Terry Ryan of La Scie, who together with his son Josh operate the Atlantic Bluefin Too, vows the boat will start fishing shrimp on Saturday, and if there's no buyer for the 50,000/lbs they expect to have aboard by late Sunday/early Monday when the vessel returns to port, the catch will be dumped as a means to shake up the fishery and get it going.
The 2022 quota for the northern shrimp stock fished by the inshore fleet off southern Labrador and northeastern Newfoundland — known as shrimp fishing area (SFA) 6 — is set at 6,563 tonnes, a 1.1% cut from last year. This year's quota for the shrimp area of the Gulf (area 8) fished by the province's inshore fleet was cut by 19%.
PRICE AND OPENING DATE BOTH SET
The spring shrimp price was set at $1.42/lb on April 24th, and Fisheries and Oceans opened the fishery on Sunday, May 29th (after public complaints by Terry Ryan on VOCM Open Line/The Broadcast), but the inshore fleet has yet to untie because processors say the price is too high.
Which leads back to the increasingly popular question: what's the good of the government-appointed price-setting panel?
By law, the panel had to choose either the $1.42/lb price for northern shrimp the FFAW had on the table, or the 90¢/lb offered by the Association of Seafood Producers, but nowhere in between (which is where the sweet spot in terms of price is often found).
In its written report, the price-setting panel — which relied on a market report prepared by Gemba Seafood Consulting, as well as government statistics, and seafood media reports — said the 2022 shrimp market looks positive (it still does).
The report quoted the Gemba report as predicting "good demand, low inventories, and higher prices."
Canadian cold-water shrimp also continues to have a trade advantage in the markets of the United Kingdom over Russia, Greenland, and the U.S., which have yet to secure trade deals.
The fall shrimp price was set in September at $1.30/lb (even though most of the quota had been caught by then)
For shrimp fishermen like the Ryans who are done with snow crab, and haven't invested in turbot, the shrimp fishery is their sole focus.
For most of the boats in the 4R fleet in the Gulf, shrimp is the only fishery.
Not only that, but the panel recommended the fleet catch more shrimp in spring when the yields are at their best.
Terry Ryan says if shrimp is dumped he will compensate the crew out of his own pocket.
Ryan advises the FFAW and Association of Seafood Producers to get back to the negotiating table ASAP, and he's right of course.
This is just an embarrassment.
Executive Director, SEA-NL
To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit sea-nl.ca