Commercial Fishers Discuss State Of Industry

Friday, May 11, 2007 at 15:18



Fishers from around the North are meeting in Prince Albert this weekend.


A number of topics are up for discussion — including the future of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, a rundown of comments made at public consultation meetings last year about commercial fishing, and the fishers’ drive towards an exporters’ license.


During an in-camera session this morning, delegates pored over the results of a study on the processing and marketing of fish in Saskatchewan.


The study calls for the establishment of a market-driven system which would utilize the benefits of a Saskatchewan exporter’s licence, and the creation of a fish plant.


Study author Larry Goodfellow says it’s imperative to the survival of the fishers that they be granted a permanent export licence.


He says everyone is also excited about the prospect of seeing the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation’s monopoly on fish sales broken open to allow competitors.


Goodfellow notes the potential benefits of having the fishers market their own catch include lower freight costs, the removal of agencies and premiums for high quality.


Meanwhile, the president of the commercial fishers’ co-op in Pelican Narrows says he’s intrigued by talk the government is thinking of letting fishers market fish themselves.


Clinton Merasty says he thinks fishers would do a better job for themselves than the FFMC.


He adds no one is happy with prices right now.


Merasty says he also is looking forward to good news regarding the possibility of a fish plant being established in Prince Albert.


The conference runs until Sunday.