Fisheries Management & Science

The Kitasoo Xai’xais, Heiltsuk, Nuxalk and Wuikinuxv people have lived in harmony with these coastal ecosystems for thousands of years. With reverence and respect for the land and sea, our communities and cultures continue to thrive here.

Our hereditary structure and oral traditions dictate how we manage land and ocean resources for future generations. Unfortunately, colonialism has impacted and fragmented our traditional ways.

CCIRA is working to create a more integrated fisheries management process, which establishes government-to-government relationships between Central Coast First Nations and other planning agencies to manage our fisheries sustainably. 

The First Nations of the Central Coast have harvested rockfish for many thousands of year.
Illustration by Nicole Burton.

Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement (FRRA)

In 2019, Central Coast Nations signed the Fisheries Resources Reconciliation Agreement (FRRA), a collaborative effort to revitalize sustainable fisheries throughout the North Pacific Coast. The framework agreement is a major step forward in co-governance and the future health of coastal fisheries—guiding everything from science and research, to active resource management efforts through compliance monitoring and enforcement. The FRRA will also improve economic opportunities in coastal communities by increasing commercial fishing access for Central Coast Nations. 

Science Coordination & Integration

The Central Coast is home to the largest intact temperate rainforest in the world, supporting healthy populations of the iconic spirit bear, grizzly bears, orcas, coastal wolves, salmon and 1,000-year-old red cedars. No wonder this region has attracted interest from leading scientists around the world, who aim to study these coastal ecosystems and abundant biodiversity. 

CCIRA works with external researchers to ensure scientific efforts align with the priorities of Central Coast First Nations, and to ensure the Nations play a lead role in setting research objectives. Our ultimate goal is a creating a fruitful synthesis between science and the traditional knowledge. Our team coordinates regional science programs and works with community staff on research techniques to ensure scientific studies are efficient and useful for all Central Coast Nations.

Food Fish Policy & Management

CCIRA facilitates meetings with each of the Nations to develop individual community food fish policies, and a harmonized food fish policy for the entire Centra Coast. 

These policies are part of a broader goal of restoring and rehabilitating fisheries resources in our territories. Through improved management and monitoring we will be better able to assess stock and ecosystem health, support in-season decision making and measure the impacts of competing commercial and recreational fisheries on the food fishery.

Food, Social & Ceremonial Catch Monitoring

Central Coast First Nations are working to improve food social and ceremonial (FSC) catch monitoring, which will help the Nations effectively manage marine resources into the future. CCIRA provides FSC tracking and technical support, including developing and managing data management systems, and help spreading awareness throughout communities about the importance of recording catch numbers.