Government of Canada and K’ómoks First Nation announce collaboration on Area-Based Aquaculture Management Pilot Program
October 28, 2022
Vancouver, British Colombia - The Government of Canada is committed to working in partnership with First Nations and managing a sustainable shellfish aquaculture sector in the Province of British Columbia. Innovation and collaboration is key to ensuring the long term sustainability of aquatic ecosystems and the continued viability of the fish and seafood sector in BC.
Today, the Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard, and Chief Councillor Nicole Rempel of the K’ómoks First Nation announced that Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel in British Columbia is the location of a new, two-year collaborative initiative called Area-Based Aquaculture Management (ABAM). This pilot program will support new, sustainable aquaculture opportunities for both the K’ómoks First Nation and partners within the region. It was co-developed in collaboration with the K’ómoks First Nation along with other partners and members of the Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel region. This area is a significant shellfish aquaculture growing region in the province, and this ABAM pilot project – selected following a call for Expressions of Interest – will focus on shellfish production.
This area-based management approach will consider the unique social, cultural, environmental, and economic priorities and characteristics of the Baynes Sound and Lambert Channel region and provide opportunities for increased use of local Indigenous knowledge. This is a new approach where the federal government, Indigenous government and other levels of government, industry, and stakeholders work together in a collaborative way to plan, manage, monitor, and enhance shellfish activities in BC. The pilot will enhance opportunities for collaborative governance related to aquaculture, and is expected to result in improved outcomes that better respond to local environmental, social, and cultural realities.
Further information on the application process, timelines, and program criteria are available here: https://www.pac.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/aquaculture/abam-gaz-eng.html
“This government is committed to advancing reconciliation and improving the sustainability of British Columbia’s shellfish sector. We worked with the community to address concerns and increase Indigenous participation, which was integral for this new Area-Based Aquaculture Management program. Together, we are supporting the viability of shellfish aquaculture activities in British Columbia. I look forward to working in partnership on this road of reconciliation and towards a sustainable and prosperous fishery.”
The Honourable Joyce Murray, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans, and the Canadian Coast Guard
“The K’ómoks First Nation, as stewards of Baynes Sound, our ‘breadbasket’ since time immemorial, are pleased to move forward with DFO in this co-governance initiative and partnership as we move together toward reconciliation.”
Hegus (Chief) Nicole Rempel, K’ómoks First Nation
Area-Based Aquaculture Management aligns with the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples, which is rooted in section 35, guided by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC)’s Calls to Action.
In August 2021, a Pilot Area Expression of Interest application form was shared with Indigenous communities, Provincial and local government representatives, and stakeholders in BC with a deadline to submit proposals by December 31, 2021.
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans
and the Canadian Coast Guard
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
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