Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Local Food Production: Aquaculture in the Salish Sea

Description

Salmon and Shellfish have been a mainstay of the Pacific Northwest Tribes for thousands of years and continue to be a crucial part of the Tribes’ culture and economy. Obstructed water ways, degraded water quality, increased harvest pressure and poaching have substantially reduced fishery resources available to Pacific Northwest Tribes. While wild harvest opportunity continues to decline, aquaculture provides a way for Tribes to maintain their livelihoods and cultural identity. Tribal salmon hatcheries utilize modern aquaculture techniques to supplement depressed salmon populations in an effort to boost productivity of naturally producing stocks. Enhancement of harvestable salmon populations is also a key goal for tribal facilities as hatchery production is relied upon to produce harvestable amounts of salmon. Supplementation of wild salmon runs and enhancement of wild shellfish populations with hatchery produced offspring have become standard practices to provide consistent opportunities for both tribal and state harvesters alike. However, enhancement of wild populations alone is not economically feasible to sustain Tribes of the Salish Sea, motivating many tribal citizens to put effort into seafood farming.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has been involved with aquaculture since 1990 and has steadily grown to include oyster and geoduck farms as well as the establishment of shellfish hatcheries in Washington and Hawaii. The hatcheries produce clam, oyster and geoduck seed for commercial sale to tribal and non-tribal shellfish growers. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe enhances their tidelands by out planting clam and oyster seed for commercial harvest. The Tribe’s Natural Resources Department established a small-scale tumble bag system to grow round plump oysters called the Jamestown Kúl. Kúl (kool) means gold in S’Klallam language. These oysters are being marketed and sold to local restaurants and markets. By figuring out the growing techniques and business model, the activity has now been replicated by Tribal citizens that were looking for more shellfish harvest opportunity. Through the production of both salmon and shellfish, tribal citizens have been able to maintain a livelihood while preserving their culture.

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Maintaining Livelihoods and Cultural Identity through Shellfish Aquaculture

2016SSEC

Salmon and Shellfish have been a mainstay of the Pacific Northwest Tribes for thousands of years and continue to be a crucial part of the Tribes’ culture and economy. Obstructed water ways, degraded water quality, increased harvest pressure and poaching have substantially reduced fishery resources available to Pacific Northwest Tribes. While wild harvest opportunity continues to decline, aquaculture provides a way for Tribes to maintain their livelihoods and cultural identity. Tribal salmon hatcheries utilize modern aquaculture techniques to supplement depressed salmon populations in an effort to boost productivity of naturally producing stocks. Enhancement of harvestable salmon populations is also a key goal for tribal facilities as hatchery production is relied upon to produce harvestable amounts of salmon. Supplementation of wild salmon runs and enhancement of wild shellfish populations with hatchery produced offspring have become standard practices to provide consistent opportunities for both tribal and state harvesters alike. However, enhancement of wild populations alone is not economically feasible to sustain Tribes of the Salish Sea, motivating many tribal citizens to put effort into seafood farming.

The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe has been involved with aquaculture since 1990 and has steadily grown to include oyster and geoduck farms as well as the establishment of shellfish hatcheries in Washington and Hawaii. The hatcheries produce clam, oyster and geoduck seed for commercial sale to tribal and non-tribal shellfish growers. The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe enhances their tidelands by out planting clam and oyster seed for commercial harvest. The Tribe’s Natural Resources Department established a small-scale tumble bag system to grow round plump oysters called the Jamestown Kúl. Kúl (kool) means gold in S’Klallam language. These oysters are being marketed and sold to local restaurants and markets. By figuring out the growing techniques and business model, the activity has now been replicated by Tribal citizens that were looking for more shellfish harvest opportunity. Through the production of both salmon and shellfish, tribal citizens have been able to maintain a livelihood while preserving their culture.