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Manager: Bruce Watkinson


Fisheries Technicians: Colin Nelson


The Gitxaała Fisheries Program (GFP) oversees and carries out program development and implementation, project work planning, negotiations of the Aboriginal Fisheries Strategy Agreement, and maintains dialogue and co-management initiatives between DFO and Gitxaała. 


Department Summary

  •  GFP is responsible for catch monitoring and other related activities. 

  • Assesses fisheries management plans, policies, and regulations, as well as other high level plans that affect Gitxaała's marine environment. 

  • Support additional Fisheries research, stock assessment, habitat monitoring, enhancement opportunities. 

  • Manages commercial fishing operations of Gitxaała with the Kitkatla Development Corporation 


Marine Planning

The Planning Process began in 2007 and continues today as new information becomes available, as new opportunities emerge, as new threats to our collective goals become more imminent, and as Gitxaala citizens adapt to changes in our economy and environment. 


Throughout the planning process, 8-12 representatives of the Gitxaala Harvesters Association work with Gitxaala Environmental Monitoring (GEM) staff to guide the development of the Marine Use Plan. These invaluable community perspectives help build on previous work such as the Gitxaala Land Use Plan, various Traditional Use and Traditional Ecological Knowledge studies, fisheries research, and collaborative research with the University of B.C. They also promote the following guiding principles:


  • Gitxaala holds Aboriginal Rights and Title to our Territories.  


  • Gitxaala knowledge and laws (Ayaawx) are a critical component of successful resource use and management.


  • Resource use will protect our cultural and spiritual heritage, and will enhance our individual and community health and wellbeing.  


  • Resource use will provide for a strong Gitxaala economy, contributing to increased employment and economic independence, and providing revenue to the Gitxaala Nation.   


  • Resource use will be ecologically sustainable, with an emphasis on enhancement.  


  • Gitxaala will ensure our Rights and Title are protected within our Territories by engaging with other governments directly and by establishing a respectful process to engage stakeholders, potential business partners, and others wanting to use /develop or Territory.


The development of a draft Gitxaała marine plan was supported by the North Coast Skeena First Nations Stewardship Society ( ) with funding from the Gord and Betty Moore Foundation.  The Gitxaała MUP will provide detailed planning direction for Gitxaała territory. GEM also participated in the development of the PNCIMA plan.  This process was scaled down from its original scope and provides broad, high level guidance for activities in the north coast of BC.


The MaPP process, a collaboration between First Nations and British Columbia, developed a regional marine plan for the North Coast, focusing on issues relevant to provincial jurisdiction. 


GEM is currently participating in the Marine Protected Area Team, a tripartite technical planning effort for a network of marine protected areas in the Northern Shelf Bioregion. 

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