Early in the spring on the northeast corner of Lake Manitoba, commercial fisher Frank Kenyon spends an overcast morning pulling up two of the 45 gillnets he’s set below the ice of Portage Bay.
There are northern pike, lake whitefish and walleye — all valuable commercial fish. Yet in this haul, there are as many mullet, an edible but undesirable species, as the other fish combined.
But mullet are tossed into a separate pile left for the ravens because they command too low a price to justify the cost of shipping them to Winnipeg for processing.
In Saturday's Free Press and at www.winnipegfreepress.com, Reporter Bartley Kives examines the widespread practice of bycatch dumping – the waste of millions of kilograms of edible freshwater fish at a time when ocean stocks suffer from overfishing and the world faces a potential protein shortage.