Fish and Shellfish Processing in BC
What is a fish processing plant?
The BC Ministry of Agriculture (MAGRI) issues licences for commercial fisheries, finfish and shellfish aquaculture, and fish processing plants. Inspection services for provincially licensed fish processing plants in BC are provided by the local Health Authority (HA) where the fish processing plant is located. Applications for licensing of a fish processing plant are reviewed by the HA who will then issue a recommendation to BCMAL regarding licencing once the application is complete and meets all requirements of the regulations. BCCDC assists in this process in a consultative capacity by acting as a scientific resource and providing guidance materials for HA's and processor applicants.
|Fish processing plants are businesses that perform activities such as cleaning fish, packaging fish, freezing fish, smoking and pickling fish, cooking crab or shrimp and storing live fish or shellfish for further retail sale at stores and restaurants.
Inspection and Regulation of Fish Processing PlantsThe provincial regulations governing fish and shellfish that are harvested and processed in BC are the BC Fish Inspection Act (RSBC 1996) 148 and BC Fish Inspection Regulations (Reg.187/94).
Salmon on smoking racks
Fish products imported into Canada or made in BC but exported outside of BC fall under federal regulations and oversight by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Due to the potential hazards of shellfish toxins, all shellfish in BC must be processed through a federally registered plant – this is part of the Canadian Shellfish Sanitation Program.
If you have any questions about opening a new fish processing plant or complaints about fish products in a store or restaurant that you think made you sick contact your local Health Authority.
Need some directions on how to collect food and environmental samples? 2-pg instructions.
The information on these pages represent the work we do on behalf of the public, industry and government. Some of this information was written for the general public and some was written in technical language for public health.
Food Protection Services phone 604-707-2440
NCC Environmental Health phone 604-829-2551
Poison Control Centre phone 604-682-5050 or 1-800-567-8911
Last Updated: May 16, 2013