Ile-a-la-Crosse set to construct fish packing, processing plant
- EFN Staff | August 05, 2015
The Northern Village of Ile-a-la-Crosse will construct a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) certified fish packing and processing facility to meet the marketing needs of the commercial fishers in the area. Aboriginal fishers make up 80% of the commercial fishing industry and the Saskatchewan fisher is a significant supplier of freshwater fish in Canada today.
According to the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC), there is a growing consumer demand for fresh wild-caught fish nationally and internationally. The Ile-a-la-Crosse facility currently takes fresh caught fish from local fishers and sends them to the FFMC in Winnipeg to process and distribute. The current facility has serviced the industry since the mid-1970s and provides approximately $864,000 in annual revenues for local fishers.
“The idea of continually shipping away a large portion of the value of the product does not make sense to us. That’s why we must fillet and package fish and other fish products locally for export to markets anywhere in the world if need be,” said Duane Favel, Mayor, Northern Village of Ile-a-la-Crosse.
This investment in a new federally registered facility will expand the existing fishing industry in Northwest Saskatchewan by introducing new value-added products, such as northern pike roe and deboned northern pike fillets, which will be exported to new international markets. The new facility will have the capacity to process the increasing amount of fish delivered by local and regionally-based fishers.
The Northern Village of Ile-a-la-Crosse, or Sakitawak (where the rivers meet) in Cree, is the second oldest community in Saskatchewan.