Canadian Fishing Company, Prince Rupert

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Canadian Fishing Company, Prince Rupert

by | Dec 1, 2019

The Canadian Fishing Company operates two processing plants on the north coast, one at Seal Cove and the other on George Hills Way near the center of Prince Rupert, British Columbia. The company was a small halibut fishing operation in 1906 based in Vancouver when it was purchased and incorporated by the New England Fish Company. The New England Fish Company was organized in 1868 by fish dealers doing business in Boston so they could supply themselves with halibut from the Atlantic Banks. To satisfy increased demand the company began fishing for halibut on the west coast in 1893. The company used a small freighter commanded by Captain Freeman who later participated in organizing the Canadian Fishing Company. The New England Fish Company then gradually withdrew from west coast fishing operations.

The Canadian Fishing Company, known locally as Canfisco, built a large cold storage and ice-making plant in Vancouver in 1910. In 1912, Canfisco expanded to the north coast of British Columbia by purchasing Atlin Fisheries Limited in Prince Rupert. In 1923 the company purchased the freezing and cold storage plant at Butedale, near Wrights Sound, from Western Packers Limited along with canneries at Shushartie Bay on Vancouver Island and Marguerite Bay on Smiths Inlet. In 1925, the company purchased three plants owned by Kildala Packing Company: Kildala Cannery on Rivers Inlet, Manitou Cannery on Deans Channel and Carlisle Cannery on the Skeena River. In 1934, a public cold storage plant was built adjacent to the Atlin Fisheries plant in Prince Rupert that was purchased on Canfisco in 1945. The same year Canfisco purchased the Nootka-Banfield Company with its fleet of pilchard and herring seiners, and plants at Nootka and Port Albion. In 1969, the Canadian Fishing Company purchased part of the holdings of the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company Limited including North Pacific Cannery on the Skeena River.

The parent New England Fish Company went bankrupt in 1980 forcing its subsidiary to sell its northern holdings to British Columbia Packers Limited. In 1984, the Jim Pattison Group purchased the company and began marketing its products around the world. In 2000, the company completed the purchase of British Columbia Packers Limited. The additional real estate in British Columbia and Alaska included processing plants, fishing licences and boats that more than doubled the size of the company. Today, Canfisco has plants in Prince Rupert, Vancouver, Richmond, and in Alaska at Naknek and Ketchikan. Read more here and here. Explore more of Canfisco here:

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