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First Nations eye Chinese fish market

CANADA - First Nations in Manitoba are working to create a new industry selling "rough fish" such as carp and mullet to consumers in China.

Native leaders in Manitoba are meeting over the next few weeks with John Du, a senior government official from Beijing, about the potential for fish exports.

"We need fish. The Chinese eat fish every day. It's not a luxury thing," said Eva Luk, Du's translator, at a reception in Winnipeg last week.

The demand for fish in China is ever-increasing as the country struggles with contamination of freshwater stocks and a decrease in fish farms, Luk said.

There is already some market for the rough fish, so fishers are already catching them — but not on the scale suggested in the Chinese concept.