About the Company
Committed to wild-only salmon products, The Fishery has delivered fresh seafood and friendly service since 1992--first as The Fishery and later as The Fishery Seafoods, Ltd. The Fishery Seafoods, Ltd. is a family-owned & operated business. The main owner, Arnie Hengstler, is a commercial fisherman from a family of fishermen and is committed to wild-only salmon products. He started selling his fresh catch in Saltspring Island's Saturday Market in 1972. In 1992, he & his wife, Julia, founded The Fishery seafood market at Lower Ganges Road on Salt Spring Island with partners, John & Verna Elliott.
Arnie & Julia assumed sole ownership of the retail storefront in 1995, branching out into their own gourmet line of canned seafood in 1998. In the late 1990's Arnie & Julia began marketing their gourmet canned and frozen seafood products in artisanal and seasonal markets in British Columbia & Ontario. Around 2007, Arnie started another new summertime venture, "The Fishery Afloat", to bring his wares to other Gulf Islands like Mayne & Galiano. In their latest adventure, Arnie & Julia recently sold the Saltspring storefront to relocate to Duncan, British Columbia where they continue to market and sell their elite gourmet seafood products.
With the help of his sons and wife, Arnie continues to fish for salmon and live crab, travel to regional markets, and run The Fishery Afloat in order to deliver you the freshest and highest quality seafood.
About the Owner
Arnie Hengstler grew up in Richmond, BC, close to Steveston--a historic salmon fishing port where his father fished and his mother worked in the local cannery. In fact, our canned fish is now sold in the historic Gulf of Georgia Cannery Gift Shop. Arnie spent many hours on his father, Kurt's, fishing boats. Though he fished for other captains in his early years, by the age of 15 Arnie skippered the 20 ft. African Queen to fish salmon in and around the Fraser River--pulling his net in by hand. At 19 years old , Arnie built his own fibreglass boat with Kurt, his father, & older brother, Ray. While Kurt built a more conventional stern-picker boat with the net pulled on to a drum at the stern, both Arnie & Ray built bow-pickers. For more on fishing vessel types see this handout from the Prince William Sound Regional Citizens’ Advisory Council.
Arnie still fishes salmon on Mahalo Kai--the boat he built with his father--but he now also catches crab aboard The Crab Dancer. The method for crabbing is very different from how Arnie catches salmon--a method called gillnetting. For more on methods see this handout (crabber p. 1; gilnetter p. 2) from the Alaska Department of Fish & Game--Division of Commercial Fisheries.