Novel Marine Monitoring and Coastal Management Services for Coastal Indigenous Communities, Indigenous Marine Servicing Initiative (IMSI)

CLIENT: Lax Kw’alaams Fishing Enterprise
DATE: 2021 – 2022

Project Overview

Development of an advanced in-situ monitoring platform designed for technology-based remote sensing and responding to the needs of Lax Kw’alaams Fishing Enterprise (LKFE) from the air, at the surface, and underwater.

Through IMSI, LKFE has diversified its technology portfolio and procured a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), commercial-level multi-spectral drone, and a survey-grade Aris imaging sonar. LKFE fishery technicians received classroom training and operational field training on all these technologies, and from 2020-2022, these procurements have resulted in projects supported by the Ghost Gear Fund, T Buck Suzuki, the First Nation Solid Waste Management Initiative, the Port of Prince Rupert, and the Pacific Salmon Foundation.

This package of technology, training and business development allowed LKFE and Shift Environmental to build additional technical capacity and resources and created a more diversified marine portfolio based on monitoring ocean health. This can help local nations to generate wealth through existing relationships with industry and government.

It builds a more resilient LKFE, through the diversification of marine services outside of existing business enterprises, which are generally exclusively focused on fishing and fish processing. LKFE has a greater participation in the marine industry supply chain through increased survey technologies to provide technical and scientific services; more staff with advanced technical capabilities; and further relationships with existing service providers, all of which increased employment and income for the Lax Kw’alaams community.


  • Secured $505K in funding and two new contracts with LKFE (2021, 2022)
  • Procured Inspection Class ROV, Commercial Multi-Spectral Drone, and Survey-Grade Aris Imaging Sonar (over $215K of technology)
  • Provided wages for Lax Kw’alaams Fisheries Technicians
  • Provided Advanced Training in Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS)
  • Procured operational training for Aris Sonar and ROV
  • Provided Wages for Research and Development of Novel Surveillance and Monitoring System

Lax Kw’alaams wishes to create value in protecting ocean ecosystems and true meaningful capacity for its members in the science and technology sector.

– Bill Shepert, LKFE

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