Welcome to the Memories Project, a retrospective of the commercial fishing industry of Campbell River and the North Island.

This web site honours the men and women who pursued their livelihoods despite increasingly difficult challenges. Their hard work, persistence and dedication are important factors in development and growth of the City of Campbell River and the North Island.

Commercial fishing is vastly different today. In the past, fishermen would go out whenever and wherever they chose. Now with short openings sometimes lasting for only days or hours, a restrictive quota system, high licensing fees and lower fish stocks, many can no longer make a living from the water.

Fishermen must be prepared for whatever comes their way. Every decision can mean the difference between safety and danger for their boats, crews and catch. Commercial fishing consists of long hours, challenging weather and the possibility of accidents or death. They must be ready for all possibilities, be self-reliant and make quick decisions.

Despite hard work, punishing hours and the sacrifice of family life, the fishers whose stories are told here have a passion for the fishing life. They are awed by the spectacular scenery, excited by the prospect of a great catch and say ‘you get out of it what you put into it'. In spite of the competition, they knew they could rely on fellow fishermen for help in emergencies. Year after year, they returned to the water for another season of fishing.

The people who contributed to this project are but a few of those who fished and continue to fish the waters of the North Island. Their willingness to share the stories, speak about relatives and friends and the desire to preserve memories for future generations is important to the history of Campbell River and the North Island.