West Coast Fishculture Ltd.
In 1973, Ward Griffioen established the foundation of what eventually became West Coast Fishculture Ltd. He began his career in the industry as a technician at the Pacific Biological station in Nanaimo, BC. Ward had an active part in developing the potential of salmon farming in the Pacific waters. He obtained the first salmon farm sites in Tofino, BC, and then established West Coast in 1988 as a family-owned business. Under Ward’s direction, the farm grew exponentially. The original program of rearing salmon smolts evolved over the years from Coho, Chinook, and Atlantic salmon to its current Steelhead salmon, which is now sold throughout North America to the food service and retail industries. After 50 years as an aquaculture pioneer, Ward is now retired but still active in the community as West Coast’s First Nations liaison. Ward currently sits on the Board of Directors of the BC Salmon Farmers Association.
AgriMarine began to develop closed containment technology in 2000, and now owns and operates West Coast as well as Benxi AgriMarine, a salmon and trout farm in China. AgriMarine’s technology was developed as an alternative to conventional open-net pen systems. Negative experiences with stock losses due to external environmental events such as toxic algae blooms and escapes, which are common in the net cage industry, led the team at AgriMarine to develop technology that mitigates these risks.