Nootka Aquaculture OVERVIEWThe Vancouver Island Summary Land Use Plan identified the following aquaculture use and potential in the Nootka region:
- wild oyster recruitment and harvest occurs in Hisnit Inlet and upper Tlupana Inlet
- there are highly capable areas for aquaculture in Tlupana Inlet, particularly in Head and Nesook Bay, also in Hisnit Inlet, Kendrick Inlet, Mooyah Bay in Muchalt Inlet and near northern Bligh Island
- Savey Beach in Espinosa Inlet approved as Nuchatlaht First Nation Pilot commercial clam beach. Another beach is pending approval for Ehattesaht First Nation
- high capability for aquaculture in Port Eliza and inner Nuchahlitz Inlets, Zeballos Inlets, Tahsis Narrows and lower Hecate Channel
Nootka Finfish Aquaculture Opportunity Map (March 2002) PDF
The Aquaculture Opportunity Study process is led by the Ministries of Sustainable Resource Management, Land and Water British Columbia Inc., Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and Water, Land and Air Protection with input from the federal Department of Fisheries & Oceans Canada.
Maps are developed that identify areas which have the capability to accommodate salmon aquaculture and meet government's siting criteria for salmon farms. Such criteria incorporate required buffering from other farms, salmon streams, shellfish beds, and other resource values.
The Nootka-Kyuquot Shellfish Aquaculture Committee provides community input to Land and Water British Columbia Inc. in their shellfish tenure application process for Nootka Sound, Kyuquot Sound and Esperanza Inlet, with the exception of the Nuchatlaht First Nation Ha’houlthee (traditional territory). Protected areas are not available for shellfish aquaculture development. The community application is used, in addition to the Provincial application process, to adjudicate tenure applications and provide recommendations to LWBC on which tenures should be granted.
Mowachaht/Muchalaht Shellfish program
The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation have a shellfish program under the Nuu-chah-nulth Shellfish Corporation. This operation is headed up by Edwin Jack and his crew of Rudy Dick, Sam Johnson and Brandon Jack. Since March 2004, they have built six rafts which can hold 88 stacks. Each stack contains seven trays and each tray started out with 150 oysters. All of the rafts that are underway are located at Ous Point, with oyster seeding at Bodega Beach. Eventually the project will be renamed M&M Shellfish Corporation. They first dropped oysters in June 2004, and will be ready for harvest in winter 2005.