Sustainability is good for our environment and our businesses.
Did you know that becoming eco-certified can give your fishery access to new markets? Or that fishing sustainably can increase stability in annual revenue by reducing the potential for fish stock collapse and diminished harvest levels? This is all in addition to the fact that becoming an eco-certified fishery means helping protect freshwater ecosystems for generations to come!
Major retailers are seeking sustainable fish.
The world is becoming more sustainability conscious, and the seafood industry is no exception. In the last few years, both Walmart and Sam’s Club stopped buying Manitoba fish altogether because our fisheries were not eco-certified, or in the process of becoming eco-certified.
This caused an estimated loss of up to $2.8 million for Manitoba’s commercial fishing industry. Manitoba has also lost a number of other marketing opportunities due to a lack of eco-certified fish, like when Whole Foods wanted to purchase eco-certified walleye in 2015 and Manitoba was not able to provide.
Luckily, by becoming eco-certified, fisheries can not only recoup many of these missed opportunities but gain a number of great new opportunities as well!
Still not sure if it’s worth the hype?
See how getting eco-certified benefited Waterhen Fishery.
Just ask the Waterhen Lake Walleye and Northern Pike commercial gillnet fishery, who in 2014 became the first and only source of MSC certified Northern Pike in the world. In 2015, just one year after certification, Waterhen Lake was able to reopen their fish shed which had been shuttered for more than a decade. This meant that new jobs were created in the community, and fishers were able to cut the distance they travelled to sell their harvest in half, saving time and money. That same year, when two non-governmental organizations called for a boycott of many Manitoba fisheries over sustainability concerns, Waterhen Lake was exempt from this criticism thanks to its MSC certification.
According to Chief Cameron Catcheway of Skownan First Nation, who holds a Waterhen Lake commercial license,
“Managing our lake sustainably is simply the right thing to do for the future.”