Standout Moments 2023/24

Operating at the dynamic crossroads of commercial fishing, environmental stewardship, and community wellbeing, the TBuck Suzuki Foundation occupies a distinct and vital niche. Balancing these interconnected values can certainly be a challenge, but it's one we embrace wholeheartedly. As we reflect on the past year, we're excited to share some of the standout moments.


New Programs! 

TBuck creates programs that work in the intersections of fishing and research, community support, and environmental stewardship. This year we’ve supported many projects that bring these worlds together. Here are just a few. 


New Ocean Acidification Monitoring Project

In April, our Ocean Acidification data collection project kicked off in partnership with the UFAWU and Hakai Institute. Our goal is to collaborate with commercial fishers to gather water samples and readings, shedding light on the impact of ocean acidification along our coastline. With the region being data deficient, this initiative aims to fill crucial knowledge gaps, potentially leading to further research and exploration in ocean acidification studies.


New Program Brings Harvesters into University Classrooms

Throughout the year, our team has been devoted to strengthening the connection between fish harvesters and the academic world through an innovative initiative. We partnered with the Native Fishing Association to launch a program aimed at bridging traditional knowledge with classroom learning. This initiative brings fish harvesters into university biology classrooms, offering students firsthand insights into marine ecosystems and the experiences of those who work within them. The program, which began this fall, has featured three local harvesters as speakers at UVic. We are looking forward to hosting more harvesters at UVic and UBC in the future. 


Seafood Business Accelerator Program

In collaboration with Vancouver Island University (VIU), TBuck initiated the Seafood Business Accelerator (SBA) program, which concluded its inaugural year in May 2023. Building on this success, preparations have begun for the next iteration of the program. Tailored specifically for small-scale seafood harvesters, the SBA provides comprehensive training, coaching, and business advice, alongside invaluable support from industry experts. Beyond skill enhancement, participants forge lasting connections and gain lifelong supporters, empowering them to thrive in the seafood industry.


Impactful Events

We like bringing people together for support, connection to food, environment, and celebrating seafood!  


BC Young Fishermen’s Gathering 2024

The BC Young Fishermen’s Network 2024 Gathering, the largest in its seven-year history, convened over 120 attendees for two days of knowledge exchange and community building. The event featured engaging sessions on safety, sustainable fisheries, financial structures, and more, with an inaugural expo area providing opportunities for networking and engagement.

Supporting Seafood Celebrations

TBuck supported some engaging community events over the past year. From the crab eating contest during Prince Rupert summer Seafest to a delightful crab dinner in early November. These gatherings were a hit! Partnering with the Area A Commercial Crab Association and We Heart BC Crab, we got Prince Rupert residents out enjoying locally caught BC crab and connecting with the crab fishery! Additionally, TBuck developed a brochure showcasing the inner workings of the commercial crab fishery, sparking meaningful conversations and generating positive feedback from attendees.

Valuable Research

The more we understand about the marine environment and the communities that depend on it, the more we can do to foster this important interdependence. We often work with academics to learn more about BC fisheries and coastal communities. We have participated in many research projects this year, here is a glimpse into one of them. 


Sockeye Energy Monitoring Program

2023 marks the ninth successful year of the Skeena Energy Monitoring Program (SEMP). This vital data collection program has amassed a nine-year record of lipid levels in sockeye salmon in the Skeena River. This data has highlighted significant relationships between fat levels and key environmental variables. This information can be used to inform conservation plans and fisheries practices. SEMP is planning to publish their findings in 2024. 

Big transitions

We have some big news about a big change at TBuck. 


Transitioning Leadership at TBuck

After a decade of dedicated service as Executive Director at TBuck, Jim McIsaac is retiring from the organization. Throughout his tenure, Jim has led the organization through numerous achievements, including successfully fighting for the installation of tertiary sewage treatment in Victoria’s core municipalities, initiating the BC Young Fishermen’s Network, collaborating on the Fisheries for Community network,  co-hosting the first ever North Vancouver Island Fisheries Economy Workshop with BC and First Nations, pushing the Standing Committee on Fisheries and Oceans to study issues of interest to harvesters and our coast and successfully putting plastic pollution on the agenda both nationally and internationally. Jim's impact on coastal communities in BC has been profound, and we are immensely grateful for his steadfast dedication.


As Jim transitions into retirement, we are delighted to introduce Emily Orr as the new Executive Director of the TBuck Suzuki Foundation. With over 25 years of experience in the fishing industry, Emily brings a wealth of firsthand knowledge and on-land advocacy experience to the role. Having skippered her family’s prawn boat and harvested crab, halibut, and tuna, Emily's deep understanding of the industry is complemented by her passion for marine stewardship. Her unique blend of experience and commitment makes her the perfect candidate to continue TBuck's vital work in supporting coastal communities and marine conservation efforts.


Read our full annual report here