FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Thursday, June 2nd, 2022
Terry Ryan (right) and son Josh (skipper) operate the Atlantic Bluefin Too out of La Scie on Newfoundland's northeast coast.
La Scie fisherman Terry Ryan threatens to dump his first load of northern shrimp for the season at an estimated loss of $100,000 if there’s no buyer when the catch lands at the wharf early next week.
“The panel system of fish pricing in this province is not working, and that point must be hammered home,” says Ryan, who together with son Josh operate the Atlantic Bluefin Too. “The fishery needs a good shake, and that’s what we plan to give it.”
While the minimum price paid to the inshore fleet for northern shrimp was set on April 24th — and the inshore fishery off southern Labrador and northeaster Newfoundland (shrimp fishing area 6) opened on May 29th — owner-operators have yet to leave the wharf.
Processors reportedly aren’t prepared to pay the minimum price of $1.42/lb as set by the province’s fish price-setting panel, despite the fact a market report prepared for the panel on this year’s shrimp fishery predicts “good demand, low inventories, and higher prices.”
The panel also recommended the inshore fleet catch more shrimp in spring when yields are at their best, but a spring fishery hasn't taken place in recent years because of DFO's late release of the shrimp management plan, and disputes over price.
“The price-setting panel clearly isn’t working when its prices and recommendations are not respected, and fleets remain tied to the wharf,” says Ryan Cleary, Executive Director of SEA-NL. “
Terry Ryan said his son hopes to start fishing shrimp on Sunday, and if there's no buyer for the 50,000/lbs they expect to have aboard by late Monday/early Tuesday when the vessel lands, the catch will be dumped. The estimated $100,000 loss includes the value of the catch, wages for the crew, supplies, and the cost of fuel.
“The initial reason for establishing the panel was a good one — to avoid buyers not buying, and fishermen not fishing,” said Ryan. “but that’s exactly where we find ourselves again today.”
Executive Director, SEA-NL
To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit sea-nl.ca