Saskatchewan

Sask. withdrawal from fish co-op delayed

The Saskatchewan government has put off withdrawing from a federal fish-marketing agency by one year as provincial fishermen continue moving toward hopes of building their own fish-packing plant.

Government won't spend on Saskatchewan fish plant

The Saskatchewan government has delayed withdrawing from a federal fish-marketing agency by one year as provincial fishermen continue moving toward hopes of building their own fish-packing plant.

Saskatchewan Co-operative Fisheries Ltd. (SCFL) requested the extension to stay within the Winnipeg-based Freshwater Fish Marketing Corp., according to a statement from the province.

The original opt-out deadline was set for this year.

Provincial fishermen active in the SCFL have maintained they wanted to pull away from the federal co-operative over concerns they weren’t getting enough money for their product.

The FFMC has confirmed it will continue to purchase all Saskatchewan fish caught for export, and will still have the opportunity to purchase Saskatchewan fish on the open market past the 2012 deadline.

"This decision will provide Saskatchewan fishers, existing businesses in the sector and the SCFL more time to explore new partnerships and value-adding opportunities that will be possible in the future open market setting for the industry," First Nations and Métis Relations Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said in a statement.

However, the province will not invest any money in a new Saskatchewan fish plant, Cheveldayoff said. The government has provided money to the co-op as it headed toward open market plans, including operating-assistance money in this budget year.

The amount of that assistance was not disclosed in the statement.