By Gina Forsyth
The Quatsino region on northwest Vancouver Island is fortunate to have Nicky Barchuk’s positive energy and keen interest in the industry. As a Farm Technician 2 at Monday Rocks, she feeds fish and samples for plankton, along with the position’s many other responsibilities.
Nicky grew up outside Guelph, Ontario. After high school, she earned her certificate in drilling and blasting from Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay in 2006.
When it was holiday time, Nicky headed to Vancouver Island and Campbell River, both for the first time. “I loved it here and quickly decided to move last spring”. Through word of mouth, Nicky heard about the salmon aquaculture industry and immediately applied, excited about employment with such a strong focus on outdoor work. “I was ecstatic to be hired,” Nicky said, “It’s my dream job.”
Adding to the sheer pleasure of Nicky’s farm work was her involvement in the Vancouver Aquarium’s BC Cetacean Sightings Network. All Marine Harvest sites and vessels have been part of it since last year. In recognition of her dedication, Nicky was named one of the Top 25 Whale Observers in BC for 2011. “I travel to every farm in the Quatsino region and collect the whale sighting data from their log books. We record the date, time, behavior and location of each whale and the weather.” She also takes pictures and encourages everyone in her region to as well.
Even on days off, Nicky’s never far from the water. She loves to beach-comb and “to say I fish a lot would be an understatement”.