FFMC Expects Fish Export Licence To Be Renewed

Wednesday, July 20, 2005 at 15:31



An official with the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation says an export dealer’s licence for Athabasca fishers will likely be extended — no matter how successful they become.


Stephen Kendall says the licence was initially granted to Athabasca Distributors three years ago, and has already been renewed once.


That company was finally able to market fish caught in Lake Athabasca to the United States this past March, after the provincial government granted it a fish freight subsidy.


Roughly 20,000 pounds of whitefish, trout, northern pike and pickerel was sent to a buyer in Seattle.


In return, the fishers received more than double what they would normally get from the FFMC — and it was all paid up-front.


Kendall says the export licence was granted because the fishers demonstrated they would be selling to a market the FFMC is not selling in already.


Kendall says there is the potential for other fisheries in Saskatchewan to qualify for export licences, but they would have to prove they are selling to a new market, selling a new product or marketing an underutilized species.


He also says there’s no chance the FFMC will lift its monopoly in order to allow all fishers to ship their catch to the States.


Since 2001, the FFMC has granted 13 export licences to groups across the country. Kendall says the vast majority have not been used.