President’s Blog

The element of change is a dynamic ‘given’ in our world and the commercial fishery is no exception. The decision by the Province of Manitoba to withdraw from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act (FFMA) and enter the open market is a significant change to the fishery that impacts all stakeholders in our industry.

It has been eight years since I joined Freshwater ~ eight interesting years that have flown by as each day brought different decisions to be made, issues to resolve or opportunities to leverage.

This summer news has come out of Alberta about its commercial fishing industry.

Alberta’s provincial government has opted to close the commercial fishing industry. Effective immediately, all fish resources in Alberta will now be managed entirely for Aboriginal sustenance commitments and the tourism and sport fishing industries.

During my time at Freshwater I have worked closely with the Board of Directors. There have been several people appointed to the Board over the years. This spring, two new individuals were appointed. Let me take this opportunity to introduce you to Freshwater’s latest Board members.

After much public debate the province of Manitoba has declared the walleye as one of the new identifiers for the heritage and history of the province.

Read more about the new provincial emblems.

On Friday March 7th, a number of us from Freshwater attended a memorial service for David Tomasson.

David, who was the Chair of Freshwater’s Board of Directors since August 2010, passed away on February 14, 2014.

During the service, we heard how David was passionate about his family, his many friends, his career in the Manitoba government, operating his own consulting business, and as a fourth generation commercial fisher. 

Freshwater Fish is committed to sustainability – and we continue to work towards eco-certification.
 
Eco-certification is a third-party endorsement of the sustainability of our freshwater fish stocks, which dates back to a European movement to end over-fishing practices.
 
Eco-certification is a provincial responsibility and Freshwater Fish is working closely with the province and Intertek Moody Marine – a company licensed to assess and certify fish stocks on behalf of the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC).
 

According to a Recent Survey, The Majority of Fishers Agree

Between May 24 and June 7, 2013 active commercial fishers in Manitoba were randomly selected to take part in a phone survey.

Over the past two years or so there have been many claims that the majority of commercial fishers were unhappy with Freshwater Fish as the only purchaser of their catch. Our communications company set out to test the accuracy of this claim.

Before Freshwater installed the new tunnel freezer and frozen grading line, there were multiple starts and stops along the way as fish moved through the plant on processing lines designed and installed as long as 40+ years ago.

First, fish to be sold as frozen fillets would move from the filleting and trimming lines to be once-frozen and stored for grading at a later date.

When scheduled for grading, the totes would be brought out and fed into the grader by a forklift operator.