Nanwakolas Scallop Aquaculture Opportunities Analyses

Nanwakolas Seafood Sector

Faced with declining fish stocks and human population growth, aquaculture has been filling the gap in recent years. Finfish species have had the strongest growth but have been accompanied by environmental controversy. Shellfish aquaculture, by contrast, is both environmentally friendly, and is a cultural fit with coastal First Nations in an industry whose products are in high demand. Seeking to capitalize on this opportunity, the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nations identified scallops as a high potential species for culture, and planned to develop a pilot operation in its traditional territories. Through the pilot, the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw leadership hoped to understand the economic, social, and cultural realities of the business, with an eye towards expanding the operations in the future.

With support from the Nanwakolas Council, Sauder S3i led research and planning that informed the creation of a full business plan for scallop aquaculture operations within the Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw traditional territories. The final report highlighted the three key issues of seed acquisition, capacity building, and processing and marketing along with analysis and recommendations on how to develop towards an eventual expansion of the business beyond a pilot phase. 

Additionally, Sauder S3i published a ‘Scallop Aquaculture Strategic Roadmap’ to provide First Nations communities with a straightforward overview of what it takes to get started in the scallop farming industry.

A key insight gained form this analysis was that the market has an appetite for both First Nations and sustainably branded products. This insight, along with the recommendations proposed, was integrated into the Nanwakolas Council strategic planning process and helped form an implementation schedule for the seafood sector.