Tofino Resort + Marina gives back to community through annual fishing tournaments: Race for the Blue and Fish for the Future
Tofino Resort + Marina is proud to announce the distribution of over 6,000 cans of local, individually caught Pacific Albacore Tuna to food banks and communities-in-need across Vancouver Island, in partnership with St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust and the Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild.
“As one of Canada’s last original canneries and seafood processors, we’re happy to have contributed to this donation,” said Steve Hughes, president of St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the West Coast experience and provide high quality local seafood to those in need.”
The initiative comes as a result of Tofino Resort + Marina’s Race for the Blue, Western Canada’s annual Pacific Albacore Tuna tournament focusing on an exciting and sustainable fishery in BC’s rarely visited offshore paradise. For the first time last year, participants had the opportunity to donate their tuna caught on the Thursday of the weeklong tournament to this initiative – now known as Thankful Thursday. As a result, more than 5,000 lbs of hand-packed tuna has been canned and distributed where it is most needed in the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere region: local food banks, school meal programs, seniors and elders, emergency food programs and communities with reduced food access.
Identifying places of need and coordinating distribution is far easier said than done in a region with multiple communities that are highly isolated, only accessible by gravel forestry roads or by boat. Tofino Resort + Marina teamed up with the region’s community foundation, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, to ensure the cans were received by those in need. With connections in all regional communities and a close working relationship with local food distributor Tofino-Ucluelet Culinary Guild, the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust was the perfect partner.
“The Clayoquot Biosphere Trust is committed to conservation and sustainable development,” says Clayoquot Biosphere Trust Executive Director, Rebecca Hurwitz. “Tofino Resort + Marina has proven to be a dedicated partner by using their strengths to support the Clayoquot Sound UNESCO Biosphere Region.”
The tuna distribution is not Tofino Resort + Marina’s only collaboration with the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust. In 2019, the resort took Fish for the Future – its annual catch-and-release, family-focused fishing event – and turned it into the Fish for the Future Fund, a donor-advised endowment fund at Clayoquot Biosphere Trust aimed at safeguarding wild salmon in Clayoquot Sound. 100% of all tournament revenue, dollar for dollar, now supports wild salmon protection and research projects. In partnership with the Clayoquot Biosphere Trust, Tofino Resort + Marina continues to raise revenue alongside guests who contribute 1% of all resort and restaurant purchases to the endowment fund which is distributed to keystone projects like Tofino Salmon Enhancement Society and Clayoquot Salmon Roundtable. To date, after establishing the fund and the charitable network it supports, the resort has raised over $100,000.
“At Tofino Resort + Marina we are inspired by adventure, and that adventure couldn’t exist without the protection and respect of our unique environment,” says Tofino Resort + Marina President and Partner Willie Mitchell. “We are passionate with a purpose – as we learn and grow as a business our impact on the community remains top of mind. Incorporating meaningful ways to give back into our signature events like Race for the Blue and Fish for the Future is a no brainer.”
Fish for the Future returns September 3-5, 2021, followed by Race for the Blue September 10-18, 2021. More information will be announced in the coming months – follow along at @tofinomarina and @racefortheblue for the latest updates. For more information on Tofino Resort + Marina’s involvement in the community and to learn how you can support visit: tofinoresortandmarina.com/community.
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Image credit: Jeremy Koreski, Tofino Resort + Marina