Sound business for Cumberland
Fish company lands several tonnes of turbot for sale to south

by Doug Ashbury
Northern News Services

NNSL (Nov 17/97) - It's a fish story that keeps getting bigger.

Inuit-owned Cumberland Sound Fisheries Ltd., currently processing a big catch of turbot, was expected last week to increase its shareholders by 25 per cent to 50 people.

The company, owned by Pangnirtung residents and the local Hunters and Trappers Association and the co-op which each hold a 20 per cent stake, recently offloaded 175 metric tonnes of frozen-at-sea turbot from the trawler MV Fame.

Once processed, the catch will be sold to southern, primarily U.S., markets.

The 175 tonnes is part of a 613-tonne Nunavut turbot quota.

"We are proud of what we have developed for the community and its people with our fishing ventures and developments over the last few years," Cumberland Sound Fisheries board member Peter Kilabuk said.

Processing the Nov. 2 shipment will employ 50 people at the Pangnirtung Fisheries plant, which is 49 per cent owned by Cumberland, and generate more than $1.5 million for the community -- a huge improvement over its troubled first few years in the late 1980s.

Kilabuk attributed the company's recent success to a shift away from southern consulting toward local input.

Turbot processing is expected to last into January, when the plant will focus on local fish then return to the turbot which is expected to take work into April or May.

Five local boats, operated by Davidee Evic, Tommy Qaqqasiq, Johneelee Nakashuk and Tommy Evic and Adamie Veevee offloaded the turbot under favorable weather conditions in just 20 hours.

Last year, Cumberland paid out more than $40,000 in shareholder dividends.