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Shock and disappointment; summer shrimp price $1.10/lb

A week after it was asked to decide the summer shrimp price, the province’s fish price setting panel has gone with $1.10/lb — the price put forward by processors over the FFAW offer of $1.22/lb.

The union issued a statement to say the panel’s decision ignored “real and persuasive evidence” that the market for cold-water shrimp is improving, and will be much stronger come September.

That evidence will be outlined in the panel’s written decision, which still isn’t released.

Indeed, most shrimp will be landed in June, July and August, but not exported to markets like the United Kingdom and the European Union until the fall by which time markets are expected to improve.

As the FFAW stated, “Processors will benefit from the improved market later in the year, but harvesters will not.”

Most harvesters (SEA-NL included) expected the panel to go with $1.22/lb.

Again, if the panel is making decisions that don’t result in harvesters getting the best possible price for their product then what’s the use of the panel system of fish pricing?

No use.

An estimated 75-80% of harvesters in NL’s Gulf shrimp fleet (fishing zone 4R) are not paid bonuses. On April 29th, the fish price setting panel set the spring shrimp price at $1/lb, but the Gulf fleet remained tied up in protest of the low price.

More to come.

Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL

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