Government of Canada invests in Indigenous fisheries opportunities across BC

News release

February 23, 2022

Vancouver, British Columbia - The Government of Canada is committed to a renewed relationship with Indigenous Peoples based on the recognition of rights, respect, cooperation and partnership. Delivering on this commitment, the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, the Honourable Joyce Murray today announced investments of $11.8 million that will support First Nations commercial fisheries enterprises for the benefit of Indigenous communities under the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI).

These PICFI investments support new business and training opportunities and increased fisheries access for 31 Indigenous commercial fisheries companies representing 117 First Nations across British Columbia. PICFI is co-developed, co-designed and co-delivered in collaboration with Indigenous partners.

The following are among 52 initiatives to receive PICFI funding:

  • Sechelt Fishing Limited Partnership obtained 7,500 pounds of commercial halibut quota, allowing the company to expand business opportunities and compete more effectively.
  • Klahoose Shellfish Limited Partnership invested in kelp aquaculture operations, contributing to local employment and economic benefits.
  • T’Sou-ke Nation used funds to supplement their investment in a grading machine, equipment and one million oysters for production and sales to domestic and international markets.
  • Pentlatch Seafoods Ltd - K’omoks First Nationwill upgrade and increase efficiency of shellfish aquaculture operations with the purchase of two million oyster seeds and one million clam seeds.
  • Salish Seas Limited Partnership obtained 3,000 pounds of commercial sablefish quota that will increase revenues and contribute to employment for community members.
  • Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership used funds, along with their own investment, to purchase a multivac thermoformer packaging machine for their St. Jean’s Cannery to assist the Nation in developing processing, sales and marketing capacity.
  • Central Coast Commercial Fisheries Corporation obtained 3,400 pounds of commercial halibut quota allowing it to expand operations and extend employment for 11 community members.
  • A-Tlegay Fisheries Limited Partnership used funds to supplement their investment in the acquisition of two geoduck licences and 11 northern blocks of geoduck to expand commercial fishing opportunities.
  • Okanagan Nation Aquatic Enterprises Ltd. purchased a fishing vessel and made improvements to the Nk’mip landing site to accommodate commercial fishing vessels.
  • Harrison Salmon Producers purchased fish totes and constructed a covered landing and off-loading building at Sts’ailes Beach for commercial fisheries and fisheries-related tourism diversification.
  • SalPac Fisheries Limited will use funds in combination with their own source investments to obtain groundfish access with the goal of corporate growth and community fisheries development.
  • Additional funding will support four new entrants in establishing commercial fisheries companies in the PICFI program, including the Gitksan, Wet'suwet'en, and Gitanyow Nations; Klahoose and Homalco Nations; Katzie, Kwantlen and Semiahmoo Nations; and the Lower Fraser Enterprise Limited Partnership.

Quotes

“Through the PICFI program, we are committed to advancing Reconciliation with Indigenous communities. By providing funding for 117 participating First Nations, these investments help to support local Pacific commercial fisheries and to continue our Department’s work to build regenerative and prosperous fisheries in British Columbia.”

The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

Quick facts

  • Supported more than $150 million in investments in Indigenous fisheries, including $47 million in licence/quota acquisition, $2.8 million in acquisition of vessels, $6.6 million in training, $26 million in support of on-shore facilities and $4.8M in aquaculture.

  • Supported the creation of 880 annual jobs for First Nations harvesters and land-based workers.

  • Distributed annual fisheries access valued at $183 million to 20 Indigenous coastal fisheries companies.

  • Consistent with the Action Plan for the Renewal and Expansion of DFO’s Indigenous Programs, PICFI is co-developed, co-designed and co-delivered in collaboration with Indigenous partners, including the external Business Development Team, hosted by the Skeena Fisheries Commission and the First Nations Fisheries Council.

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Contacts

Claire Teichman
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard
604-679-5462
Claire.Teichman@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Media Relations
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
613-990-7537
Media.xncr@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

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