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SEA-NL questions legitimacy of fish pricing review; skippers not involved, study wasn’t broad enough

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Monday, Oct. 17th, 2022

Seaward Enterprises Association of Newfoundland and Labrador (SEA-NL) questions the legitimacy of the review of the province’s broken fish price-setting system when the consultant didn’t consult inshore skippers.

“The consultant didn't hold a single meeting with the more than 3,200 licensed inshore enterprise owners in this province when their livelihoods hang on the price of fish,” says Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director.

“Usually when government considers changing laws they consult people, but that didn’t happen with the fish pricing review and the inshore fleet, which raises the question whether this government sees fishermen as people. That sounds as ludicrous as not including owner operators in the review of fish pricing.”

The report of the review of this province's legislated fish price-setting system recommends tweaking the existing final offer-selection model, as well as continuing with the ban on strikes and lockouts.

The report also recommends negotiations begin this fall towards developing a formula to determine the 2023 price of snow crab, similar to the formulas that determine lobster and halibut prices.

The consultant rejected the idea of an electronic auction pilot project, and didn’t entertain the suggestion of outside buyers, which apparently fell outside the review’s mandate. So too did the control that some processors (foreign and domestic) have over inshore boats, as well as the exclusion of fish pricing from the federal Competition Act.

“Price is irrelevant if there's no buyer, which is the other piece of the collective-bargaining puzzle, and government didn’t even go down that road,” Cleary said.


Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, 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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