The venture will require reinstatement of the farm lease at Port Angeles, in Washington Sate, which was terminated in 2017 after regulators claimed it was marginally misplaced, in exchange for significant investment by the venture in new infrastructure and local jobs in the area. The two partners expect to start up operations by the end of the year.
“Our council is committed to pursuing our self-reliance goal through diversified economic development and education, and we believe this partnership with Cooke Aquaculture Pacific will contribute to meeting that goal,” says Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe chairman, W Ron Allen.
“We, along with our sister tribes, are strong stewards of our environment. And we firmly believe we can implement net pen aquaculture consistent with our tribal heritage and cultural values. By working together, combining our history and experience fishing on the Olympic Peninsula with Cooke’s experience and expertise in aquaculture, we are confident that we can raise a sustainable supply of trout and sablefish and contribute to our local economy.”
In June Cooke announced plans to switch production of its existing Atlantic salmon sites in Washington State to native species, following a ruling by the state government to ban net-pen production of non-native species. A switch to black cod augments the working relationship between the Tribe, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Manchester Research Laboratory and the University of Washington, who have worked together since 2015 on research into culturing the species.
“The Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe is known for being progressive and forward-thinking in its approach to resource management and economic development,” says Glenn Cooke, CEO of Cooke Aquaculture Pacific. “We look forward to working together to produce top quality seafood for consumers in Washington and across the US.”