Declining demand for canned salmon sparks closure in Prince Rupert

PRINCE RUPERT, B.C. – Some devastating news for the fishing industry on B.C.’s north coast as the Canadian Fishing Company, known as Canfisco, has announced an end to cannery operations in Prince Rupert.

In a letter to the United Fishermen and Allied Workers Union, Canfisco says it plans to continue landing and processing salmon at its two Prince Rupert plants at Oceanside and Seal Cove.

But it says the demand for canned salmon is declining, and it can no longer support the maintenance of a canning operation at the Oceanside facility.

Canfisco’s Rob Morley says about 450 people were employed at the plant last year, and he’s unsure of how many will be laid off as a result of the restructuring.

The union has called an emergency meeting for its members while Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain says the closure is very unfortunate news.

He says talks will be held with the company and the union because salmon is a key industry in the city and officials want to keep as many jobs in the sector as possible. (CFTK)