Too cute by half; processor still pays $6.15/lb for crab (minus $2.22/lb plus tax for ‘services')

Green's Seafood Ltd. is telling inshore boats they must sign a document before leaving the wharf agreeing to a "service fee" of $2.22/lb (plus HST) for services such as the supply of ice, offloading, discharging, freight, and logistics or the company won't buy the snow crab when they land.

An owner-operator forwarded SEA-NL the agreement distributed today by Green's Seafood Ltd., whose crab is processed by Quinlan's plant in Baie de Verde.

The cost of such "services" are normally included in the price per pound paid to the inshore fleet, and appear to be a way around paying the $6.15/lb "binding" price imposed by the province's price-setting panel on May 16th.

After paying for the extra "services" owner-operators will walk away $$3.70/lb — $2.45/lb less than the negotiated price.

SEA-NL alerted provincial Fisheries Minister Derek Bragg Tuesday to the fact that processors are offering owner-operators less than the negotiated price for crab price, but he did not respond.

Plus SEA-NL posted the information here earlier this morning: At least one processor offers inshore boats $4/lb for crab; panel system of pricing has collapsed

The panel system of fish pricing — which involves a three-person, government-appointed board deciding the price of fish if the FFAW and processors can't agree — has most definitely collapsed.

The inshore fleet won’t fish for prices set by the panel, and processors won’t buy for any more than what they’re prepared to pay. That’s the case this season with northern shrimp, sea cucumber, capelin, and now snow crab.

More than that, the events are becoming a joke, and the longer the province ignores the great big fat elephant on the wharf that is the breakdown of the price-setting system, the more the laugher will be at their expense.

As for the FFAW, the union imposed a 2¢/lb levy earlier this year on every pound of lobster landed in the province without the express approval of members.

Ryan Cleary,

Executive Director, SEA-NL

To read more about SEA-NL, or to join the non-profit organization please visit

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