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NCIL: Growing the Local Economy for Fish and Marine Products in Prince Rupert (2019)

Prince Rupert has a long history as a fishing town and the local culture and community reflect this legacy. Prince Rupert is a significant port in the Pacific North Coast Integrated Management Area which receives a majority share of British Columbia’s annual commercial fishing catch[1]. Despite this abundance of fish moving through the region, there is little access to locally caught seafood for residents, and the majority of fish caught around Prince Rupert is shipped to distant ports within Canada or internationally. This lack of access has left residents wondering why they cannot access this local source of food and how this challenge may be addressed.

The aim of this research and feasibility project was to understand the needs of the community with regards to seafood access, scope out what options existed to address those needs, and start to cultivate visions for the future that are specific to the needs and conditions of Prince Rupert, all with an ear to the ground and maintaining a strong connection with the local community. As part of the North Coast Innovation Lab and building on its community consultations that started in 2017, this report expands on the work done in Summer 2018.

1 “Caught up in Catch Shares,” Report by Ecotrust Canada and the T. Buck Suzuki Foundation, 2015