August 26, 2022
Fishing long been a mainstay of life and economic activity – especially in Hay River. In the last decade, however, the commercial export of Great Slave Lake fish has lagged – in large part due to a downturn in the number of fishers on Great Slave Lake.
With that in mind, ITI began piloting a new Commercial Fishery Introductory Training Course this week in Hay River.
The course, which will run until September 02, 2022, is being offed in partnership with the Marine Training Centre, Aurora College and the Northwest Territories Métis Nation. It includes:
- 5 days of in-class Small Vessel Operator Proficiency training
- 5 days on the open water with an experienced commercial fishing instructor
- 1 day focussed on packing, transporting and bringing a catch in to the Hay River fish plant
- 3-5 days focussed on fish processing and market delivery under instruction of a fish processing instructor.
In addition to hands-on experience in open water commercial fishing practices and fish processing techniques. Those who complete the course will be awarded a Small Vessel Operator Proficiency (SVOP) certificate.
It’s all part of the GNWT’s strategy to revitalize the Great Slave Lake commercial fishing sector and to restore its contributions to the NWT economy. In addition to fostering a new generation of fishers, ITI is guiding the completion of a new commercial fish plant for fishers on Great Slave Lake, revitalizing the winter fishery, considering new products and expanded markets and putting strategies in place to harvest greater portions of the Great Slave Lake.
This work supports a number of the GNWT’s mandate commitments for the 19th Legislative Assembly including: Increasing employment in small communities, Increasing economic diversification by supporting growth in non-extractive sectors and Increasing food security through locally produced, harvested, and affordable food.
Based on the success of this week’s pilot, additional training opportunities are anticipated in the future. If you are interested, contact Richard Moore, Commercial Fishery Analyst in ITI’s Hay River office.