The Manitoba government is introducing proposed legislation that would give commercial fishers independence from the monopoly of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC), Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox announced today.
“Manitoba fishers work hard for their catch and deserve the opportunity to achieve their earning potential,” Cox said. “Our government promised fishers we would ensure they receive that opportunity by creating a flexible marketing environment. They are selling a world class product and deserve to compete on the global seafood markets.”
Amendments to The Fisheries Act would see regulations put into place to ensure the safety and quality of fish being sold, as well as protect the sustainability of Manitoba lakes. Commercial fishers would have the ability to sell their catch to interprovincial and international markets through a new provincially issued fish dealers’ licence.
Once approved, the new proposed rules would allow Manitoba fishers to explore new markets and potentially increase their opportunities and income. Legislative changes are required to remove the FFMC as the only place fishers can market their product, the minister said, adding the proposed changes would also allow fishers to still use the FFMC if they believe it is effective.
The province hired a fisheries envoy to lead the process of consultations and development of regulatory recommendations. Through this process, the fisheries envoy held public consultations with 25 communities across the province, attended by over 375 fishers.