For the first time in 15 years, the Great Slave Lake Winter Fishery opened yesterday.
It is anticipated that seven commercial fishing businesses will participate in this year’s winter fishery. They will be supported by a pilot program introduced by the Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment (ITI).
The pilot program will run for up to eight weeks and assist fishers with accessing winter-specific gear and equipment. ITI funding will also allow the Tu’Cho’ Co-operative to reopen and operate the Hay River fish plant, which closed for the summer season on October 10th, 2020.
The Hay River packing facility will receive and grade fish from commercial fishers in Yellowknife and Hay River then ship them to the federal Fresh Water Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) in Winnipeg for processing and sale.
In addition to the pilot program, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) is partnering with Indigenous Governments to train community members to participate in the Winter Fishery. This provides an investment to solidify and build capacity for a thriving Winter Fishery into the future.
Guided by its Strategy for Revitalizing the Great Slave Lake Commercial Fishery (2017), the GNWT is working to revitalize the Great Slave Lake Fishing sector and to restore its contributions to the NWT economy.
This investment is one of many that we are making to re-establish the Great Slave Lake fishery and provide greater returns for fishers. In time, our plan is to see new and year-round jobs in processing, packaging, selling and transporting NWT fish to market; as well as new products including more opportunities for NWT residents to access fresh, healthy, locally-produced food.
-Caroline Wawzonek, Minister of Industry, Tourism and Investment
We are working with the Government of the Northwest Territories to realize our shared vision of a revitalized Great Slave Lake fishery. One of the steps that we must take is to secure a year-round supply of fresh Great Slave Lake fish for market. This requires that we invest in the revitalization of our winter fishery.
-Cameron Beaverbones, President, Tu’Cho’ Fishers Co-operative
· Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) is the centralized marketing body that buys, processes and markets all fish caught on a commercial licence in the Northwest Territories.
· The Tu’Cho’ Fishers Co-operative is comprised of commercial fishers on Great Slave Lake who sell to the FFMC.
For More Information, please contact:
Asst. Director Strategic Communications
Industry, Tourism and Investment
1-867-767-9202 (ext: 63037)