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Shannon Bay Cannery

View of the Shannon Bay Cannery from the bow of a boat approaching the cannery.

Shannon Bay was built on the Masset Inlet, a prime area for the pink salmon fishery. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Collection G2010.027.047

Before 1911 B.C. salmon canneries focused almost entirely on Sockeye salmon. After 1911 the canning industry began to can other species of salmon. Canneries were built in new areas along the B.C. coast including this one on Haida Gwaii.

1926-1931 and 1936-1940

53°38’39.7″N 132°30’39.2″W

Gosse Packing Co. Ltd. built the Shannon Bay Cannery in 1926 for processing pink salmon in Haida Gwaii. BC Packers Ltd. purchased the cannery in 1928. Like most other canneries that focused on pink salmon, Shannon Bay Cannery operated every other year. Pink salmon have a two-year life cycle and one cycle year dominates the other year in the cycle. In even years, more pink salmon return to spawn than in uneven years.

Shannon Bay Cannery was shut down between 1931 and 1935. It was refurbished and reopened in 1936, but closed permanently in 1940. Most of the canneries on Haida Gwaii were shut down during this time due to increasing success with refrigeration. Refrigeration meant the fish could be transported to the mainland for canning at larger plants.

Two women in work uniforms pose in front of cannery buildings.

Cath and Agnes Sim (left to right) stand in their canning clothing on the boardwalk at the Shannon Bay Cannery. Gulf of Georgia Cannery Society Archives G2010.027.102