8th February 2011
The historical importance of the ocean, the waters and its resources to the Quatsino cannot be overstated. They were essential for daily sustenance, and for connecting, trading, and bartering with others. A number of negative government policies have over time caused the Quatsino to lose touch with the ocean. We are one of few coastal Nations without a main, active reserve located by water, a fact which contributes significantly to this disconnect. Today, our traditional Fishing area consists primarily of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) Statistical Areas 27, 127 and part of Area 12 (Quatsino Sound and surrounding waters). But through protocol agreements with other nations, this area encompasses a large portion of the ocean around North Vancouver Island.
Our Nation has recently pushed to implement programs to reconnect us with the ocean. We now have a small fisheries program operated out of the Band office, with limited funding provided in part by the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy (AFS) and by grants earned through proposal writing. We also provide food fish to the members where funding and availability allow.
The future of the Quatsino fisheries is endless. Numerous economic development projects have been put forward to encourage as many members as possible to work on the water again. Sports-fishing, expanded commercial fishing, ecotourism and many other initiatives will be implemented in the coming the years.