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Fanny Bay

Settlement of Fanny Bay
Location of Fanny Bay in British Columbia
Location of Fanny Bay in British Columbia
Country  Canada
Province  British Columbia
Region Vancouver Island
Regional district Comox Valley
 • Total 7.40 km2 (2.86 sq mi)
Elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 815
 • Density 110.1/km2 (285/sq mi)
Time zone PST (UTC-8)
Postal code span V0R 1W0
Area code(s) 250, 778
Highways 19A
Waterways Baynes Sound
Website .comfannybaycommunity
Fanny Bay

is a small hamlet in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is located on Baynes Sound on the east coast of Vancouver Island. In 2001, its population was listed as 815.[1] It is best known for its fine oysters.

Fanny Bay with oyster processor and sea lions
View of Fanny Bay BC


  • Origin of the name 1
  • Shellfish 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

Origin of the name

There is no consensus on the origin of the name "Fanny Bay" and none of the various explanations — comical, romantic, local or historical — can be considered without scepticism. The name first appeared on British Columbia maps in 1913 and was officially adopted by the government in 1923. This adoption was based on Texada Island). He had nothing more than a rough outline of the eastern shore of Vancouver Island between Nanaimo and Comox, and his charts omitted several nearby islands and other features.[3] Therefore, it seems highly unlikely that Capt. Vancouver would have been able to proffer this name.


Fanny Bay is well known as a source of farmed shellfish, specifically Pacific oysters (scientific name Crassostrea gigas), manila clams (Venerupis philippinarum), savoury clams (Nuttallia obscurata) and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis), for both domestic and global markets.[4]

Fisheries sign for Fanny Bay

Oysters were introduced to the area as early as 1912 or 1913, with further seedings around 1925.[5] As a result of the lack of Pacific oysters from Japan during

  • "Fanny Bay (post office)".  
  • "Fanny Bay (community)".  
  • Official website
  • Mac's Oysters Ltd.

External links

  1. ^ BC Stats – Census 2011
  2. ^ Akrigg, Helen B. and G.P.V. (1997). British Columbia Place Names. Victoria: Sono Nis Press or UBC Press. 
  3. ^ a b "Fanny Bay".  
  4. ^ a b c d Bryan, Liz (2011). Country Roads of Western BC: From the Fraser Valley to the Islands. Toronto: Heritage House Publishing Company Ltd. p. 110.  
  5. ^ a b Committee on Nonnative Oysters in the Chesapeake Bay of the  on GoogleBooks


Within food circles Fanny Bay is synonymous with oysters. Manila clam seed was inadvertently included in Joseph McLellan's initial seed shipments from Japan.[4] The manila clam is as important as oysters to British Columbia's shellfish economy.

McLellan's descendants still own and operate the oyster and clam farm located in Fanny Bay, Mac's Oysters Ltd.[4] A fourth-generation family shellfish farm, Mac's Oysters is the only shellfish processor situated in Fanny Bay, though there is another company by that name, located in Union Bay approximately 11 km to the north. Mac's Oysters is a significant player in the Canadian farmed shellfish industry, processing approximately 34% of all of British Columbia's farmed oysters and clams from this area.

The first major oyster and clam seeding in Baynes Sound at Fanny Bay occurred about 1947, by Joseph McLellan, a pioneer in oyster aquaculture.[4] McLellan imported his first batch of oyster seed from Japan and seeded the beach areas around Fanny Bay - Mud Bay, Ship Point, Buckley Bay and Denman Island. His work started what is now a primary industry in the South Coast of British Columbia, Canada, employing over hundred people and contributing significantly to the economy of the Baynes Sound region.

View of Fanny Bay BC service docks and oyster boats
Oyster boats at Fanny Bay BC


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