Campbell River – Cermaq Canada is happy to support members of the Ahousaht Nation and the Coastal Restoration Society (CRS) on the clean-up and restoration of the Ahousaht Harbour.
The Ahousaht Harbour Intertidal Zone and Seabed Rehabilitation Program launched in late November and will be completed in phases over the next two years. The focus of the projects is to support the health of well being of wild salmon, something Cermaq feels strongly about.
“The program is focused on restoring and rehabilitating migratory corridors for salmon, specifically in estuaries, coastal watersheds, and nearshore rearing areas, including eelgrass beds and shorelines, within traditional Ahousaht First Nation territory. The program will also include the clean-up of local beaches and estuaries, removing accumulated plastics and garbage from the ecosystem. Protecting wild salmon populations and reducing ocean plastics is a priority for Cermaq, and we are happy to be able to work with the CRS and our partners in Ahousaht,” says Cermaq Canada Managing Director David Kiemele. “Cermaq is supporting this important work in the spirit of reconciliation. This work also fits with Cermaq’s goal of supporting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, specifically goal 14 - life under water, aimed at improving overall ocean health. It is also the International Year of the Salmon which has brought a spotlight on the need to restore and protect wild salmon populations and habitats.”
CRS operates with a “First Nations First” mind-set, and works with local Indigenous communities and groups to partner on marine habitat restoration and ocean clean-up projects.
“The Ahousaht Harbour intertidal zone and seabed program will engage Indigenous communities, resource users and local communities to focus on three main objectives: rehabilitate sensitive marine and coastal ecosystems, increase ocean plastic and marine pollution awareness, and create more sustainable relationships between marine-related industries and our coastal ecosystems” says CRS founder Captain Josh Temple. “Having the support of Cermaq both through financial support and the use of equipment and access to expertise, means that we can continue to improve local habitat and spawning grounds and reduce the amount of plastics in our oceans.”
Cermaq and the CRS have collaborated on two projects to-date, the clean-up and habitat restoration work in the Cleland Island Ecological Reserve earlier this year and a similar project in Hesquiaht Harbour in 2017. Both projects were very successful with the removal of several hundred tonnes of debris. Cermaq believes in supporting the communities in which its employees live and work, and invests over $1 million annually through sponsorship, in-kind support and development opportunities for Indigenous peoples.
The Coastal Restoration Society is a registered non-profit and it governed by a Board of Directors, including representatives from local Indigenous communities, marine operators and habitat rehabilitation experts.
For more information, please contact Amy Jonsson, Cermaq communications specialist at 250-202-7680, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.