The Manitoba government has hired Signature Mediation to serve in the role of fisheries envoy, which will help develop the new process that will allow Manitoba fishers to withdraw from the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corporation (FFMC) and independently market their own harvest, Sustainable Development Minister Cathy Cox announced today.

“We made a commitment to allow fishers to market their own catch and get out from under the monopoly of the FFMC, but we need a specialized team to help with the transition,” Cox said. “Signature Mediation is a Manitoba company with years of experience helping people with different ideas reach mutually beneficial conclusions and we look forward to building a new era for Manitoba fishers. This candidate appealed specifically to the position of fisheries envoy because of its experience working with Manitoba Pork Marketing Co-op, playing an integral role in helping the hog industry in Manitoba transition into a flexible marketing system.”

The successful candidate for the position was determined through a competitive process, the minister noted, adding the envoy will be responsible for a number of activities including:
• consulting commercial fishing communities, Indigenous groups and businesses to identify important issues and opportunities;
• identifying what new regulations, policies and systems will be needed to establish the new marketing system;
• establishing a process for effective and sustainable fisheries management, such as catch and sales reporting requirements; and
• making contact with private-sector interests wanting to develop local fish-processing facilities or marketing co-operatives.

Starting immediately, the envoy will hold meetings, report results and prepare results-based recommendations, with a final report due next spring, the minister said.

Satvinder S Chadha WINGS CHAMBER