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How high will 2023 snow crab price reach? (Who knows, but deadline Friday for price-setting review)

The price of fish may directly impact all 3,200 inshore fishing enterprises in every nook and cranny of this province, but don't expect live-streamed hearings of the ongoing review of the provincial government's broken down fish price-setting system. That would be too public/involve too much common sense for the inshore fishery.

Inshore boats tied up at Admiral's Marina on the southside of Harbour Grace in late August.



Instead, the deadline for written submissions/possible interviews is this Friday, Sept. 9th, at 4 p.m.


The review is being led by David Conway, the same former chair of the Labour Relations Board who, in 2018, denied FISH-NL's application for fishermen to have the right to vote for the union of their choice.


The review involves interviews/consultations with harvesters/processors/individuals who are familiar with the collective bargaining model.


A list of names/organizations has not been released, but I can tell you for a fact SEA-NL wasn't interviewed.


To request your own interview or to make a written submission e-mail this address: ficbareview@gov.nl.ca


If you make a written submission you can also request a separate "verbal" submission to be held virtually (but not conducted publicly/live-streamed) on Monday, Sept. 12th.


SEA-NL intends to do just that.


The province orchestrated a review of the province’s collective bargaining model for fish pricing (SEA-NL had called for its elimination) in light of the chaos in this year’s inshore fishery with prices that have failed to kick-start commercial fisheries.


In term of the 2023 price of snow crab, Derek Butler representing processors/buyers has already warned that record snow crab losses this year ("worse than the moratorium") will impact next year's prices ("if not even more years.")


Salvage in late August.


SEA-NL contacted David Conway over the summer to recommend all submissions be presented in person and live-streamed so that the inshore fleet can be better educated on the current collective bargaining model, its strengths and weaknesses, and seafood pricing in other jurisdictions.

SEA-NL argued that if interviews/submissions are live-streamed through such free mediums as Facebook live, fishermen will tune in, absorb the information, and better contribute to the debate/question of how to improve the fish pricing model.


Fishermen will not read through hundreds of pages of submissions, nor should they.


David Conway responded to say government set the format, and it was too late to change.


It is never too late, and the fishery is desperate for change.


Ryan Cleary, Executive Director, SEA-NL Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization serving as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. You can read more about SEA-NL, and join us here.

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