Tag Archives: Cortes Island Aquaculture

Early Warning System For farmed Oysters

Canada’s National Observer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Editor’s note: According to the BC Shellfish Growers Association: “the most prolific areas for shellfish farming have been Baynes Sound, Cortes Island and Okeover Inlet.” The Shellfish industry is one of Cortes Island’s largest employers. Twenty-two people were working at Island Seafarms when the COVID crises began and a skeleton crew is preparing for next year. There are also a number of independent contractors in the Bee Islet Growers Corporation, in Gorge Harbour, and other lease holders around the island.

A Vancouver Island researcher is developing an early warning system to prevent the contamination of farmed oysters along B.C.’s west coast, which can cost the industry millions.

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Cortes Island’s Second Annual Gumboot Toss

By Roy L Hales

In the beginning, the Harbour Authority of Cortes Island (HACI) looked after three docks. Now there are five: Whaletown, Gorge Harbour, Mansons Landing, Cortes Bay and Squirrel Cove. While most of the traffic is pleasure craft during the summer, the docks are still home to Cortes Island’s flourishing aquaculture industry. From 11 AM to 2 PM on Sunday August 4th, HACI will celebrate 20 years of service with a nautical swap meet and second annual gumboot toss. 

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The 1960s & 70s – A Time Of Transition

By Roy L Hales

This is the second in a series of broadcasts in which Andy Ellingsen describes the changes he has seen on Cortes Island. In this episode he talks about the 1960s & 70’s – a time of transition. 

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Stop Recreational Boaters From Polluting Cortes Islands Protected Areas

By Roy L Hales

There are good reasons that boaters are not allowed to dump chemicals, sewage and other debris in Carrington Bay, Cortes Bay, Gorge Harbour, Squirrel Cove, or Manson’s Landing. “[Cortes Island] has the best oysters in the area, [possibly] because it is supposed to have such pristine clean water,” says Julia Rendall, President of the 13 member Bee Islets Growers Corporation. She explained that violations “could close us down and if we are closed down I think we have to have three tests, three weeks in a row, clear. So it could, in theory, close you down for about a month.” Cortes Island’s unique environmental features resulted in the creation of  several marine parks. Contamination is a concern for all islanders, whether they are shellfish harvesters or not. These areas are currently designated as “No Discharge Zones” under federal regulations. Never-the-less, violations periodically do occur and a recent incident illustrates the difficulties of trying to stop recreational boaters from polluting Cortes Islands protected areas.

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Economic Development While Preserving Cortes’ Core Values

By Roy L Hales

When the Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association (CIBATA) was launched, it faced some tough challenges. Some believe Cortes is still stuck in the seventies and many residents would like to preserve that. Yet there is a need for the same business sectors you find everywhere else: retail, health, building and trades, tourism medical marijuana, aquaculture, learning / professional development and social profit. On February 24, CIBATA will be unveiling the draft of Cortes Island’s Local Economic Action Plan at the Klahoose Multipurpose Building, between 10 AM and 4 PM. In this morning’s program the association’s President, Colin Funk, talks about economic development while preserving Cortes’ core values.

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