January 8, 2019
The Government of Canada and the GNWT have teamed up to commit 8.9 million funding for a new fish plant in Hay River. Construction of the new state-of-the-art processing facility, which will begin later this year, is central to the GNWT’s plans to revitalize the NWT’s commercial fishing sector.
Related: Government of Canada news release
Commercial fishing on Great Slave Lake has been a mainstay of the South Slave economy since the 1950s when the fishery was developed to supply export markets. The business case for revitalizing the fishery was was first identified by the GNWT In its 2014 NWT Economic Opportunities Strategy.
In partnership with the NWT Fishermen’s Federation, through their Tu Cho Cooperative, the plan is to transform the existing fishery; and expand its scope to supply domestic, commercial and export markets with - not only whole fish - but value-added fish products and related by-products in a variety of forms.
Northwest Territories producers will see the benefits of having a direct say – and even ownership in their industry.
Longstanding NWT fishers will be offered the resources and capital requirements they need to update their operations while training programs, aimed at increasing the number of northerners on the lake, will focus on attracting the North’s next generation of fishers.
Sales and distribution agreements will be sought for Great Slave Lake fish in new markets in Alberta. Increased collection points will ensure producers can access the full potential of the lake – and a renewed winter fishery will help meet increased demand and the need for year-round supply.