Shellfish aquaculture has long been intimately aligned with Coastal First Nations culture. As part of a regional economic development strategy, the Nanwakolas Council (a society comprised of seven North Vancouver Island First Nations) has identified scallop aquaculture as having high potential for economic growth and cultural fit. Over the past year, Sauder S3i has worked with the Nanwakolas Council on developing aquaculture strategies in the North Vancouver Island region.
Scallop aquaculture is a risky business due to the animal’s sensitivity to changing environmental conditions and the unreliability of scallop seed supply. This project continues the Nanwakolas Council’s prudent research-led approach to establishing aquaculture operations by assessing options for scallop seed supply, determining a research partner for pilot grow-out projects and technician training, and forming a plan to fund the research. In addition, opportunities for collaboration between the new Nanwakolas aquaculture companies and established players are considered in order to further diversify risk.