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Quin-Sea/Royal Greenland stopped buying 3Ps cod over the weekend (& there should be consequences)

It’s not good enough that Quin-Sea/Royal Greenland stopped buying cod from the inshore fleet in 3Ps this past Saturday — at a time of year when Placentia Bay fish is at its best in terms of quality and yield. The province must either issue more processing licenses, or insist that existing companies buy all product landed. It's one or the other — government can't have it both ways.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government approved the sale of Quin-Sea Fisheries to Royal Greenland in 2016. At the time, Quin-Sea operated a half-dozen plants in the province (the largest one in Old Perlican) processing about 11,000 tonnes of seafood a year.


ROYAL GREENLAND GETTING OFF TOO EASY

Quin-Sea should not be permitted to cherry pick the species the company is willing to buy from inshore boats when too often there is no other buyer (or company prepared to buy).


In failing to act, the provincial government stands with processing companies whose cartel-like behaviour is undeniable.


While DFO preaches that owner-operators must maintain control over their licences, the provincial government chains the fleet to a limited number of foreign and domestic processing companies that control key aspects of their fishing operations.


Not all owner-operators are owned by processors, but many might as well be.


Independence to small boats is a joke when they're told when to fish, how much to land, penalized for even speaking out publicly, and prevented from moving between buyers.


FISH PROCESSING LICENSING BOARD STILL CONSIDERING SNOW CRAB APPLICATIONS

The province's fish processing licensing board is said to be considering applications for new snow crab licenses for Bay Roberts and O'Donnell's, and lifting the cap on existing processing licences like St. Mary's Bay Fisheries, which has a 2.5 million pound limit on the amount it can process.

Once the board makes a recommendation, it's up to the provincial minister responsible for fish processing, Elvis Loveless, to make the final decision.


A recent review of the province's fish pricing system completely ignored the impact of the lack of competition in the processing sector on the inshore fleet.


The review committee did recommend joint federal/provincial fisheries management.


As it stands, Ottawa is responsible for the management of commercial fisheries, while the province oversees processing.


Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) is a professional, non-profit organization that serves as the distinct voice for licensed, independent owner-operator inshore fish harvesters. Visit sea-nl.ca to join. If you have any issues contact me at sea-nl@outlook.com or 709 682 4862.

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