Marine Harvest’s certification “dream team”

December 30, 2016 - Campbell River, B.C.

Three women who epitomize strong mentorship and professional development are in charge of environmental certification at Marine Harvest Canada. MHC’s Director of Regulatory Compliance and Certification Sharon DeDominicis says it’s a privilege to head the trio. A registered professional biologist, Sharon always wanted to understand nature. Since obtaining her Bachelor of Science (Ecology, University of Calgary) she has worked at the crossroads of resource development and the environment in oil & gas, forestry, and aquaculture. To be successful at environmental management, Sharon says “you need to put people into the equation”. This perspective led her back to school to complete her Masters of Business Administration at Royal Roads University, where she gained a much better understanding of economic/social sustainability.
For Sharon, certification completes the dream of bringing all of this together. "This is such an exciting time for Marine Harvest, with certification allowing us to showcase our passion and excellence to the community.”

When the company committed to gaining Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC) and Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) certifications, it needed a team. Enter Katherine Dolmage, who had grown up around salmon farming in Campbell River. Katherine left home to study Biology at the University of Victoria, and completed her Master’s degree in Marine Management in Iceland. Joining Sharon’s team was a home-coming. “Fish and the ocean are my passion. I worked on a commercial tuna boat while at university, I studied marine biology, and I pursued a career in an ocean-based industry. I feel lucky that there is a way to grow my career while living here,” Katherine says. She started as the team’s administrator and was soon promoted to the role of Certification Manager.

That made room for the third woman in certification, Renée Hamel. Renée, a NunatuKavut woman, grew up on the ocean and has had a keen interest in marine biology since pulling her first gillnet with her father in the Labrador food fishery at the age of eight. Marine Harvest recruited her directly from the east coast’s Marine Institute, where she specialized in sustainable aquaculture after an undergraduate degree at Memorial University. Renée worked for two years gaining experience in salmon farming. “I always wanted to grow fish, and the opportunities are better in B.C. With ASC certification, we are hoping to change public perception and continue to improve how salmon is farmed.”

The secrets of success for this dream team? Diverse backgrounds, open communication and mutual respect. They have stepped up to the challenge of certifying all farms against the ASC standard by 2020, and it looks like they are made for the job.

Renée Hamel, Sharon DeDominicis, Katherine Dolmage

Renée Hamel, Sharon DeDominicis and Katherine Dolmage