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Cape Breton fisherman paid $12/lb for snow crab to start season, almost double ASP's 1st offer in NL

The bar has apparently been set for the initial 2022 snow crab price in Eastern Canada, with news that a Sydney, Cape Breton-based fisherman who fishes east of Cape Breton Island was paid $12/lb this week for his first trip.

Meantime, snow crab price negotiations here in Newfoundland and Labrador began this week between the FFAW-Unifor and Association of Seafood Producers,

Word has it the union's opening offer was $10.75/lb — $ more than the $6.25/lb the ASP threw on the table.

The $10.75/lb price put forward by the FFAW is down substantially from the $12/lb paid in Nova Scotia this past fall.

Find SEA-NL's most recent update/prediction on snow crab price here : OCI plays poor mouth in Newfoundland while building $20 million processing plant in Nova Scotia

The provincial government-appointed fish price-setting panel has set this Friday (March 25th) as the deadline for the initial 2022 snow crab price to be negotiated between the FFAW and ASP.

If a deal isn't reached by then the panel could potentially hold a hearing as early as Friday, and the panel has set Monday, April 4th, as the date by which a binding collective agreement must be in place.

Binding means that the decision of the panel will be final, and FFAW members will not vote on the price paid to them (otherwise known as the collective agreement).

In 2021, the initial snow crab price of $5.73/lb was set on March 31st.

Under the province's panel system of fish pricing, once the price is set for a particular species each side has one price appeal or reconsideration to use over the course of the season.

Last year, the FFAW used its one price reconsideration to set the final 2021 snow crab price at $7.60/lb on April 25th.

The ASP did not use its price reconsideration (because the crab price went through the roof).

Bernard Davis, the minister responsible for labour relations, turned down a formal SEA-NL request that the regulation under the Standing Fish Price-Setting Panel that restricts each party to one price reconsideration per species be lifted, and the change be made prior to the start of the 2022 season.

Davis said he's happy that both sides made money — missing the point that both sides did not realize a fair market return.


Because ASP Executive Director Derek Butler is literally a penny pincher/joker with the inshore fleet.

In April, 2020 Butler put forward a snow crab price of .01/lb in response to an FFAW offer of $4.25/lb.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, and for owner-operators to join please visit our website or e-mail Sign SEA-NL's petition to the House of Commons on non-core commercial fishing licences here.

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