Innovation and Collaboration helps Mowi overcome COVID 19 Challenges - Mowi - Canada West

Innovation and Collaboration helps Mowi overcome COVID 19 Challenges

We are now over two months into the COVID-19 crisis. Despite being faced with new challenges, our employees have ensured that key processes can continue to be carried out through innovation and collaboration.

Big Tree Creek staff ensured that vaccination procedures at the hatchery wouldn’t stall due to the COVID-19 crisis. Hatchery Manager Chris McNeill says Christine Jordan and Joe Johnson came up with a “stall idea” to make the working space compatible for contractors from Fuerste Vaccination to continue vaccinating the fish.

“The vaccination process is one of the largest most stressful events for our fish, and it takes a lot of hands to get it done,” McNeill explains. “It usually involves two to three hatchery staff and up to 16 contractors, and working with that many people in a tight space creates concerns regarding physical distancing.

“Workers typically work with up to eight per table on the first shots and five to six on the bottom table for the second shot. In the past we consulted with an ergonomics professional and built the tables to spec based on her recommendations, but still, it is a little close for comfort for most these days.

“We started off with the ‘sneeze’ curtain, where a curtain was placed down the center of the table. This limited the amount of staff on each side of the table to two, which kept them six feet apart on the sides.” says McNeill. “As fast as the four contractors could go, it was a very slow process. Typically we vaccinate 50,000-60,000 fish a day, and with this method it was down to about 25,000.

“Christine came up with the idea of creating a stall to separate the workers, which allowed us to put six contractors on the table and get back up to our speed of 45,000-50,000 fish a day.”

The results spoke for themselves. McNeill notes “Having all the supplies and processes in place so that was easy for individuals to complete the tasks that were asked of them was paramount.

“Joe Johnson and the maintenance team did a great job installing the curtains. Christine’s detailed SOP on how to work the vaccination process during these careful times were shared before contractors were on site. We also had great support and understanding from all the staff at Big Tree when Christine was away.”

Big Tree Creek met its vaccination targets in a timely manner with zero injuries or incidents to fish or staff, and they were able to deliver fish groups to sea sites with minimal delays.

“Christine and Joe’s solution was excellent. The follow-up emails from Fuerste and vaccine suppliers have been very positive. It helped a lot throughout the process to have the communication between everybody and the willingness to work with the changes from everyone involved,” says McNeill.