Tiičma Fisheries to Expand Aquaculture Operations with New Facility

December 6, 2023

Fishing has been an important part of life, sustenance, and culture for KCFN since time immemorial. Photo courtesy of Tiičma.

COURTENAY – A new secure logistics and staging facility at Fair Harbour, in Kyuquot Sound, will allow Tiičma Fisheries to reduce its transportation costs and expand its shellfish aquaculture operations with funding support through Island Coastal Economic Trust’s Capital and Innovation Program.

The project will be used to store equipment and gear, including aquaculture trays, lantern nets, spools of rope, floats, navigation buoys, a vessel on a trailer, tools, and supplies. As Tiičma Fisheries, which is wholly owned by the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations, continues to grow their current shellfish operations, this new facility will allow much larger deliveries of equipment that can be stored. The waters of Kyuquot Sound are nutrient-rich and pristine, and maintaining little or no manmade pollution is integral to the success of harvesting and growing seafood. The project will help provide essential security for critical aquaculture assets in this area.

“Our ability to expand current shellfish aquaculture operations and develop a sustainable sablefish enterprise (in partnership with Golden Eagle Sablefish) depends on our ability to build a secured aquaculture logistics facility at Fair Harbour,” says Daniel Rabu, General Manager, Tiičma Fisheries. “This project is instrumental in helping us finalize and develop several additional farms that will create meaningful jobs while generating long-term economic and social benefit for the Nation.”

The new storage area is critical in allowing Tiičma Fisheries to meet their planned aquaculture expansion plans while creating sustainable employment opportunities for Houpsitas community members, food security for the Nation, and long-term sustainable revenue once farmed product becomes ready to harvest and market.

“Sustainable aquaculture development is aligned with the values, principles, and laws of the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations,” says Daniel. “We are very excited at the prospects this project has on our Nation’s profitability and economic survival.”

Tiičma Fisheries is presently limited to small delivery loads due to a lack of storage, which also impacts transportation costs. By supporting the aquaculture business expansion, this project will enable the development of additional farms including a scallop farm at Amai Inlet, a commercial oyster farm at Cachalot Inlet, and farms for seaweed, geoduck, and abalone.

“This is the first opportunity for the Trust to partner on a strategic investment for an aquaculture logistics facility,” says Aaron Stone, Board Chair, Island Coastal Economic Trust. “We are very excited to invest with Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations in sustainable aquaculture sector development in North Vancouver Island and the economic benefits they will be creating as they grow and diversify their community-owned business, Tiičma Fisheries.”

“This new facility will play a vital role in the future of Fair Harbour,” says Michele Babchuk, MLA for North Island. “As this fishery continues to grow, projects like this one will be critical to make sure it’s growing in a way that’s sustainable and aligns with the long-term goals of our coastlines.”

Island Coastal Economic Trust is investing in the Tiičma Fisheries Aquaculture Logistics Facility through the Capital and Innovation Program. The Trust will contribute $50,000 to a total project budget of $111,850.

The project will soon be underway.

Source: islandcoastaltrust.ca

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