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Panel sets lobster-pricing formula to start season; record prices expected (minus FFAW's 2¢/lb cut)

The province's fish-pricing panel has decided that the formula for calculating the 2022 price paid to the inshore fleet for lobster will be based straight-up on market prices from the United States as published by the Urner Barry seafood index. Processors had wanted an extra 15¢ knocked off that price, which the panel rejected.

The lobster dories of Lark Harbour, Bay of Islands (2019 photo).

That said, the FFAW still gets its 2¢/lb cut.

Which I bring up at every opportunity because the union brought in that levy without the clear consent of the membership — which should not happen in 2022. (Even DFO NL recently polled owner-operators on proposed changes to vessel length.)

During the Lobster season, which begins this month, the price to the inshore fleet is adjusted each week by the exchange rate, and the U.S. market price.

Under this province's pricing formula, the lobster fleet is paid around 70% of the Canadian dollar value of the average live market price for lobsters as reported by Urner Barry price listings in the United States.

The opening lobster price to the inshore fleet in mid April last year was $9.96/lb, dipping as low as $6.91/lb over the course of the 13-week season.


CTV News used the adjective "skyrocket" this week to describe the direction of lobster prices, while the National Post said industry fears that lobster demand in China and the United States are making Atlantic lobster too expensive for Canadians.

Wharf prices in Nova Scotia reached as high as $19.50/lb two weeks ago, although they've since dropped to between $12/lb-$14.50/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 Please sign SEA-NL's petition to the House of Commons on non-core commercial fishing licences here.

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