“These really are the good old days”

We get to live, work, and play in one of the most beautiful places on earth, says 30-year retiring veteran of BC’s salmon farming industry.

(Pictured) Paul Kendrick of Marine Harvest

Paul Kendrick doesn’t hesitate when asked what has kept him on the same career path for 30 years: “The people I get to work with are the most important part of why I’ve stayed with it so long. I feel very lucky to be with Marine Harvest. I also feel very fortunate to be able to work much of the time outdoors connected to this beautiful B.C. coast.”

Paul has realized though, that after 3 decades, it’s time to move onto other things that have been calling. Well, that’s if you consider “retirement” sailing the B.C. coast, some travel, and getting more serious about writing and photography.

“I really want to go back to the Arctic again,” Paul says. “It’s as exotic to me as anywhere else in the world and all I have to do is get in my truck and start driving north.”

With the fitness level of a generation Xer, this 64-year-old still wants to climb mountains – literally and metaphorically. Paul hopes to do the annual Kusam Klimb again this year, especially if he can persuade his daughter, Kira, to join him.

Paul’s aquaculture career began sometime in the mid-1980s when he saw his first salmon farm during a winter kayak trip around Nelson Island near Sechelt. A campfire chat with the farm’s manager that evening further impressed Paul about this “new” farming. Soon, he was graduating from the salmon farming certificate course offered at Capilano College and for the first time in his life weighing multiple job offers. His college training was his ticket out of Vancouver.

Paul began working at Dalrymple Hatchery near Sayward on June 8, 1988, under the tutelage of aquaculture pioneer John Lawrie. His career has always focused on the freshwater phase of the salmon lifecycle, and has included broodstock, construction, egg takes, projects, fry and smolt transfers.

“The last two decades I’ve focused on fish transport because as the companies became larger and brought with them technology investments, international experience, and improved standards, we had to become more specialized. It’s also continually interesting and I get to go wherever we have fish,” reflects Paul.

Paul is set to retire March 1, 2018, and leaves behind some parting advice for the next generation of salmon farmers:

“Enjoy your work and have fun with the people you work with. Change is the constant in our industry and that’s both what keeps you awake and occasionally drives you nuts.

“These really are the good old days and we get to live, work, and play in one of the most beautiful places on earth.”