The Fishing and Marine Industry Daily News Feed

Burbot Across the Border

It’s three o’clock in the morning on May 17, 2022, and Nate Jensen and his crew prepare to depart Twin Rivers Tribal Sturgeon and Burbot Hatchery with 68 bags of precious cargo. Jensen is the conservation aquaculture supervisor for the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho.

The clock is ticking, and time is of the essence. Everything is in place to transport millions of burbot larvae over the Canadian border from the hatchery near Bonners Ferry, Idaho, to Kootenay Lake, British Columbia. This is the 13th year of a multi-year effort that has taken great determination by Jensen, director of the Kootenai Tribe’s Fish and Wildlife Department Dr. Shawn Young, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and multiple other agencies dedicated to navigating all the regulations surrounding in-state and international shipments of aquatic species.

“By the time we start bagging up the fish, all of us with the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho are beyond stressed. Everyone needs to be on-point to get this done,” Jensen said. “This is not the first time we have followed through with all the requirements only to be rejected at the last minute. Everything rides on a stack of export, import and transport permits. All those permits aside; one document stands out above the rest … the U.S. Department of Agriculture-APHIS Aquatic Animal Health Export Certificate. That one document and everything required to get it in my hands, makes or breaks this effort.”

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