Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Fisher could have been paid $16,000 for his 'wasted fish'

  • Print

I am dismayed to see the recent stories in the Winnipeg Free Press about the commercial fishing industry in Manitoba, specifically the issue of usable fish going to waste (Want not, waste lot, April 20).

Your story featured commercial fisher Frank Kenyon -- an outspoken critic who represents a small minority of regional fishers.

The article focused on the notion that Kenyon and other commercial fishers just like him are forced to waste perfectly good fish because Freshwater won't buy it at a fair price.

Kenyon maintains that it's not financially worth his effort to ship his mullet to Freshwater Fish for purchase.

I -- along with dozens of other fishers -- disagree with both his sentiments and the potentially catastrophic approach this article took to one-sidedly presenting a contentious topic.

Freshwater has a strong market for mullet and a limited supply of this fish in inventory. It is an ideal situation for fishers selling their mullet to Freshwater.

Because the mullet market was strong this winter, Saskatchewan and Manitoba fishers shipped thousands of kilograms to Winnipeg for sale and received top-tier prices. Most of these fishers live farther away from Winnipeg than Kenyon and have to pay higher freight charges due to their location, lowering their price per kilogram accordingly.

Contrary to Kenyon's claims, these fishers find it quite profitable to sell their mullet to Freshwater.

Kenyon's choice to leave his mullet on the lake as by-catch is just that -- his choice.

Why he opted to leave the perfectly saleable mullet there for animals to consume on the day your reporter and photographer visited is beyond me. That day (and all winter for that matter), Freshwater was buying mullet at $0.80 per kilogram. Based on Kenyon's estimation of leaving 20,000 kilograms of mullet unsold, he could have this winter received $16,000 (less freight costs of $1,700 to $3,200 dependent on delivery point) for this wasted fish.

It is true that some species are not currently processed at our Winnipeg plant, but the reason is either because there is no market for it today (carp) or, in the case of burbot, because processing would interfere with the plant's Kosher certification. The Kosher market is very important for the price stability of mullet.

But as president and CEO John Wood indicates, if burbot were to become as important as mullet, Freshwater would find a way to process it.

Competition for the centre-of-plate protein position in world markets is intense and ever-changing.

Freshwater competes with seafood, poultry, pork, beef and many other options on the plates of consumers. Freshwater has found many ways to add value and stay competitive, but the best way is to rebuild volume and continue finding economies of scale, seeking out new markets and maintaining its impeccable food safety record.

After 43 years, Freshwater has built a highly trusted and regarded brand on the global market. I believe working together is the best way to keep Canada's inland commercial fishing industry alive and well.

David Tomasson is chairman of the Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 11, 2013 A17

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes


  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.


Make text: Larger | Smaller


150+ dead in France plane crash, cause unknown

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • Marc Gallant/Winnipeg Free Press. Local- Peregrine Falcon Recovery Project. Baby peregrine falcons. 21 days old. Three baby falcons. Born on ledge on roof of Radisson hotel on Portage Avenue. Project Coordinator Tracy Maconachie said that these are third generation falcons to call the hotel home. Maconachie banded the legs of the birds for future identification as seen on this adult bird swooping just metres above. June 16, 2004.
  • A Canada goose makes takes flight on Wilkes Ave Friday afternoon- See Bryksa’s 30 Day goose a day challenge- Day 09- May 11, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos


Will the closure of Future Shop affect your shopping?

View Results

Ads by Google