Saskatchewan Commercial Fisherman's Co-operative Federation Ltd. (SCFCFL)

The SCFCFL is an umbrella organization serving and promoting the interests and concerns of the many individual member co-operatives of Saskatchewan's commercial fishing industry. Commercial fishing is a way of life and an important source of income for many families in northern Saskatchewan, where some 700 licensed commercial fishermen belong to local fishing co-operatives. In the 1950s and 1960s, Saskatchewan's commercial fishing industry experienced steady growth, and at its peak consisted of twenty-five fishermen's co-operatives operating under the central marketing agency, Co-operative Fisheries Ltd. But the following decades brought hard times to the industry, due in large part to uncertain market prices and demand, rising transportation costs, and poor weather conditions. Throughout the 1970s commercial fishing suffered as production levels dropped, returns diminished, fish processing plants closed, co-operatives became inactive, and ultimately, in 1980, Co-operative Fisheries Ltd. dissolved. In spite of a decade of setbacks, Saskatchewan's fishermen and their co-operatives remained steadfast in their determination to improve the industry, and in 1982 a new central co-operative, the SCFCFL, was formed. Working with government departments, Aboriginal groups, member co-operatives, and other agencies, the SCFCFL has taken major initiatives to revitalize commercial fishing in Saskatchewan. Recent efforts include restoring inactive co-operatives, improving lakeside facilities, opening new holding facilities and packing plants, and promoting fishing as a traditional way of life.

Iain Stewart