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Nipissing First Nation promotes responsible fishing

Nipissing First Nation recently unveiled a new business model for their fishery.
Nipissing First Nation recently unveiled a new business model for their fishery. With a mandate of conservation and responsible stewardship, the new fishery features the strongest restrictions and enforcements of any community in Canada, ensuring that the fish population remains healthy and is able to replenish itself naturally.

The new model reinforces the fact that the spring netting moratorium, harvest reporting-harvest limit systems, and gear restrictions must be followed in order to maintain a healthy, independent fishery that benefits the entire community.

“Our community has been fishing this lake for hundreds of years and we realize that while the lake has always taken care of us, we must also take care of the lake,” said Nipissing First Nation Chief, Marianna Couchie.

By registering and following the laws, members of Nipissing First Nation will receive a commercial fishing benefits package that includes free flake ice for the fishing season; use of a food grade cooler for the ice and catch; use of a GPS System and boat safety kit; and letters of endorsement to help sell catch to fish markets.

A new symbol has also been developed to help promote the Nipissing First Nation Fishery and their compliance with regulations. The brand is seen as an exciting step towards legitimizing the fishery and promoting their product to retailers and restaurants throughout the region.

“This new brand is the first step in a new and exciting direction for us and we are looking forward to maintaining our ability to manage our fishery while also taking it in new directions economically,” said Commercial Fisheries Technician, Rodney Beaucage.

The new rules and guidelines will further cement Nipissing First Nation’s ongoing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship. They will also help the community secure funding to construct a fish cleaning building that is up to federal standards. The facility will be used to clean and pack caught fish in a federally registered building, thereby improving the ability to sell to local fish markets and restaurants.

Nipissing First Nation has arranged a special media tour on Thursday, May 1, 2008 at 10 AM in Garden Village. Members of the media will be able to see firsthand how the community is managing their resources and actively promoting a healthy fish population in Lake Nipissing.