There is a buzz in the air in Klemtu – and it’s not just the sound of float planes landing. It’s also the sound of fish processing equipment. From now until July, Kitasoo Seafoods will be bustling with activity. Thirty-five local staff will be processing nearly 340,000 pounds of salmon each week.
Managers Steve Sainas and Jason Swanson are excited about the recent renovations the plant has just received. “We finished stage two of our upgrades to the plant just in time for the first harvest,” says a relieved sounding Steve. “The renovations included new ceiling panels, new lights and a re-paneled ice house. The last stage of upgrades (stage 3) will include new stainless steel equipment and will arrive soon.”
Once processed and packaged, the fresh salmon is shipped in refrigerated trailers on a barge destined for Kitimat. After a 16 hour boat trip, they are then trucked 18 hours to Vancouver.
“It’s all about timing,” Steve says with a chuckle.
Kitasoo Seafoods is owned and operated by the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. This is the 10th season of processing Marine Harvest Canada salmon at Kitasoo Seafoods.
Photos submitted by Steve Sainas