Off the coast of Northwest BC, in Metlakatla waters, kelp and scallops grow in a nascent Regenerative Ocean Farm (ROF). Here is a growing collection of videos we’ve added to share what this work looks like to date.
Working with Metlakatla First Nation’s aquaculture team, we harvested over 10,000 pounds of sugar and winged kelp this spring! We gave 5,475lbs of fresh kelp to farmers in Northern BC to use as a nutrient-rich fertilizer this summer, froze 3,975lbs to make a liquid fertilizer for the 2024 growing season, and dried, powdered, flaked and vacuum sealed 1250lbs of kelp with NPK Wild to develop food products! The team also left half a dozen long lines in the water to continue serving as a year-round habitat and food for all life in the ocean.
The Food Systems team experimented with processing 900 lbs of kelp and turning it into fertilizer for local and regional growers. We prepared it for the second Kaien Island Seaside Pop-Up Market on Saturday, April 29, in Prince Rupert on Coast Ts’mseyn Territory, where we gave out samples of this innovative way to use locally grown kelp from Metlakatla’s Regenerative Ocean Farm.
Here’s an exciting update on Year 2 at the Regenerative Ocean Farm. In November 2022, the team planted kelp seeds in three sites around the Prince Rupert harbour, in Coast Ts’msyen waters. Metlakatla’s crew is monitoring the seedlings closely as we prepare for a harvest in a few months’ time. As you can see, it’s been a cold winter for the North Coast, but in March, we saw signs of healthy progression from both the winged kelp and sugar kelp and we’re anticipating rapid growth as the days get longer in the spring.
Ecotrust Canada has partnered with the Metlakatla Development Corporation (MDC), the business arm of the Metlakatla First Nation, to remove aquaculture infrastructure (ghost gear) from a decommissioned scallop growing facility on the North Coast of BC. The project aims to remove an estimated 41,000 kg of aquaculture gear from the ocean. We’re investigating opportunities for cleaning the gear and sending it to a ghost gear recycling plant, where the materials can be broken down and turned into new products — instead of ending up in the landfill.
This short video from spring 2022 was created after our Food Systems team travelled to Cortes Island, on Klahoose, Homalco, and Tla’amin territories, to experience kelp harvesting with Cascadia Seaweed. With aspirations to have a thriving seaweed farm on Coast Ts’msyen Territories in Prince Rupert, BC, Danielle Simard from Metlakatla Development Corporation, and Mary Williams and Celine Trojand from Ecotrust Canada, toured key aquaculture spots around Vancouver Island. They harvested seaweed, slurped oysters, and gathered intel on best practices to bring back to Prince Rupert where kelp seedlings in the pilot farm were starting to grow.