New ice plant boosts local seafood business

Salish Straits Seafood set to open flake ice plant in new year

President of Salish Strait Seafoods Ltd. Dan Claxton (right) stands with Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation Ida Chong and Brent Edwards from the Nanoose First Nation during the company’s open house on Dec. 7.

Local company Salish Straits Seafood is looking forward to the new year when they will officially have their new flake ice plant up and running.

“It will be the only commercial flake ice and salt flake ice plant south of Nanaimo,” said company President, Dan Claxton from the Tsawout First Nation where the plant is based. “Once we’re inspected we’ll have the green light to be able to start selling our ice.”

Salish Straits Seafood is part of the Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative (PICFI) which is an initiative aimed at achieving environmentally sustainable and economically viable commercial fisheries. Conservation is the first priority of the initiative and First Nations’ aspirations to be more involved are supported.

Initially, the federal government committed $175 million over five years to implement the initiative between 2008 and 2012. As part of the 2012 federal budget and economic action plan, additional funding was committed towards a one year extension.

“Through the initiative we’ve built this company which encompasses five nations from the Island,” explained Claxton, adding that along with Tsawout, Nanoose, Beecher Bay, Malahat and Sooke First Nations are also involved in the business.

“We’re changing the way seafood products are caught. Local restaurants and people buying seafood want local and sustainable products and that’s what we’re giving them,” said Claxton.

Claxton said the company is centered around building the skills, experience and  the capacity of the five First Nations involved and he hopes to see the business expand from fishing and ice production to the processing of seafood products as well.

“It’s important to us because it’s getting (First Nations) back into the fishing industry, and most importantly the commercial fishing industry,” Claxton said. “Along with the flake ice plant which was custom made to include a stainless steel drum, we’ve also just purchased four commercial fishing vessels. This is about getting the five nations back on the vessels and back fishing.”

Claxon said around 15 people are now certified to work as commercial fishing crew and about 12 are expected to be certified as commercial divers very soon.

The ice plant is expected to be in full production by the beginning of March.


Just Posted

Saanich lifeguards earn Vital Link awards for cardiac arrest response

Awards from BC Emergency Health Services recognize quick and skillful life-saving

High of 21 C for Wednesday

Plus your weekend forecast

Cyclists and drivers take to the streets Wednesday morning in first official Bike to Work Week celebration

The 25th annual Greater Victoria Bike to Work Week kicks off the followingMonday, May 27

Art and fashion collide for a cause at the Union Club of Victoria

May 26 event benefits Art Gallery of Greater Victoria exhibitions and educational programs

UVic science and engineering research gets $18.8 million federal funding boost

Funding for engineering, science, sustainability research

VIDEO: Fun without sun: Hundreds enjoy Family Fest on Victoria Day

Families enjoy activities in Veterans Memorial Park

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of May 21

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Were you satisfied with the Game of Thrones series finale?

Millions gathered in front of their televisions Sunday night to watch the… Continue reading

Crackdown on money laundering does not include federal public inquiry: minister

An independent report commissioned concluded $7.4 billion was laundered in B.C. last year

Trudeau’s action plan on climate change brings B.C. politician out of retirement

Terry Lake, a former B.C. health minister, is running for federal office in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo

Survey finds minimal progress in Canadian military’s fight against sexual misconduct

1.6 per cent of regular-force members — 900 military personnel — reported having been victims of sexual assaults over past year

Thetis housing project clouded by confusion

View Royal mayor clarifies details about Capital Region Housing Corporation project

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Most Read