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'S’Klallam' is a Salish term for 'The Strong People'

Washington tribe partners with Cooke to farm Northwest native species

Click on the flag for more information about United States UNITED STATES
Friday, October 04, 2019, 23:10 (GMT + 9)

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is pleased to announce a joint venture with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific.

The joint venture will initially work to rear sablefish (black cod) and sterile triploid, all-female rainbow trout. The venture will require reinstatement of the farm lease at Port Angeles, in exchange for significant investment by the venture in new infrastructure and local jobs in the area. The two partners will work together to rear these Northwest native species in Port Angeles Harbor.

“Our Council is committed to pursuing our self-reliance goal through diversified economic development and education, and we believe this partnership with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific will contribute to meeting that goal,” says Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Chairman/CEO W. Ron Allen.

“We, along with our sister tribes, are strong stewards of our environment. And we firmly believe we can implement net pen aquaculture consistent with our tribal heritage and cultural values. By working together, combining our history and experience fishing on the Olympic Peninsula with Cooke’s experience and expertise in aquaculture, we are confident that we can raise a sustainable supply of trout and sablefish and contribute to our local economy.”

This partnership with Cooke augments the well-established working relationship between the Tribe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Manchester Research Laboratory and the University of Washington, who have worked together since 2015 on black cod aquaculture research.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is the second largest employer in Clallam County, providing jobs for over 750 people in its Tribal government and businesses. In addition to the businesses that provide revenues for Tribal programs and services, the Tribe is an active partner in many community projects focusing on protection and restoration of natural resources and habitat, improving health and wellness for the Olympic Peninsula, public safety, and promoting quality education.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is known for being progressive and forward-thinking in its approach to resource management and economic development,” says Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture Pacific. “We look forward to working together to produce top quality seafood for consumers in Washington and across the US.”

The partners are expecting to start up the operations in the fall of 2019.

The Northwest Aquaculture Alliance (NWAA), a trade association representing aquaculture producers and support businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and British Columbia, yesterday applauded the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) proposal to issue a five-year Marine Aquaculture Permit to Cooke Aquaculture Pacific, LLC to grow rainbow trout (steelhead) in its existing commercial marine net pens in Puget Sound.

"We commend the state, particularly WDFW, for 'going the extra mile' to ensure fairness in making this important decision," said NWAA Executive Director, Jeanne McKnight.  "We are grateful that science has won the day over politics, and we are delighted that Cooke will be able to continue producing sustainable seafood in Washington state, particularly in areas where family-wage jobs are desperately needed."

In addition, McKnight said, "Aquaculture currently provides more than half of the seafood consumed worldwide—and that percentage is increasing as global demand for seafood continues to rise and wild fisheries are fully exploited. Not only does aquaculture produce much-needed heart-healthy protein, but it also makes seafood affordable for people who may not be able to purchase it otherwise."

She noted that technological advances have made aquaculture one of the most sustainable food growing methods, offering a low carbon footprint and better feed conversion ratios than any other land-based proteins. She added, "We believe the time has come for the United States to embrace fish farming as a way to grow food, create jobs, and add to the economy of the region."


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