
Creative Salmon originally followed more traditional and widely-used salmon farming techniques. But in 1995 the company decided to try doing things differently.
Creative Salmon’s Sea Spring Hatchery is located in Chemainus, near Duncan, on the east coast of Vancouver Island. In close partnership with the biology team in Tofino, the hatchery’s small, dedicated team of employees performs all duties needed at the company's fresh water site.
Creative Salmon started trials with pens without antibiotics; the effort proved successful and so the shift away from antibiotics continued. The company hasn’t treated its market fish with antibiotics since 2001. Around 1995 the company also started its Environmental Monitoring Program. Creative Salmon’s internal program preceded regulatory requirements to monitor environmental conditions. In fact, through the early Environmental Monitoring Program, one of its farm sites was selected as an intensive research site to help develop performance-based standards for the management of salmon farms in BC.
The primary processing for our fish is done in a government-certified plant right on the dock in Tofino, BC, less than an hour by boat from the farm sites. The fish are packed on ice and shipped in temperature-controlled trucks in the afternoon of every processing day to reach the Mainland by evening.
Creative Salmons’s long-time commitment to natural practices and dedication to quality achieved a new level of recognition when the company achieved organic certification under the standard set out in May 2012 by the Canadian General Standards Board.
Because the company’s effort into pursuit natural, organic processes, Creative Salmon was well-placed to meet all the requirements and, in December 2013, it became the first salmon farming company in North American to achieve organic certification.
Creative Salmon is the first salmon farming company in North America to achieve organic certification.
About Creative Salmon
Creative Salmon is North America's only major producer of indigenous Pacific Chinook (King) salmon. Creative Salmon’s fish are raised in the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound on Vancouver Island. The company follows sustainable, responsible farming practices, and is a fully certified organic salmon producer. Creative Salmon employs just over 50 people in positions ranging from net cleaners and technicians to managers and administrators.
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