A KEDC-led aquaculture pilot project focusing on growing scallops and oysters in Gwa’sala ‘Nakwaxda’xw territorial waters recently took two graduate students, Dorothy Henderson and Ernie Henderson, from the community to the site for the project’s first check-in. The pilot project is in place to determine the feasibility of growing Pacific scallops and oysters to market size over a condensed period of two summer seasons. The scallops and oysters, located near the famous Nakwakto Rapids, relies on the nutrient-rich and pristine waters offshore to promote optimal growth rates. If successful, the aquaculture project will provide another sustainable economic development opportunity for the nations as well as long-term employment opportunities.
Results of the first check-in show the rafts in excellent shape with approximately 50,000 oysters and 1,000 scallops, healthy and growing at favorable rates. Moving forward, program members will be making monthly site visits to change the nets, control seaweed growth and assess growth rates of the shellfish. The team will also be purchasing more oyster and scallop seeds to implant at the site later this spring.