Fish Plant May Derail Subsidy for Fishers

Friday, January 23, 2004 at 14:01



The province admits the impact on a proposed fish plant in Prince Albert has to be considered before a subsidy is granted to Athabasca fishers who want to market their fish in the U.S.


As many as 100 fishers on Lake Athabasca have a deal worked out with Athabasca Distributors out of Debden to sell their catch to a Seattle firm, but they are still waiting to hear from Northern Affairs as to whether they will qualify for a fish freight subsidy.


Northern Affairs Minister Buckley Belanger says the primary consideration is the financial stability of the proposed fish buyer.


However, Belanger also says the province has to make sure the fishers’ plan won’t have a negative effect on the proposed plant in P.A.


Having said that, Belanger doesn’t think the proposed plant in Prince Albert will be hurt by the plan to send Lake Athabasca fish to the States.


Construction on the fish plant was supposed to get underway in October, but now, commercial fishers are hoping work gets started in early April, at the latest.


However, they’ve had trouble convincing potential investors to commit funding to the project, including the provincial government.