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GNWT holds free fishing course in bid to boost industry

Boats at Hay River's Fisherman's Wharf in August 2019
Boats at Hay River's Fisherman's Wharf in August 2019. Ollie Williams/Cabin Radio

With a new fish plant on the way, the NWT government will next month hold a two-week commercial fishing course to attract more people into the industry.

The territorial government considers revitalizing the Great Slave Lake fishing industry, particularly in Hay River, to be a key plank of its bid to grow sectors beyond mining.

While building a new processing facility is one element of that plan, it will be useless without people doing the basic work of going out and getting the fish required.

Acknowledging growing demand for fishers, the NWT government last week said it was partnering with the Marine Training Centre, Aurora College and the NWT Métis Nation to pilot a training program “to qualify and equip participants to work on a commercial fishing vessel.”



The first such program runs from August 22 to September 2 in Hay River and is still accepting applicants.

There is no cost to take the course. Not only that, the territory says funding may be available to cover the associated travel and accommodation.

“Participants will learn about commercial fish processing techniques and gain hands-on experience in open water commercial fishing practices,” the NWT’s Department of Industry, Tourism and Investment stated on its website.

People who complete the course will receive a certificate of small vessel operator proficiency.

“No experience is required,” the department stated. “However, applicants will be expected to demonstrate their interest in working in the commercial fishing industry.”

The deadline to apply is August 3. Contact Richard Moore to learn more.