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Fishery co-op organizers agree to letter of intent with processor; inshore enterprise owners asked to pledge support 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Wednesday, Dec. 27th, 2023  Organizers of a fishery co-operative being formed to represent inshore enterprise owners have agreed to a letter of intent with Dan Meade to sell fish to the Ship Harbour-based processor.

Under terms of the agreement, a new fish processing company will be formed that will see the future co-op earn an equity stake in exchange for a pledge to sell at least two million pounds of snow crab a year to the business.

“The letter of intent brings the inshore fleet a step closer to breaking itself free from the company cartel,” says co-op organizer/spokesman Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL.

Meade sees the partnership as an historic opportunity to rebuild trust with inshore harvesters. “I want to be part of that rebuilding process.”

Meade intends to process snow crab at his groundfish plant in Ship Harbour, and the pledge will strengthen the financial position of the company to get the ball rolling.

To that end, co-op organizers are asking independent inshore enterprise owners to step forward with confidential pledges of support to sell crab to the new processing company. 

Licence holders can contact Ryan Cleary directly and confidentially at or by calling/texting the cellphone number below. 

At the same time, the new company is working towards buying most species in the coming fishing seasons. Members of the future fishery co-op would be paid more than the minimum negotiated price for all species, and would have priority in selling fish to the new company.

Besides the letter of intent with Meade, organizers of the fishery co-op plan to form partnerships with other independent fish processors, and any potential new players. 

It’s expected the new fishery co-op will be incorporated early in the New Year.

“This past fishing season was the straw that broke the camel’s back in terms of constraints imposed on fish harvesters by processors operating in the province,” says Merv Wiseman, another key co-op organizer. 

“The creation of a co-op will not only have direct benefits to community-based fishery enterprises, but will strengthen the entire rural economy.”


Call/text Ryan Cleary 709 682 4862 

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