BC Young Fishermen's Gatherings

Join the 2023 BC Young Fishermen's Network Gathering

 A Collaborative Celebration of Commercial Fishing's Next Generation


Buy Tickets Here


What you're in for!

Learn: Two days of presentations and conversations. Past topics include business planning, marketing, marine safety, gear and boat maintenance, fisheries management,
science and policy, and the future of fishing. 

Network: Meet your next deckhand, or fishing mentor. Connect with young harvesters and industry members from across the province. 

Celebrate: It’s not all business, the gathering is a celebration fishing on the West Coast. There will be seafood  feasting, cold drinks flowing, good company, and swapping of sea tales.  


wheel3.jpgMarch 22nd, 2023 - The Match Eatery

6:00pm-8:00pm – Shore Leave Networking Night

Join us to kick off the Gathering with a casual night of catching up with old friends and networking with new ones at the Match Eatery! You’ll enjoy a selection of appetizers and a drink on us. Cash bar and full menu available. Stick around to test your tune knowledge for Music Bingo at 7:00pm. 


wheel3.jpgMarch 23rd, 2023 – Maritime History Centre - Rotary Hall

9:30am – Kickoff Speech

Mark Urwin - This New Zealander turned BC prawner is a 5th generation harvester and fishmonger, and is actively involved in The BC Seafood alliance, local harbour authority board and contributes to several other organizations. 

When he’s not knee deep in prawns, elbows deep in running 46 South Fish Co., or throwing hands advocating for the industry, he’s sharing knowledge with the next generation to help equip them to successfully navigate both the calms and the squalls that come with a future in fisheries. 

10:15am – Fisheries Update Session

This session brings together harvesters and industry experts to provide info on the various BC fisheries to young harvesters, people newly exploring their opportunities in the industry, and for those already involved to find out what's new in other fisheries outside of their focus. Currently in the line up:

  1. Prawns - Mike Atkins, Pacific Prawn Fishermen's Assoc.
  2. Halibut - Chris Sporer – Pacific Halibut Management Assoc
  3. Crab - Megan Eadie – Area A Crab ED
  4. Scallops - Melissa and Joel Collier – West Coast Wild Scallops
  5. Geoduck - Grant Dovey - Underwater Harvesters Association


11:15am – A Buoyant Future: Collaborating to Reach Our Common Goals, Panel 

Fisheries in BC are facing some dicey waters, but by approaching our collective challenges from a creative, solutions-oriented mindset we can bring a positive and hopeful perspective to the vision of our industry's future. Join Sonia Strobel, CEO and founder of Skipper Otto CSA in a panel discussion on the power of our greater network and how we can support each other to rise together. 

*additional panelists to be announced

12:15pm – Lunch – Museum and Historic Boat tours available

 Did you know a fishing seiner once adorned the back of the Canadian 5-dollar bill? Climb aboard the real thing on a power tour of the original B.C.P. 45. Museum guides will be offering guided walk throughs of the vessel throughout lunch from 12:15pm-1:00pm.

1:00pm  – BC Fisheries Management 101 with DFO 

Get the facts from DFO fisheries management experts Ge Li and Maureen Finn in this comprehensive session packed with need-to-know tips to make your season successful and safe. 

1:00pm-5:00pm (Lower Workshop Hall) – Gear Up! 

Get your hands on nets, traps, and all manner of gear with tips and tricks from the seasoned pros. Presented by Tim Hobbs of Redden Net Co, Campbell River. Dive into the rope and knot niche, with splicing and rope making machine demos and a chance to try your hand at some advanced knotwork with local knotmaster Reudi Pletscher. 

2:00pm – Fish Safe Myth Busters

Safety at sea is the #1 priority: True or False? Bust through myths and get the facts with Fish Safe BC experts Harolf Wulff and Ralph Roberts with this lively and engaging session.

2:45pm – Coffee & Snacks - don’t worry, there are more snacks! 

3:00pm - Out of Sight, but Not Out of Mind: Helping Fishers Reclaim Lost Gear in BC and Beyond

Join Caitie Frenkel and Megan Eadie as they present their research on solutions to lost gear management. Followed by a panel discussion with Ashley Tapp and Jeremy Browne, founders of The Ocean Legacy Foundation on current strategies and efforts in the works to reclaim lost gear locally and globally.

4:00pm – Money Talks - Financing your Fishing Business with BMO

Get down to brass tacks with Katie Carter of BMO, a fisheries financing specialist with a wealth of knowledge on how to build, grow, and sustain your fishing business.

5:00pm – Day Wrap Up

5:10pm – Light Reception - Museum and Historic Boat tours available

Contemplate the day over BC beers, wines, cider, and handcrafted mocktails made with ingredients from local Comox Valley farms by Wild Coast Cocktails. Drinks on us. Take in a quick guided tour of the historical B.C.P. 45 and network with new friends until before settling in for the Gathering Feast at 6pm.

6:00pm-8:00pm – Gathering Feast

Brought to you by the fun loving, darkly humorous, creative style of Amber Assu, Executive Chef of The Good Wife Gourmet. Here are just a few of the locally sourced delights you can expect to partake in: 

scones made with Crimson Queen cranberries grown by Neil Hamilton in bogs off of the Inland Island Highway just down the hill from Cranberry Lane;

a variety of micro greens from Earth Child Micro Greens custom grown in Campbell River to pair with several of your course selections;

a variety of cheeses from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks in Parksville;

wood smoked bacon from Smith & Lee Local Butcher; and 

Sockeye salmon caught in Area 13 by local Indigenous hereditary chief Brian Assu, processed into filets and lox at St. Jean’s Cannery.  

wheel3.jpgMarch 24th, 2023 – Maritime History Centre - Rotary Hall

8:00am – Big Breakfast 

Refuel for the day with a sweet and savoury breakfast fit to prepare you for a day at sea! 

8:00am - Registration

8:50am – Welcome Back + Housekeeping

9:00am – Marine Protected Area Updates from the Marine Planning Team

The development of Marine Protected Areas will impact the future of how we fish. Learn more about MPAs from local Marine Planning Team members Mike Atkins, Grant Dovey, Brian Mose and Bruce Turris.

9:30am - Developing BC’s First Coastal Marine Strategy

Managing the ocean is complex. Overlapping jurisdictions govern marine activities, conservation initiatives and ocean-based industries. A Coastal Marine Strategy will look at the full picture of ocean ecosystem health and community well-being. Hear about the opportunities for this strategy from Stephen Hextall, Policy Analyst with Government of BC, Ministry of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship.

10:00am - Native Fishing Association: Business Growth and Opportunities

The Native Fishing  Association fosters and supports the success of First Nation men and women in the commercial fishing industry dealing with everything from loans and grants to licenses and quota. Brilliant business experts Natasha Marshal Gallic and Chelsea Lesner from the Native Fishing Association will give us the ins and outs of navigating business opportunities.

10:00am (Thulin Room) - Mutual Marine - Insuring your Fishing Business

Run by Fishermen for Fishermen, Pacific Coast Fishermen's Mutual Marine Insurance Company has provided quality, affordable marine insurance to British Columbia commercial fishermen since 1945. Keith Chauvel - Managing Surveyor and Treasurer  has worked with Mutual Marine for 36 years while also fishing the Coast of BC.

11:00am – Coffee & Snacks

11:15am – Empowering Indigenous women in BC’s Fishing Industry

Time to celebrate the incredible Indigenous women of the West Coast commercial fishing industry and examine  ways to create space and opportunities for Indigenous women to continue taking on powerful roles in fishing. On this panel we’ll hear from Natasha Marshal Gallic of the Native Fishing Association, and harvesters Linda Thomas, Ashley John, and Mercedes Marshall. 

11:15am (Thulin Room) – Open Networking/Discussion Space

Make sure you get the contact info from the friend you met over music bingo, mull over your new knowledge, give a last hug and handshake. 

12:15pm – Grab & Go Lunch

12:45pm – Parting Words

If we don’t see you on the water or on the dock, we’ll see you at BC Young Fishermen's Gathering 2024… 



Campbell River, BC

Event Venue:
Maritime Heritage Centre
621 Island Hwy, Campbell River, BC

Buy Tickets Here




Past Gatherings

VIRTUAL BCYFG 2021- PART TWO, March 30 & 31

In March we heard stories from a panel of women who fish, learned about a study of our local prawn fishery, and caught up with young harvesters preparing for their fishing season. Parliamentary Secretary Fin Donnelly joined us on Day One to provide an update about his new role at the Provincial Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and the work they are doing to support our fishing community.

Our sessions were recorded and can be watched at the links below. 

Our Schedule  and Recordings Include: 

wheel3.jpgMarch 30: "Welcome to Parliamentary Secretary Fin Donnelly": Link to watch

wheel3.jpgMarch 30: "Women in Fishing": Link to watch

wheel3.jpgMarch 31: "UBC Shrimp Survey Analysis": Link to watch

VIRTUAL BCYFG 2021- PART ONE, Feb 9 & 10

In February we learned about the grant writing process, heard how harvesters have adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, and caught up with other young fishermen about their 2020 fishing seasons.

In case you missed any of our sessions, they were recorded and can be watched at the links below. 

Our Schedule  and Recordings Include: 

wheel3.jpgFeb 9: "On the boat" - Young harvester panel discussion. Due to technical troubles, this recording is in two parts; watch Part 1 of the recording here and Part 2 here.

wheel3.jpgFeb 9: "Off the boat" - Grant writing. Watch here!

wheel3.jpgFeb 10: "On the boat" - Harvester adaptations to COVID panel discussion: Check it out here!


BCYFG 2020- JANUARY 23 & 24

The 2020 Gathering in Nanaimo was our largest BC-focused event yet, bringing in 100 participants involved in the BC fishing industry. 

Highlights included:

wheel3.jpgKeynote presentation by Peter De Greef 

wheel3.jpgPlenary sessions and two tracks of workshops delivered by 36 speakers and teachers

wheel3.jpgPeer to peer learning and networking opportunities including a Marketplace of Ideas, Open Space discussions, and evening reception

wheel3.jpgField trip to Stones Boatyard

Download the agenda here.

Read the event summary report here.

BCYFG 2019- JANUARY 23 & 24

The 2019 Gathering was held in Victoria and attended by close to 100 participants. Attendees traveled up and down the coast, from Alaska to Bellingham and from the Gulf of Mexico to Atlantic Canada for two days of learning and networking.

Highlights included:

wheel3.jpgPanels and presentations by over 35 industry specialists

wheel3.jpgPeer to peer knowledge exchange and networking

wheel3.jpgGroup discussions on topics such as ghost gear, mentorship, public awareness of fishing, policies and programs to support new entrants

wheel3.jpgField trip to Finest at Sea Victoria 

BCYFG in the news: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019AGRI0003-000047

Download the agenda here.

BCYFG 2018- FEBRUARY 6 & 7

The 2018 BC Young Fishermen's Gathering was held at the Britannia Shipyards in Steveston. Close to 65 participants gathered for the two day workshop. 

Presentations by industry leaders included:

wheel3.jpgBob Fraumeni, Finest at Sea

wheel3.jpgSonia Strobel, Skipper Otto's

wheel3.jpgExecutive Chef Ned Bell, Chefs for Oceans & OceanWise

wheel3.jpgSean Barret, Dock to Dish

wheel3.jpgNeil Davis, DFO

wheel3.jpgDr. Carl Walters, UBC

wheel3.jpgDr. Rashid Sumalia, UBC & Ocean Canada Partnership

wheel3.jpgRick Williams, Canadian Council of Professional Fish Harvesters

wheel3.jpgDr. Martin Gooch, Value Chain Management International

Download the agenda here.

BCYFG 2017- JANUARY 24 & 25

The first annual BCYFG was held in Victoria and brought together over 30 young harvesters from across the province, with representation from nearly every fishery; from salmon trolling to sea cucumber diving.  

Highlights included:

wheel3.jpgTopics including alternative marketing strategies, financing a fishing operation, marine safety, and innovative solutions to fisheries issues

wheel3.jpgA visit to Finest At Sea provided an interactive tour of a vertically integrated fishing operation


Download the agenda here.