By Gina Forsyth
For Jason Stalker, international experience with Atlantic salmon means a consistently high quality product and humane care of the fish. As Harvest Manager, Jason oversees the entire harvest process, including proper fish handling techniques.
“I follow the fish from the sites to the box,” he said. We grow our fish for three years and know that the last few minutes of their lives are key. There’s a small window of time to ensure the fish are exposed to a minimum amount of stress. “My experience in Tasmania gave me a clear understanding of fish handling and husbandry practices,” said Jason.
Although Jason was born in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, his stepfather was employed in the oil and gas industry and his family relocated based on where the work was. Jason finished high school in Nova Scotia and later graduated from Sault College of Applied Arts and Technology in Ontario in the early 1990s with a diploma in Integrated Resource Management and a major in Fish and Wildlife.
The aquaculture component caught my interest and I worked for a summer as a farm technician for Kyuquot Sound Farms, which eventually became Marine Harvest, said Jason. The job became permanent after school finished and I worked my way up to Assistant Manager, he added.
Jason worked for five years as manager of farms in Klemtu before an opportunity came knocking – a position as Regional Production Manager for salmon farming company Tassal in Tasmania where he was in charge of six sites. After five years he returned to Campbell River and a case of good timing meant Jason rejoined Marine Harvest sooner than he ever anticipated.
Jason and wife Leigh, who is a Registered Professional Forester, were married this past summer. They love the diversity of outdoor activities Campbell River offers, from mountain biking and snowboarding to fishing, camping, and canoeing.