Editor’s note: While the fishing industry has virtually disappeared from Cortes, there are still fishermen on Quadra (photo above from Quathiaski Cove) and the aquaculture sector continues to be important in the area. Klahoose Aquaculture employs about 20 people during the season, there are 10 or so lease holders belonging to the Bee Islets Corporation in Gorge Harbour and numerous shore leases around Cortes, Marina, Read and Quadra Islands.)
Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A deep dive exploring how seafood can reach the tables of Canadian consumers and remain sustainable took place at a recent UN World Food Day event in Vancouver.
Keeping equity and the environment top of mind while creating a new ocean or “blue” economy was a key theme for panel experts at the day-long conference.
The pandemic’s disruption of the global food supply chain underscored how vital it is to develop local and regional seafood sovereignty and empower small-scale fisheries, said panel member Claire Dawson, Ocean Wise’s senior manager of its fisheries and seafood initiative.
Continue reading Canada needs to curb its import-export swap to make seafood sustainable
Seafest is returning to Squirrel Cove on Saturday, May 20, 2023.
“SeaFest is coming out of hiatus. It ran for over 20 years and then we shut it down during COVID. We were going to start it up last year at the Gorge, but then the Gorge was going through a lot of changes. This Sea Festival is coming back to Squirrel Cove. The view is spectacular. I think it’s got the best view on the island and it’s got a rustic feel about it too. The old store has been there for a hundred years. The interpretive centre is there. This Seafest probably won’t be as big as it was the last few years at the Gorge. It will be more like a community get-together. We’re going back to good food, good entertainment, and a lot of locals coming,” said Julia Rendall, Secretary of the Cortes Island Seafood Association.
Continue reading Seafest returning to Squirrel Cove Saturday May 20
On Monday March 6, Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) closed the waters and intertidal foreshore of Deep Bay Harbour, on Vancouver Island, to oyster and scallop growers, due to ‘sanitary reasons.’
Erik Lyon, owner operator of Rising Tide Shellfish on Cortes Island explained, “The problem is too many people in too close a proximity to shellfish farms. You can’t have any shellfish destined for human consumption in water where there’s any kind of a man-made dock, boat liveaboard or float house within 125 metres. That’s a setback that’s always been in place.”
Continue reading Growers Perspective: Boats and Aquaculture in Gorge Harbour
Harbour Authority Cortes Island (HACI) has embarked upon a campaign to inform the public who they are and what they do. Harbourmaster Jenny Hartwick provided Cortes Currents with a concise description of the organization.
“The Harbour Authority is a nonprofit organization, which is made up of an eight volunteer board of directors. All of whom are local year round, residents and are actively involved in boating on Cortes, either commercial fisheries, aquaculture, tourism, or as recreational boaters. Under contract with Small Craft Harbours, the Harbour Authority is responsible for the operation and basic maintenance of the four government docks on the island: Squirrel Cove, Manson’s Landing, Cortes Bay, and Gorge Harbour,” she said. “We also operate the Whaletown Dock, which was formally divested from Transport Canada in 2009. The Harbour Authority actually owns that dock outright.”
Continue reading Harbour Authority Cortes Island: The Small Craft Harbours connection
In the most recent of her interviews about Cortes History, Lynne Jordan, former President of the Cortes Island Museum, traces one of the Island’s foremost industries from its pre-contact beginnings up until recent times.
Lynne Jordan: “ The First Nations cultivated clam gardens on this coast for 3,000 to 5,000 years, maybe even longer. One on Quadra Island was recently dated at being around 3,500 years old.”
Continue reading The origins of Cortes Island’s Shellfish Industry