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FTZVI Business Case Leads to Major Industry Partnership

Cascadia Seaweed Corporation and Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership today announced that they have signed an agreement to cultivate high-quality seaweed for an expanding global market.

“With pristine waters, favourable governance, supportive communities and associated industry, the West Coast of Canada is the ideal location for this enterprise.  Coastal British Columbia is one of the richest areas in the world for seaweeds, and the coast supports more than 600 natural species of seaweed.  The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports that ‘Today, the global seaweed industry is worth more than $6 billion USD…of which some 85 percent comprises food products…’  and that ‘The global seaweed market is experiencing steady growth, buoyed by the increasing demand for products…’.

In 2018, the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) using its new designation as FTZVI, Canada’s 12th Foreign Trade Zone, developed four business cases to attract Foreign Direct Investment. The business case for Seaweed Aquaculture rose to the top of this list and has been quickly pursued by a team of experts and investors to form Cascadia Seaweed Corporation now announcing partnership with Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership bring Vancouver Island  seaweed to rapidly expanding global markets.

“Following licensing by provincial authorities, Cascadia Seaweed and Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood Limited Partnership will seed an initial crop of several hectares in the fall of 2019 on two of NSLP Partner Nation tenures, yielding approximately 90 tons of kelp in June of 2020.  This will be followed by an expansion to 20 hectares and further growth. Cascadia Seaweed is in discussion with a number of food and industrial product companies to determine the highest value-added outcome.  This will include a focus on leveraging the tremendous nutritional components of kelp, as well as its value in products such as alginate, cosmetics and other industrial uses.

In the food sector alone, there has been tremendous interest lately in the use of plant-based proteins as a replacement for some foods groups. Kelp and many BC seaweeds can provide an important and abundant source of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients for this burgeoning sector.  On a global scale, the World Bank predicts that seaweed farming has the potential of ‘…adding about 10% to the world’s present supply of food…’ over the coming decades.

In 2017, BC seafood production represented a landed value of almost $1.2B. In the coming years, seaweed products will contribute to growth in these numbers. As well as representing an opportunity to produce food, the growing of seaweed permanently sequesters carbon and reduces ocean acidification in the region directly around each farm.”

Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood LP President Larry Johnson, said “We are very excited to be partnering with Cascadia Seaweed as the first step in expansion of the seaweed industry in BC.  Following on from our traditional practices, and adopting what we have learned from other NSLP brands, we see this an important contribution to sustainability within our partner Nations.”

Cascadia Seaweed President Mike Williamson said “We have an aggressive strategy to grow cultivation and processing of seaweed.  This is an exciting market, and kelp and other high-quality seaweeds will comprise an increasingly large part of diets and industrial processes.  As an environmentally and socially responsible company, Cascadia Seaweed is very pleased to be working with Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood for our first sites, and we look forward to the contributions we can make to diversification and support in local communities.”

FTZVI/VIEA President & CEO, George Hanson credits funders Invest Canada Community InitiativesIsland Coastal Economic Trust, City of Port AlberniPort Alberni Port Authority, and Cowichan Valley Regional District for helping fund development of these business cases. “This exciting new venture in an industry that makes enormous sense in the 21st century on Vancouver Island demonstrates once again that investors respond to well-articulated opportunities. Business cases like these that we have developed, provide logical tools for opening conversations with seasoned investors. FTZVI is delighted to play this role–marketing Vancouver Island opportunities to the world!”

Cascadia Seaweed is a British Columbia based company that is addressing the increasing global demand for high-quality seaweed.  Cascadia Seaweed is growing to be one of the largest producers of kelp and other high-quality seaweed or “ocean greens”.

Nuu-chah-nulth Seafood LP is a First Nation owned seafood enterprise that operates on Vancouver Island’s pristine West Coast. Offering planning and management support to their Nations and their community members in various aspects of fisheries and aquaculture, NSLP develops partnerships with value-based companies.  Through strategic planning, kelp aquaculture has been identified as a sustainable business opportunity.  By partnering with Cascadia Seaweed, NSLP will enhance capacity and develop expertise in kelp aquaculture – providing economic opportunities for prosperity and revitalization of Nuu-chah-nulth Nation’s coastal communities.

Cascadia Seaweed Corporation will be featured in the Oct. 23/24 Economic Summit sessions on Investment & Aquaculture.


The Cascadia Story

Hear more on the Cascadia story from two perspectives at the Summit:

  • FTZVI – Investors ForumMike Williamson, President, Cascadia, will speak to the business case and opportunity for investment.
  • Aquaculture – Challenges & OpportunitiesDr. Stephen Cross, CTO, Cascadia, will speak to the sustainability of seaweed aquaculture.


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