The chief of the We’koqma’q First Nation says band members are very pleased with a federal funding announcement for their steelhead trout industry.
Rod Googoo says the roughly $549,000 will create employment and a feeling of pride in their community.
He says it’s going to help them expand their fish farm and upgrade their fish processing plant.
Googoo tells The Hawk they’re trying to keep their product at the top of the line.
“The feed that we feed our fish is completely free of chemicals, pesticides and herbicides- it’s just good, quality fish,” he says. “Every fish we grow is already sold.”
Googoo says they grow the fish from when they’re small until they’re processed.
He says the funding gives them a chance to solidify their place as one of the premier steelhead trout growers in the region.
Rodger Cuzner, the MP for Cape Breton-Canso, says the money will be used for filleting and processing, and to upgrade pens and cages.
He says production will nearly triple- from about one million pounds annually to three million pounds.
Cuzner says the expansion will mean a lot for members of the community.
“This investment, along with some of the partnerships they’ve developed over the last number of years, allows them to play on the international stage,” he says. “It’s a great way to continue to grow some jobs and some further opportunities within that community.”
Cuzner says they’ll have the needed consistency to compete in the market.
He says this will take band members to the next level, but they also have plans to move the industry forward.
Photo credit: ACOA