A strong, freshwater fishing industry is important for the many fish harvesters that depend on it for their livelihoods. The Government of Canada is taking steps to transform the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC).
The aim of this is to ensure it continues to provide economic benefits to fish harvesters and Indigenous communities who depend on this vital service to bring their products to market, according to Minister of Fisheries Jonathan Wilkinson, announcing the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Panel to look at ways to transform the FFMC so it remains modern and competitive in today’s open market.
‘Our government recognises that the operating environment in today’s freshwater fishing industry is changing,‘ he said.
‘That is why we are appointing an independent panel to provide advice on how to transform the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation so that it remains modern and competitive in today’s open market environment and provides opportunities for fishers to take more control over the future of their industry. Throughout the review, the FFMC will continue to deliver services to fishers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. I look forward to the panel’s findings.’
More than 1700 fish harvesters use the buying, processing and marketing services provided by the FFMC in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.
The panel has been given the task of exploring new governance and ownership models that support collaboration and co-operation amongst fish harvesters and involve them in decision-making. As part of its review, the panel will assess opportunities for new partnership arrangements with organisations that could play a role in these new models for the FFMC.
The panel will report back to the Minister in early 2019. Any decisions on the future of the FFMC will be made in an open and transparent manner with harvesters, Indigenous and other communities, industry, provinces and territories and other partners in the freshwater fishing industry.
In the meantime, the FFMC will continue to provide its services to harvesters and communities.
‘Canada’s commercial inland fishery is critical to the economic and social fabric of many communities in western and northern Canada,’ commented Peter Vician, chair of the ministerial advisory panel.
‘While it is clear the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation has long played an important role in the freshwater market in this region, conditions in the industry are changing; and with it, opportunities for the corporation to evolve. We are confident that our recommendations will help the Government of Canada in determining its path forward for the future of the FFMC. I look forward to working with Minister Wilkinson and my fellow panel members on this important issue.’