It’s not about competing, it’s about creating, said Wallace D. Wattles. Heather and Matt Clarke are proving that by creating products that are innovating the aquaculture industry with their company, Poseidon Ocean Systems.

Vancouver Island’s West Coast has some of the most challenging marine conditions in the world; conditions that are distinctively Canadian in the Aquaculture industry. Isolated locations, extreme currents, powerful storms and unique environmental challenges are common in this region of the world. Poseidon Ocean Systems, a company founded in Campbell River, has developed the experience and technical capability to engineer, build and supply saltwater aquaculture infrastructure for these harsh conditions.

Poseidon was founded by Matt and Heather Clarke just 18 months ago after moving from Vancouver so that could take an engineering job within the industry 6 years ago. Together they have grown their company to a staff of 15 employees in response to industry demand. “We have found that the local industry is craving the collaborative support that we are able to provide. We tailor our solutions to our client’s needs given their environmental challenges” says Matt Clarke, President of Poseidon Ocean Systems.

Poseidon designs and builds aquaculture infrastructure from the seafloor up. This includes mooring systems and equipment, net-pen construction, and life support systems. Poseidon’s philosophy is to provide engineered solutions, not just products or services. From the outset, the company has put a high value on research and development, seeking to develop technology and equipment proactively to support their customers both locally and around the globe.

“We started with mooring systems, and built the company out from there” explains Matt. “Aquaculture is moving into more extreme locations in Canada, because those locations offer better conditions for farming.” Poseidon provides comprehensive mooring design services, and supplies the highly technical systems to customers up and down the coast, and around the world. “We apply our expertise to design effective, economical mooring systems that allow our customers to operate in the areas they need to. We’re actually helping our customers return to locations they’ve had to abandon in the past due to the extreme conditions.”

Cermaq Canada is a BC salmon farming company operating in Vancouver Island coastal communities. Cermaq Canada is sponsoring a series of profiles of Young Entrepreneurs on North Vancouver Island

Poseidon Ocean Systems has recently been awarded some large contracts for their innovative life support equipment—air and oxygen disbursement systems. These systems help mitigate harmful algae blooms and low dissolved oxygen situations. “The marine environment in this region of the world presents some unique challenges; harmful algal blooms and low oxygen levels are two prime examples of this. Mitigating against these threats has become a high priority for our customers, and we’re proud of the world-class aeration and oxygen supplementation systems we’ve developed to help them fight these threats.” Poseidon designs and manufactures these complex systems at their facility in Campbell River.

But Poseidon doesn’t stop at moorings and life support systems. They’ve also won exclusive contracts to build and supply the next generation of HDPE plastic net pens for the Canadian industry – including the largest net pens ever built in Canada, currently being assembled in the village of Tahsis for a west coast customer. To accomplish such a feat, they had to compete with much larger foreign companies against which they came out on top. “Our focus on providing complete solutions, and fully managing every aspect of the project, combined with our ability to develop creative, integrated solutions for our customers creates a value for our customers that sets us apart from our competitors” explains Matt.

Technical expertise and capability is the backbone of Poseidon Ocean Systems. “Canadian aquaculture is truly world-class, and on the forefront in tackling new challenges. Now these challenges are starting to appear in other areas of the world, and the global industry is turning to Canada for solutions, and we’re ready to step up to meet that challenge” says Heather, who applies her background in banking and business administration to help manage the company’s explosive growth. “We have added 13 staff to the team in the last 8 months; including 5 full-time engineers and two permanent co-op positions to go along with our tradesmen and project managers. We’re developing engineered solutions for the marine environment.”

With such rapid growth, and so many projects on the go, it may come as a surprise to hear what Matt and Heather have planned for the future of the company; “We’re continuing to grow” says Heather. “We feel like we’ve only just begun to scratch the surface of the potential in this space. We have so many plans for further development, there is so much more that we feel we can offer.”

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