Thomas Paul Photo                                Geemia Joye will be sister ship to Amarissa Joye.

Thomas Paul Photo Geemia Joye will be sister ship to Amarissa Joye.

First Nation entrepreneur ready to launch new fish farm vessel

Walkus will launch Geemia Joye, sister ship to Amarissa Joye, totaling to $11 million.

James Walkus, a member of Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw First Nation, is in the middle of building yet another multimillion-dollar boat to transport farmed fish.

Walkus is one of the biggest independent commercial fishermen in the province. He leads the way for First Nations investing and running businesses in aquaculture.

“It’s going to be a state-of-the-art packing boat,” said Walkus. “Absolute latest technology in packing, the best pump and electronics.”

He also added a few other parts of the boat are cutting edge and that the vessel is intended for “hauling and transporting farmed fish for Marine Harvest.”

James Walkus Fishing Company anticipates finishing the project soon. Walkus confirmed the packer boat will be 105 feet in length.

Chris Read, a communications officer at Marine Harvest, commented that “Marine Harvest is delighted that the James Walkus Fishing Company have made the investment in commissioning the Geemia Joye. The development of the boat represents the next steps in the evolution of the industry. Once ready, the Geemia Joye will be utilized fully as a part of the harvest operations.”

Walkus is a supplier and transporter for Marine Harvest and Walkus and his company are spearheading the project and are covering all associated costs of the new boat. According to Jeremy Dunn, in a press release to Sea West News, Walkus’ company employs approximately 30 North Island residents, many of whom are First Nations.

“The boat will be similar to the (Amarissa Joye) from a few years ago,” said Read. “It is an integral part of our harvest operations. Walkus will launch a sister ship (Geemia Joye) to that boat (Amarissa Joye), so it’s similar. There’s a couple tweaks to the design but essentially it’s the same boat.”

ABD Enterprises is responsible for the construction of the packer boat. Construction began last September 2016.

 

First Nation entrepreneur ready to launch new fish farm vessel