T’aaq-wiihak in Nuu-chah-nulth means fishing with permission of the Ha’wiih (the hereditary leadership). T’aaq-wiihak fisheries are sustainable and local fisheries agreed upon by the Nations and DFO. The fisheries are monitored for proper management, and fishers must follow food and safety regulations.
Fishers are excited to be offering Suuhaa (chinook salmon), Puu?i (Halibut), Tushuuk (Lingcod) and various rockfish for sale this season.
All fish are landed at a designated landing site and the landing have a T’aaq-wiihak dockside monitor present to complete the paperwork prior to sale.
T'aaq-wiihak fisheries are part of the implementation of a proven Aboriginal right to fish, and sell fish. On November 3, 2009, the BC Supreme Court ruled that five Nuu-chah- nulth Nations (Ahousaht, Ehattesaht/ Chinekintaht, Hesquiaht, Mowachaht/ Muchalaht and Tla-o-qui-aht) have an aboriginal right to harvest and sell any species of fish found within their ha-houlthee (Chiefly territories). The Nations collectively took on the name T’aaq-wiihak, which means fishing with permission of the Ha’wiih (Hereditary Chiefs) of the Nations.
The BC Supreme Court also found that Canada has a duty to consult and negotiate with the Nations regarding the implementation of this aboriginal right. The T’aaq-wiihak Nations have developed fishing plans that outline their vision for future T’aaq-wiihak fisheries. Until agreement is reached on the T’aaq-wiihak share for all fisheries, the Nations are working with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) to test-drive elements of the T’aaq-wiihak management approach. The fisheries currently occurring are demonstration fisheries, aimed to inform the developed of eventual fisheries based on the Nations' proven aboriginal rights.
|SHELLFISH AREAS||Lingcod by Hook and Line Salmon Troll - T'aaq-wiihak Aboriginal Fishery|