Hupačasath has benefited from the salmon resources for thousands of years. The commercial fishery became more and more challenging to get into, leading Hupačasath to develop a company that involves their people more in the fishery and process.
Hupačasath traditionally fished in the Tsuumaas (Somass) River and the Barkley Sound, but have been at a disadvantage where the fish processors make more money than the fisherman.
With Tsuumaas Seafoods, we are taking up more of the value added chain in the commercial fishery and providing employment to our people. We buy fish from our own fisherman, sort it, weigh it, ice it and transport it and then send it to the processors.
DFO wants to have first nations in the commercial fishery. PICFI
The band saw the opportunity to develop a commercial fishing business The corporation’s in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and its Pacific Integrated Commercial Fisheries Initiative Canada (PICFI) program.
PICFI was aimed at achieving environmentally sustainable and economically viable commercial fisheries that provide increased opportunities for First Nations involvement. The $175-million program was originally slated to run between 2008 and 2012, but has been extended as part of the 2012 federal budget and Economic Action Plan. Traditionally the Hupačasath were a sea-going people and utilized all sea resources down the inlet and through Barkley Sound and beyond and continue to do so today.