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.
Salmon on smoking racks
Map of BC fish processing plants
The provincial regulations governing fish and shellfish that are harvested and processed in BC are the Fish and Seafood Act (SBC 2015) 148 and Fish and Seafood Licensing Regulation (261/2016).
BC Ministry of Agriculture (MAGRI) issues
licenses 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. For further information about provincially licensed fish processing plants in BC, consult this interactive map of fish plants in BC prepared by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food Safety Division.
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
Need some directions on
how to collect food and environmental samples?
The following information is provided for fish processing plant operators and provincial fish inspectors.
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 • 604.707.2440
NCC for Environmental Health • 604.829.2551
Poison Control Centre • 604.682.5050 (local) or 1.800.567.8911 (toll free)