Community Profile: Waycobah First Nation, Nova Scotia (Trout)

Atlantic First Nations fisheries organizations are diversifying their operations into fish farming and cultivation, seafood processing and packaging, vessel building and repair, and fisheries-related tourism. These industries are opportunities for employment, economic growth and long-term business stability in Aboriginal communities.

The Atlantic Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative is helping First Nations fisheries organizations prepare for these new opportunities. Funded primarily by Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and administered by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the initiative has two main elements: business planning, together with management mentoring, training, and advice; and financial assistance for business development and to leverage other investments.

Waycobah First Nation in the province of Nova Scotia entered into a joint venture with Ocean Trout, a subsidiary of Cold Water Fisheries, to develop a large-scale rainbow trout cage farm in the Bras d’Or Lake area. In this partnership, the community owns the farm while the company operates and trains employees from the community, including training a site manager for the trout farm.

“The company Waycobah is working with is really focused on training people in the community,” said John G. Paul, Executive Director of the Atlantic Policy Congress of First Nations Chiefs Secretariat. “The community has created new jobs and is also building their experience for future use in the aquaculture industry.”