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More inshore shrimp boats steaming to Nova Scotia to sell their catch

Jimmylee Foss of La Scie — owner-operator of the 68-footer Ocean Surfer II — is the latest inshore fisherman to steam to Nova Scotia with a full load of northern shrimp. As a first-year owner, Jimmylee says every cent counts, and it is important for other enterprise owners to know they have options other than selling shrimp to buyers here in Newfoundland and Labrador.

The Ocean Surfer II was steaming Thursday morning (July 28th) to Nova Scotia with the boat's first load of shrimp for the season, caught after three and a half days fishing n Area 6 off southern Labrador and northeastern Newfoundland. Catch rates are reported as excellent. Before going at the shrimp the vessel was fishing turbot.

Jimmylee estimates four boats from La Scie alone — including Terry and Josh Ryan who made the first trip in June — are now crossing the Gulf of St. Lawrence to sell their shrimp.

The price in Nova Scotia is better than the $1.20/lb offered by Ocean Choice International in this province. (Terry Ryan expected to get $1.55/lb on his third trip earlier this month.)

Plus, there are no trip limits with mainland buyers.

(From left) Owner-operator Jimmylee Foss; crewmember Nathan Andrews; the entire crew (from left) Andrews, Eric Pinkston, Corey Osbourne, Shannon Martin, and Justin Foss. Bottom picture is fisherman Gerald Foss, whose sons Jimmylee and Justin followed in his footsteps.

The province announced a review last week of the province’s collective bargaining model for fish pricing in light of the chaos in this year’s industry with prices that have failed to kick-start commercial fisheries.

In the case of northern shrimp, processors wouldn’t buy for the panel’s spring price of $1.42/lb, and then the inshore fleet wouldn’t fish for the panel’s summer price of 90¢/lb.

The latest price of $1.20/lb to the inshore fleet was an "interim price" to get the fishery underway while a mediator appointed by the province works with the FFAW and processors to hammer out a longer-term arrangement. (No word on that front.)

David Conway, chair of the province’s Labour Relations Board, will carry out the review of this province's collective bargaining model, which was introduced in 2006. Under the model, strikes or lockouts are prohibited, and panel decisions on prices are binding, meaning prices are not voted on by the fleets.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit

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