Renewal Of Athabasca Fish Export Licence In Doubt

Monday, November 21, 2005 at 15:31



It’s not clear if fishers on Lake Athabasca will be able to take advantage of an export licence again this winter.


Last March, the fishers sold roughly 20,000 pounds of whitefish, trout, pickerel and northern pike to a buyer in Seattle.


Northern fishers normally can’t do that, but the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation granted a Debden-based outfit called Athabasca Distributors a rare exemption because it was a new market.


The fishers ended up receiving more money than usual for their catch, and all of it was upfront.


However, an FFMC spokesman says an extension of that exemption is in jeopardy.


Stephen Kendall says Athabasca Distributors didn’t meet some previously agreed-upon conditions with the last licence, and the corporation won’t be approving an extension without seeing some records.


Kendall also says the FFMC currently hasn’t received an official application to renew the licence or any explanation as to why the conditions for the previous licence weren’t met.


He also says time is running out, since the FFMC’s board has to approve any licence renewal and will be holding its next quarterly meeting in about a week.


Officials with Athabasca Distributors have declined comment.