Raincoast Trading, a family-owned sustainable seafood company with 100 years of history in Delta, B.C., has entered into a partnership with Lake Babine Nation, a nation consisting of roughly 2,000 members located 225 km east of Prince George near Burns Lake. The strategic partnership creates the largest, sustainable First Nations fishery in British Columbia and signifies a commitment to strengthen the collaboration between both groups to catch, process and sell sustainably caught, sockeye salmon across North America.
“Our partnership with Raincoast Trading creates important economic opportunities for Babine First Nation,” said Babine First Nation Chief Wilf Adam. “Raincoast is a proven business leader in the sustainable seafood category and excellent partners who have shown tremendous courage and cultural sensitivity working with our members, as well as local conservation groups such as Skeena Wild Conservation Trust.” As part of the one-year agreement, Raincoast Trading is using the sockeye salmon for its skinless, boneless sockeye line of retail canned seafood. It is also supplying Ocean Wise endorsed C Restaurant, with Lake Babine sockeye, which was recently featured in the restaurant’s Dine-Out Vancouver menu, and looking at ways to create a new product line for the Babine- caught salmon in the retail and foodservice markets.
“This partnership reinforces our company’s commitment to sustainable seafood practices,” said Raincoast Trading co-owner Mike Wick. “We’re really proud of the relationship we’ve been able to establish with Lake Babine Nation.”
Overharvesting is an important issue in the fishing sector. If not properly managed, industry experts say overfishing can have a detrimental impact on our world ocean’s biodiversity. The surplus up-river salmon from Lake Babine Nation is closely monitored and is not at risk of being overfished.
Greg Taylor, Economic Development Director of Skeena Wild Conservation Trust who facilitated the partnership said, “Raincoast Trading has the imagination and contacts to take this product and turn it into business. The real unique thing about this partnership is that Raincoast Trading has developed a positive relationship with both a conservation group and First Nations to develop a sustainable salmon fishery. Hopefully this alliance will encourage other First Nations peoples to strike similar partnerships that source their band’s surplus fish too.”
About Raincoast Trading Raincoast Trading (www.raincoasttrading.com) has been selling premium wild seafood products since 1978. Based on the west coast of Canada in Delta, B.C., the company is owned by a fourth generation fishing family that is proud to offer consumers eco-friendly, gourmet canned seafood. The company’s canned salmon shared the honour for first place in a blind taste test done by the Globe and Mail newspaper.