Tiicma Fisheries to expand aquaculture operations with new facility in Kyuquot Sound | Ha-Shilth-Sa Newspaper

Tiicma Fisheries to expand aquaculture operations with new facility in Kyuquot Sound

Kyuquot, BC

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.

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.

Tiičma Fisheries, which is owned by the Ka:’yu:’k’t’h’/Che:k’tles7et’h’ First Nations, continues to grow their current shellfish operations and this new facility will allow much larger deliveries of equipment that can be stored.

 “The project will help us lower our transportation and storage costs for getting aquaculture equipment up to Fair Harbour for use at our farms in Kyuquot Sound,” said Daniel Rabu, general manager of Tiičma Fisheries. “This will support our growth over the next few years as we anticipate developing four to six new aquaculture farms.”

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.
Rabu said this project is instrumental in helping Tiičma Fisheries finalize and develop several additional farms that will create meaningful jobs. It is expected to generate long-term economic and social benefits for the Houpsitas community members, food security for the First Nation and long-term sustainable revenue once farmed product becomes ready to harvest and market.

Tiičma Fisheries currently delivers farmed oysters to a processor/buyer in Bowser and the new facility is more of an equipment storage and staging facility.

“By increasing our capacity to store aquaculture equipment and gear closer to our farm operations, we will have more timely access to components needed to sustain our current operations and support future growth,” Rabu said.

Future plans for Tiicma Fisheries include building a processing and cold storage facility in Fair Harbour.

“We are currently engaged in oyster farming and will soon be farming scallops,” Rabu said. “We are also working on developing aquaculture facilities to farm other species as well.” 

Island Coast 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.

“This is the first opportunity for the trust to partner on a strategic investment for an aquaculture logistics facility,” says Aaron Stone, board chair of Island Coastal Economic Trust, in a press release. “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.”

The project is said to be underway soon.

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