FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Saturday, June 11, 2022
Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) demands the provincial government allow owner-operators to truck snow crab out of province given some local processors have stopped buying.
“If processors will not buy crab then fishermen who can find mainland buyers must be able to truck out their crab or the entire industry will shut down,” says Jason Sullivan, President of SEA-NL and a Bay Bulls fisherman. “There are no jobs left to protect.”
At least two processing companies, Notre Dame Seafoods and Quinlan’s, reportedly stopped buying crab on Friday.
The news follows a May 30th press release in which the Association of Seafood Producers, which represents most of the province’s fish processors/buyers, said plants would be limiting or stopping snow crab production because the market is “not operating as usual.”
According to DFO’s most recent statistics, 27% or almost 14,000 tonnes of the province’s 50,000-tonne 2022 snow crab quota remains in the water.
Snow crab is the province’s most lucrative fishery, with a 2021 landed value of $623 million that was projected to grow to more than $800 million this year given the price, and 32% quota increase
The price per pound paid to the inshore fleet began the 2022 season at $7.60, the same as last year, but dropped to $6.15 in mid May.
Processors have also refused to pay the currency provision that takes into account the US-Canada exchange rate, which should have increased the price of crab to the inshore fleet to $6.22/lb for three weeks in May.