Fishers: Stay Current
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By John Wood, CEO
Eco-certification is a process by which an independent non-government organization ensures sustainable harvest practices have been followed and the fishery is measured in such a way that the fish stocks will survive and thrive over the long term.
The province of Manitoba has embarked on a multi-year program that will eventually see all commercially fished lakes in Manitoba certified as sustainable. This program is already in progress using one of the best-known organizations in the certification business.
Have you ever wondered how Freshwater brings the world’s best wild-caught freshwater fish products from the lake to your plate?
Tune in to Lake to Plate TV, our YouTube channel, to find out!
Lake to Plate TV features a series of mini-documentary and newscast style videos that give you an inside look at what Freshwater does – and how we do it.
We know people are talking about what Freshwater spends – so we thought we’d give you a glance into the cost of doing business.
Here is a spotlight on the cost of doing business in eastern Europe.
The seafood market in eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union is rapidly expanding, and ongoing annual expenses build the demand here for our products.
Attending the annual tradeshow in Moscow is expensive, but this important event helps increase Freshwater’s presence in the Russian market.
Freshwater Fish is always developing new markets for existing and new products.
One area we continue to focus on is roe – a very valuable commodity in the market.
Building on our previous successes with lake whitefish and northern pike, we are now looking at developing markets for mullet, lake trout and walleye caviar.
You have likely seen Freshwater Fish in the news recently.
It seems the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and some commercial fishers are not happy with the cost of doing international business.
Freshwater has aggressively increased its prices internationally, entered new markets (Russia, Romania) and launched value-added products (pike caviar, perch fillets), all with a focus to offset the strong Canadian dollar and eventually raise prices to fishers.
While many around the province spent the mild start to winter enjoying warm weather, the tepid temperatures have left the commercial fishery well behind normal in deliveries to Freshwater.
Lakes froze, only to warm and break before freezing again.
This not only left many dangerous patches of open water and extremely thin ice but also created rough hummock patches that make it nearly impossible to reach the areas where nets are usually set.
Winnipeg ice is being tested daily for the 15-20 inches of thickness needed to deem conditions safe for on-ice travel.
It’s no secret there’s something going on in Saskatchewan – and that Freshwater Fish will soon be impacted by a decision made by provincial officials.
The Saskatchewan government has decided to remove itself from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Act, now effective April 2012. (The shift was originally scheduled for April 2011 but the move was delayed.)
Essentially, this means that in April Saskatchewan fishers will no longer be required to sell their catch to Freshwater Fish. It also means that we will no longer be required to purchase their fish.
At Freshwater Fish, we’re big fans of sharing success stories when things go well.
Unfortunately, we sometimes encounter bad news stories – and I feel I have a responsibility to share one of those with you this month.
Though many regional fishers are fully into the summer season, our friends in the Dauphin River area have been overcome by floodwaters and are without any hope of setting nets this year.
Freshwater Fish is no stranger to the green trend.
As we’ve watched the world become more and more interested in “going green” and environmental issues like sustainability, global warming, pollution control and wildlife protection, Freshwater Fish has been communicating the need for governments to create their own plans for fishery certification.
We want our customers to look to us for high quality, dependable and sustainable products – and we believe eco-certification must be a part of that process.
But what is eco-certification?