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TRANSFORMATION OF CANADIAN FRESHWATER FISH MARKETING CORPORATION

TRANSFORMATION OF CANADIAN FRESHWATER

Transformation of Canadian Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation. Since its creation over 50 years ago, the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) has played an important role in the lives of inland fish harvesters, including those in remote and northern Indigenous communities.

Last week, the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announced receipt of the report from Kevin G. Anderson, the Interlocutor on the Transformation of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation.

Since his appointment in 2019, Mr. Anderson held more than 30 engagement sessions with harvesters and other stakeholders in the freshwater fishery, as well as Indigenous leaders, economic development organisations, and representatives from federal, provincial, territorial and Indigenous governments and groups. In March 2020, he established an Interim Committee of Inland Fish Harvesters to assess the feasibility of transforming the FFMC into a harvester-led marketing entity.

The report recommends that DFO commit to continue working with the Interim Committee to transform the FFMC. For this work to continue, the Interlocutor recommended that the Department provide support to the Interim Committee in securing administrative and technical expertise to allow it to formalise its role in representing fish harvesters in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories.

The Government of Canada welcomes the recommendations and is committed to working with the Interim Committee over the next year as it explores transforming the FFMC to a harvester-led entity, that supports all communities. DFO will continue to work with the Interim Committee to assess and support the next steps in the process.

During this time, the FFMC will continue to operate in support of freshwater fish harvesters.

Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, said:

“The Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation has a long history with Canada’s inland seafood sector and we are committed to working with all harvesters to ensure the organisation is effective, inclusive, and viable. I want to thank the Interim Committee members and Interlocutor, Mr. Anderson, for laying the groundwork for FFMC’s transformation. The end structure of the FFMC has not been finalised, however I look forward to working with the Interim Committee, and all harvesters, to explore this harvester-led model.

Jamie Linington & Sam Murdock, Co-chairs, Interim Committee of Inland Fish Harvesters, said:

“The Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s decision to support harvester ownership of the FFMC is the some of the best news our industry has heard in a long time. We look forward to working with our fellow fishers, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, and the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation to find a model that works for commercial freshwater harvesters, and sets us up for success.

David Bevan, Chairperson of the Board, Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation, said:

“Since established in 1969, the primary goal of the FFMC has been to maximise returns to commercial fishers. With the Government of Canada’s decision to put harvesters served by the FFMC at the centre of the discussion about its transformation, I am confident that this is a positive step for the future of the industry. I look forward to working with the Interim Committee to support this process.”

 

 

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