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Port Hardy has a rich history in its First Nations communities around the harvesting and processing of shellfish and other underutilized species. The pristine waters around Port Hardy offer opportunities to develop a wide range of different value-added products.
Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation
- The Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw have an interest in shellfish aquaculture development, as well as commercially harvesting cultural seafood products such as seaweed and other sea life with natural healing properties.
Quatsino First Nation
- The Quatsino First Nation has recently partnered with Blue Frontier to establish a shellfish farming industry. This long-term project involves a new species of mussel called “The Golden MusselTM”, and is intended to be a cooperative business venture for First Nations to grow shellfish. The band is actively looking for community members who are interested in developing their own businesses with this product. The Quatsino also have strong historical ties to Asian countries. In the late 1800s to the early 1900s, the Nation was involved in numerous sealing expeditions with the Japanese. Current business relationships are also being developed with China and Korea through the Quatern Joint Venture.
Kwakiutl First Nation
- The Kwakiutl have traditional territory that would be ideal for shellfish farming and other harvestable underutilized marine products. Marine products like kelp, herring row, dungeness crabs, shrimp, prawns, scallops, mussels, oolichan oil, sea cucumber, sea asparagus, smoked and candied salmon, clams, oysters, barnacles, octopus, squid, wild sockeye, coho, chinook, chum and pink salmon, geoduck, sea urchin, etc., are already harvested and processed by the community.