It’s the busy time of year for commercial fishing on the Great Lakes. But the price of whitefish is about half what it was three years ago, because of problems with international trade.

Interlochen Public Radio's Peter Payette has been covering this story. He says that this problem started with Russia.

“Two years ago, when Russia annexed Crimea, western countries responded by imposing sanctions on Russia. And Russia responded to that with its own sanctions, among which were bans on food imports from western countries. Canada used to send a lot of fish over to Russia, a lot of whitefish. And all of a sudden that was not possible anymore,” he says.

New York is a big market for whitefish. So when Canada could no longer sell as much overseas, whitefish caught in Canada started flooding the New York markets at a cheaper price than American fish.

Dustin VanOrman runs a family fishing business at Big Stone Bay Fishery in Mackinaw City. He says this has caused a little bit of a price war.

Read the full story

Have you listened to this article via the audio player?

If so, send us your feedback around what we can do to improve this feature or further develop it. If not, check it out and let us know what you think via email or on social media.

A collection of stories from guest authors.

Join the Conversation