BON SECOUR, B.C. – In a country where the cost of food and fuel is rising fast, seafood is often overlooked as a critical component of the local economy.
And yet, the industry is flourishing.
In the Pacific Northwest, the Pacific Seafood Market is the most visited seafood destination in the world.
And B.A.R.T. Fisheries’ fish market in Bon Secour is thriving.
The Bon Secours fishery is the largest freshwater fish market, encompassing the waters of Lake Bon Secourt, Lake Coquihalla and the Bon Secoures National Park.
“Fish in this market are so plentiful, we don’t even have to think about them,” says Steve Dickson, executive director of B.R.’s fishery.
“We’re just selling the best quality fish.
We’re not putting in all the other things that are required to make the fish sell.”
For some fishermen, the Bon Squehres fishery offers a unique opportunity to expand their knowledge and learn how to market their products.
The market is a place to learn about the local seafood industry, learn about local products and learn about other markets in the region.
The fishery’s main market is in Bon Sques, located on Lake Bon Squehla, about 150 kilometres north of Vancouver.
For about six hours a day, Bon Secs fishers sell fish, bait, live bait, and live food from different species of fish to the public.
It’s an experience fishermen have never had before.
The fish market is run by a board of directors, a board that also serves as a forum for the local fishing community.
The markets annual revenues reach into the millions of dollars, but that’s not the only reason the market is thriving.
“People really love fishing here,” says Kevin Coyle, a B.S. fisheries biologist.
“They’re always telling me I’ve been lucky to have such a great market.
I guess that’s one of the reasons I do it.”
The Bon Sues fishery has more than 100 species of freshwater fish.
It also has a wide range of live fish, which are typically the best fish to catch and market, such as cod, halibut, scallops, anchovies, swordfish, salmon, trout, carp, mackerel and other species.
The market also has the highest sales of any freshwater market in B.B.T., at nearly $1.5 million annually.
Coyle says the market has been booming over the last couple of years, partly because of the demand for local products like tuna and salmon.
“The fish market attracts more people, more people to Bon Secures markets, and more people come to our markets to buy fish,” he says.
But Coyle doesn’t just sell the fish to consumers; he also has other business ventures that cater to local fishing communities.
“One of the biggest things we do is teach people how to fish,” Coyle explains.
“For instance, I teach people the importance of being mindful and watching your breath.
We also teach people to watch the water and the currents and the direction of the currents.”
The markets fish market also features a video booth and a “carping” booth.
“I’m a certified carp breeder and we use a lot of the carp from the river to sell carp to the market,” says Coyle.
“It’s like a really fun way to learn carp.”
He also has another partnership with the City of Bon Securys Parks and Recreation Department.
“This year we started a carp breeding program, and we also have a carp walking program,” he adds.
“You can walk with your carp, or you can have them walk you to the markets.
It has been really great.
People come from all over to see how carp works.”
The fish markets are a great opportunity for B.T.’s fishing community to learn more about the food industry, and to get a feel for how the local fishery works.
“A lot of people come here to learn, and they just like to do it,” Coyles said.
“But they don’t want to have to go through the hassle of getting their permits and going out to catch.
They want to know how it all works and how to get out there and have fun.”
I would love the Bon Nues to be able to be that place to show people how good fish can be.””
There are so many places you can get your hands on great fish.
I would love the Bon Nues to be able to be that place to show people how good fish can be.”