The ecosystem here has a global impact on all life on our planet!
The Ocean Yields a Boon
Our people, down through the many generations of our ancestors, are expert fishers and the Clayoquot Sound is central to our history, culture, economy and very being.
The ocean here yields a treasure trove of fish including several species of salmon, ling cod, bass and halibut. A boon for all who live to fish! The Indigenous fisheries provide Hesquiaht fisherman with employment and economic opportunities. Fish are a major dietary source for our people and it is traditional to share the catch with the village and then sell the rest.
Protecting the Ocean
As stewards, the Indigenous Fisheries continue to press concerns over the impact of fish farms on wild salmon and other such as the spread of disease and the introduction of Atlantic salmon to our waters--a much bigger predatory salmon species than the smaller Pacific coast salmon.
How do we balance endangered species with the destruction of local sea life?
Sea otters, once hunted for their fur and critically endangered were re-introduced and protected. Otters have made a comeback from a few hundred to 90 thousand along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Now, an over-population of endangered yet hungry sea otters has had a dramatic effect upon the ocean ecosystem--especially crabs, clams, mollusks, urchins and other shellfish.
Still, the rise of the sea otters encourages the growth of kelp forests that shelter small fish and absorb carbon. Plus otters never fail to dazzle and draw in the tourists.