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Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Protocol Agreement

Creative Salmon and Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation sign protocol agreement

July 4, 2014

Tofino, BC: Creative Salmon and the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation recently finalized a protocol agreement. After two decades of relationship building and cooperative effort, this agreement now establishes guiding principles for Chinook salmon farming operations within the Haahuulthii (traditional territory) of the Tla-o-qui-aht Hawiih (Chiefs) near Tofino, BC.

“We are pleased to formalize our existing working relationship with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation through this agreement,” says Creative Salmon General Manager Tim Rundle. “We have a mutual desire to respect the land, waters, and watersheds where Creative Salmon operates and to conduct those operations in a manner that means minimal environmental impact. This approach has always guided Creative Salmon’s operations and the company will continue to pursue sustainable approaches, best practices, and social and economic benefits for local communities.”

Under the agreement, both Creative Salmon and the Nation have appointed members to a Fish Farm Committee for regular and ongoing dialogue and exchange of information on subjects such as predator management, benthic (ocean bottom) monitoring, feed content, and fish health.

Terms of the agreement will see only Chinook salmon raised by the company, no antifouling agents on the nets, no underwater night lighting, and a pen density not to exceed 10 kilograms per cubic metre (which means fish comprise less than one per cent of the space in a pen).

“Stewardship of our lands is of utmost importance to our Nation” says Tla-o-qui-aht Natural Resources Director Saya Masso. “Creating this harmonized operational environment with Creative Salmon is central to our Nation’s work to manage our traditional territories using an approach that respects Hishuk ish ts’awalk (everything is one).”

Announcement of the protocol agreement comes just seven months after Creative Salmon announced it is now a certified organic operation. The certification is to the Canadian Organic Aquaculture Standard that was first published in May of 2012.

Creative Salmon Company Ltd. was established in 1990. The company has six farm tenures, operating only four sites at a time, focusing on quality rather than quantity. Creative Salmon employs about 50 people full-time, year round.