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MP Small calls on Trudeau to protect Cdn crab markets; encourages Japan to sanction Russian product

According to Clifford Small, MP for Coast of Bays-Central-Notre Dame and DFO critic for the federal Conservatives, Russian snow crab — sales of which were banned into the U.S. last June over that country's war in Ukraine — has been flooding the Japanese market, stopping sales of Canadian crab there dead in the water.

Newfoundland and Labrador's snow crab fishery is Canada's largest, with a 2022 landed value of $758 million — 21% more than 2021's landed value of $624 million, and more than all other commercial fisheries combined.

In a press release, Small said 30% of snow crab landed in Atlantic Canada has traditionally been purchased by Japan, but sales to the Japanese last year were practically non-existent.

As a result, he said 30% of East Coast snow crab remains in inventory.

At the same time, Small said sales of Russian crab into Japan skyrocketed by 400% this past October.

"At a time when the world is placing sanctions on Russia for their unnecessary war on Ukraine, these purchases are leaving Atlantic Canadian harvesters dumbfounded," said Small, adding he brought the issue to the attention of DFO Minister Joyce Murray last October, but no action was taken.

Small urged Prime Minister Justin Trudeau — who was scheduled to meet in Ottawa today with Japanese PM Kishida Fumio to encourage Japan "to place sanctions on Russian crab and restore markets for the Atlantic Canadian Fishing Industry."

Well done Clifford Small — keep given 'er.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

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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