Grieg Seafood currently has impact benefit agreements with three First Nations on both coasts of Vancouver Island, and we operate 12 of our farms with the consent of these Nations.
Engagement with the other Nations in whose territories we operate is ongoing and a priority. It is our goal to operate all of our farms with the consent, partnership and permission of those Nations.
Employment, education and training opportunities are important to our Indigenous partners, and Grieg believes in providing them to our partners. Our agreements provide the educational and training opportunities needed to start a career in aquaculture. While transportation and accommodation can be difficult for some of our most rural partners, Grieg works closely with our Nations and local colleges to fill those gaps. Accessibility isn’t always easy for our rural communities, and we are constantly looking for ways to bring this training to our partners instead.
Coastal First Nations have known both the land and ocean around us for millennia. Their knowledge is invaluable to many resource-based industries in BC, so working with them on a variety of projects and initiatives is a privilege for us, whether it’s a Grieg project or an Indigenous one that we’ve been invited to partner on.
Prior to beginning construction on a project (like our new Middle Point Hatchery) or finding a site for a new farm in the ocean, we engage with the local Nation or Nations to determine if there are any nearby sites of cultural or historical significance that we need to be aware of or avoid altogether, such as a midden, harvest site or burial ground.
Below are some examples of new projects where we are working hand-in-hand with Indigenous peoples, partners and Nations.
Middle Point Development Project
With plans for a new hatchery facility, Grieg purchased 38 acres of land at Middle Point, located around 10 minutes north of Campbell River. This project is on the shared territories of the Wei Wai Kum, We Wai Kai (Cape Mudge), K’ómoks and Homalco First Nations.
The plan for these 38 acres is a recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) that enables growing fish longer on land before they are put into our pens in the ocean. Another benefit of a RAS is an increase in fish health (more durable and resistant smolts) as well as less time in the marine environment and, therefore, less impact on the ocean and wild salmon.
So far, the land has been cleared and environmental monitoring is ongoing. Recently Grieg did a walk through of the property with consultants and members of K’ómoks and Cape Mudge First Nations to ensure there were no areas of cultural or historical significance present. Environmental monitoring and working with First Nations to identify and safeguard culturally significant areas are important for the management of the area and for obtaining the permits and leases required.
Communications with these Nations are ongoing, and we will continue to work with them as the project moves into its next phases of development.
Remember to check back for updates on this project.
The Salmon Princess on the Ronja Islander
Last November, Grieg commissioned Kwakwaka’wakw artist Patrick Hunt to create a design for our new wellboat the Ronja Islander. From this, the Salmon Princess was born. Hunt says the design combines the importance of wild salmon on BC’s coast (a male and female salmon) with a Norwegian-inspired princess at the centre, designed in the Northwest Coast style.
This design will be installed on the bow and stack of the Ronja Islander in August 2020 to display our respect as the vessel travels through the traditional waters of many coastal Nations off Vancouver Island.