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Fish Deliveries Strong through Fall 2019, into Winter 2020

Fish deliveries to Freshwater have been strong through the fall and winter. To all fishers from Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories ~ thank you for choosing to deliver your catch to us!

We continue to play a pivotal role in meeting the unique needs of Canada’s commercial inland fishery and remain true to our 1969 legislated mandate in our mission statement: To maximize long-term returns to commercial fishers through securing supply, creating an orderly market, promoting international markets and increasing trade in freshwater fish.

While many aspects of Freshwater’s role are unique, the market impact of supply and demand for our products is common to everyone in our industry. For commodity-based businesses such as the commercial freshwater fishery, in general, as additional supply for a product becomes available, market demand for the product falls. 

Specifically for Freshwater, market demand for walleye is being affected by increased fish supply. Over the last 7 years, walleye harvest from the Great Lakes has increased 73%. The increased harvest is the result of total allowable catch limit increases and subsequent catch of walleye by fishers on Lake Erie. A further 20% increase of allowable catch limit and harvest from Lake Erie is expected this year. That works out to an additional 1.5 million pounds of walleye from Lake Erie to sell in world markets.

Not only is increased walleye supply from Lake Erie impacting world markets, our walleye deliveries have also increased. Deliveries of walleye to Freshwater are 9% higher at this time compared to a year ago. The impact of the additional supply is placing continued downward pressure on selling prices for walleye. Freshwater and its competitors are all impacted by the oversupply of Canadian walleye.

We are committed to meeting our mission statement and Freshwater is addressing the challenge through process improvements in the plant, reducing administrative costs and pursuing additional market opportunities.