Salmon Farmers Invited by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation to Tofino for 2015 AGM

Salmon Farmers Invited by Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation to Tofino for 2015 AGM

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014 - 2:00pm

CONTENT: Press Release

CAMPBELL RIVER, B.C., October 7, 2014 /3BL Media/ –  The BC Salmon Farmers Association will be holding its 31st Annual General Meeting and Salmon Aquaculture Business Summit in October of 2015 in Tofino B.C. after accepting an invitation from the Hereditary Chiefs of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation.  This will mark the first time the BCSFA has held its AGM on the west coast of Vancouver Island, and the first time B.C.’s salmon farmers have been collectively invited into the traditional territory of a coastal First Nation.

“This is an historical moment for B.C.’s salmon farmers and says a lot about how far we have come in our relationships with First Nations, and about the inclusive and sustainable manner in which we raise salmon in B.C.  Our members have gained tremendous knowledge of the oceans through relationships with First Nations. This respectful coming together in the traditional territory of a coastal First Nation, that has moved from a place of strong opposition to one of formal partnership, is a milestone for our industry,” said Jeremy Dunn, Executive Director, BC Salmon Farmers Association.  “Our 30th Annual General Meeting, held September 25th in Campbell River, was an inspirational look at the future of salmon aquaculture in B.C.  Our members are very positive about the future and we are very much looking forward to sharing that with the Tla-o-qui-aht in Tofino next year.”

“The Tla-o-qui-aht have not always been welcoming of salmon farmers, but we’ve now established our protocol agreement with Creative Salmon,” said Tla-o-qui-aht Natural Resources Director Saya Masso. “With that agreement we’ve been able to work toward recognition that activity in our traditional territories must respect Hishuk ish ts’awalk [everything is one].  We look forward to sharing that as we host the BC Salmon Farmers Association at our Tin Wis Resort Hotel next year.”

Under the Tla-o-qui-aht’s formal partnership agreement with BCSFA member Creative Salmon, both parties have appointed members to a Fish Farm Committee for regular and ongoing dialogue.  Creative Salmon is North America’s only producer of Certified Organic Chinook Salmon.  The company employs 50 people who live in Tofino, Ucluelet, and west coast Vancouver Island First Nation communities.

“Creative Salmon and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation have a mutual desire to respect the land, waters, and watersheds where Creative Salmon operates and to conduct those operations in a manner that means minimal environmental impact,” said Tim Rundle, Creative Salmon General Manager.  “This approach has always guided Creative Salmon’s operations, and now in formal partnership with Tla-o-qui-aht, we will continue to pursue sustainable approaches, best practices, and social and economic benefits for local communities.”

Members of the BCSFA are currently partnering with coastal First Nations on 17 economic and social partnerships and are working toward many more. This is exemplified by new site applications underway with both the Ahousat First Nation in Clayoquot Sound, the Tlatlasikwala First Nation on Hope Island.


About the BCSFA
Farm-raised salmon is B.C.’s highest-valued agricultural export with almost $300-million in value exported each year. Salmon farming in B.C. provides 6,000 direct and indirect jobs while contributing over $800-million annually to the provincial economy. The BCSFA represents the province’s vibrant salmon farming industry through its members – salmon farm companies and the businesses that proudly provide services and supplies to B.C.’s salmon farmers.

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For more information:
Jeremy Dunn
BC Salmon Farmers Association