First Seas Seafood
First Seas Seafood Ltd. (First Seas) is an Aboriginal-owned seafood distributor that connects First Nations fishers with international markets.
First Seas is a seafood export distributor looking to supply international markets in 2016. The company is currently establishing a system to deliver dungeness crabs by air freight directly from Vancouver Island. As nearly 40% of all landed crab in B.C. is from Vancouver Island, this new air freight service will improve crab quality due to the reduced transport time to market. Once these systems are established, First Seas will be expanding into export of fresh wild salmon and fresh or frozen B.C. prawns. Food safety will be ensured through a facility that will have an Export Certification Control Program approved by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), a Fish Buying Station licence from the provincial government and a Fish Export Licence.
Established in 2015 near Sidney, Vancouver Island, First Seas is owned and operated by Dan Claxton and Fiona MacRaild, a couple with extensive experience in the seafood industry. With ties to over 300 Aboriginal commercial fishers in B.C., First Seas strongly supports Aboriginal fishing vessels and fishers.
First Seas is dedicated to providing a high quality export facility so these emerging leaders in the industry can work together and directly market their products domestically and internationally. First Seas focuses on buying products from Aboriginal fishers where possible. As these fishers usually fish in areas where they and their families have lived for a millennia, there is a deep respect for sustaining future generations of fish stocks, and their fishing efforts reflect this. When First Seas buys products from a non-Aboriginal fisher, owner Dan works with the fisher to ensure sustainable fishing practices. The company also gives back to the community by offering skills training programs to local First Nations youth, as well as participating in other projects that support growth of the Aboriginal fishing industry in B.C.