TBuck Suzuki Foundation Annual Report 2022-2023: Empowering Coastal Communities and Protecting Marine Ecosystems

It’s been an incredible year, and we’re proud of the work that we’ve accomplished!

The TBuck Suzuki Foundation firmly believes in the intrinsic connection between healthy marine ecosystems and the well-being of coastal communities. Our  primary goal is to work collaboratively with fish harvesters, academics, NGOs, community groups, and change-makers to protect the environment, limit pollution, and foster community awareness. By recognizing the vital role of local fisheries in the physical, economic, nutritional, cultural, social, and spiritual well-being of B.C.'s coastal communities, TBuck strives to create sustainable and thriving marine environments.

Over the past year we’ve achieved several notable milestones. The foundation welcomed three new staff members who have been instrumental in leading various projects. Alaina Pyde, as the North Coast Campaigner, has been actively navigating environmental issues that affect Prince Rupert and the surrounding North Coast including pesticide applications, potential oil spills, and noise pollution in the harbour. Trish Whetstone, as the BC Young Fishermen's Network Coordinator, successfully organized the first in-person Young Fishermen's Gathering since 2019, fostering knowledge sharing and community building. Caitie Frenkel, as the Sustainability Coordinator, spearheaded projects focusing on testing the benefits of knotless nets in the herring and salmon fisheries and expanding programs for removing lost fishing gear from the ocean. We’ve also had the opportunity to work with Melanie Poerner Loureiro, who assisted the launch of the Seafood Business Accelerator program which supported 20 small-scale fishers and farmers to develop a more sustainable, profitable seafood businesses this spring! We’d like to thank our outgoing staff for their hard work Cailyn Siider, Megan Eadie, and Luanne Roth who moved on this year to pursue other coastal adventures. 

Our work is centered around supporting small scale fishing communities, and bringing them the tools and change they need to thrive. This winter we co-hosted the Fisheries for Communities Gathering, which provided a platform for active harvesters to voice their perspectives on licensing policy in BC, ensuring their contributions are considered in decision-making processes.

Over the last year we have continued to provide programs that address marine ecosystem health. With ongoing projects such as marine noise pollution awareness, knotless net testing, and gear retrieval programs, the TBuck Suzuki Foundation actively addresses environmental challenges. By collaborating with industry stakeholders and bringing fish harvesters' perspectives to the forefront, the foundation plays a crucial role in shaping policies and practices that promote sustainability and protect marine ecosystems. This year the TBuck Suzuki Foundation advocated for the needs of small-scale fish harvesters by representing their interests in national and international forums, including the 2022 UN Ocean Conference, Terra Madre, COP15, and IMPAC5

The TBuck Suzuki foundation remains dedicated to creating a sustainable future for coastal communities and marine environments. We thank you for your support, and look forward to what the next year will bring.

There’s a lot more we didn’t tell you about, have a look at our annual report to get all the details.