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Mainstream Canada and Ahousaht First Nation signed a new protocol agreement on Jan 8, 2010. The protocol guides the principles for working together and establishing a sustainable and mutually beneficial salmon farming operation. This is in the Hahoulthee of the Hawiih, the traditional territory of the Ahousaht, where business practices are conducted in an environmentally, socially and economically sustainable manner.
Elements of the agreement for Ahousaht include economic benefits, training and education programs, salmon enhancement funding, employment, contracting and business opportunities, within others.
“Mainstream acknowledges that our farming area is situated in the Hahoulthee of the Hawiih and that the Ahousaht have claims for constitutionally protected rights and title within this area,” says Fernando Villarroel, Managing Director of Mainstream Canada. “The protocol provides certainty and stability for Mainstream to operate within the Ahousaht territory during the term of this Protocol”, adds Villarroel.
“Ahousaht is satisfied with a protocol agreement that provides many benefits for the Ahousaht. Our people work in Mainstream Canada fish farm sites but also they watch what goes on. Having eyes and ears on the farm sites is useful to a community that has concerns about environmental conditions in their lands and water,” states Maquinna, Hayupinulth and Kiista “and we find Fish farming is replacing the prosperity missing since the end of the commercial fishery”.
The Ahousaht agree that Economic sustainability is necessary for Mainstream to provide the
Social sustainability for the Ahousaht people and the Environmental sustainability of the Hahoulthee of the Hawiih. They will work with and support Mainstream on the development of a sustainable finfish aquaculture business that considers the needs and interest of future generations.
Ahousaht is located on Flores Island, off the West Coast of Vancouver Island (Clayoquot Sound) and only accessible by boat or plane. Ahousaht First Nation has a population of over 1000 people in the reserve and over 2000 members. A member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, it is the largest nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island.
Mainstream Canada is the Second largest aquaculture company in BC with the Head Office in Campbell River, BC. They operate: 3 hatcheries, 24 Sea sites and 2 processing plants (1 contracted) in the Campbell River, Tofino and Broughton areas.