Vancouver Island First Nations sign agreement with fish farm

By Nelson Bennett

Wed Oct 17, 2012 10:00am PST

The Mowachaht and Muchalaht First Nations on the west coast of Vancouver Island have signed an economic cooperation agreement with Grieg Seafood BC Ltd., a Norwegian aquaculture company.

The agreement, signed by the company and Mowachaht and Muchalaht Council of Chiefs, provides for training and economic opportunities for First Nations as well as wild salmon enhancement initiatives.

“The creation of the economic opportunity fund from this agreement will assist our community to implement our five-year economic plan,” Mowachaht Chief Mike Maquinna said.

“Our nation’s priority, however, has always been good environmental stewardship, and this agreement ensures ongoing assessment of Grieg’s good practices through the establishment of an information sharing commitment.”

Grieg Seafood has salmon farms in Esperanza Inlet and Nootka Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, as well as on the east coast of Vancouver Island and the Sunshine Coast.
“We look forward to working with Grieg to identify potential contract services required at their operations in our Hahoulthee, our traditional territory, and to the jobs that will result,” said Muchalaht Chief Norman George.

The agreement provides members of the Mowachaht and Muchalaht bands training in aquaculture designed to lead to employment.
It also provides for wild salmon enhancement and habitat rehabilitation projects within the two First Nations’ territories.

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