WINNIPEG—Manitoba has served notice that it plans to withdraw from a federal Crown corporation that markets freshwater fish.
Premier Brian Pallister says the province wants to give its fishers the opportunity to market their catch any way they want.
The Winnipeg-based Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation buys, processes and markets all freshwater fish caught for commercial sale in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.
Pallister says the corporation will continue as a marketing choice for Manitobans who wish to use it.
He says Manitoba’s fish industry generates about $21 million per year in sales of walleye, goldeye, northern pike, sauger, lake whitefish and lake trout.
Most of the catch in the province is sold to the United States, Europe, Israel and China.
First Nation and Metis leaders in Manitoba praised the province’s decision toward marketing choice, but some have questions about how the change will come about and how it will affect them.
“The fishers are asking what does this mean,” David Chartrand, president of the Manitoba Metis Federation said Tuesday in a release.
“What are the rules? When can they begin selling their fish outside of the FFMC (Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation).”
The corporation’s website says it buys from more than 1,700 fishers who harvest from hundreds of lakes within the region and employs more than 150 staff.