Not all farmers drive tractors or work in barns. In fact, salmon farmer Kirstyn Nygren spends more than half the year floating in the ocean off the coast of remote Nootka Sound, British Columbia. But she doesn’t mind the solitude. After all, she has as many as 700,000 Atlantic salmon to keep her occupied, not to mention a breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean.
Kirstyn grew up fishing with her family, and loves spending time outdoors, which is essential to her job as the Assistant Manager of one of Grieg Seafood’s open-net salmon farms. The ocean can be unpredictable, so you have to be able to “roll with the punches and adapt quickly,” explained Nygren. She has a B.Sc. in Marine Biology and Oceanography, and especially enjoys environmental monitoring, like taking plankton samples and testing water conditions. Fish farmers come from all kinds of backgrounds, but the one thing they have in common is a “respect for the environment that they work and live in,” says Nygren.