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2022 Sea Cucumber Price Decision

May 18, 2022

FFAW-Unifor and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) entered into negotiations for the 2022 price of Sea Cucumber before the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel during the week of May 2nd. An agreement could not be reached, and a hearing was scheduled to take place on Friday, May 6th. This morning, May 18th, the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel released its decision on the 2022 price for Sea Cucumber, accepting the FFAW price offer of $0.68/lb. based on a 27.5% deduction for water. The minimum price is effective immediately.

The price position of the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) was $0.55/lb. which is $0.05/lb. lower than their offer last spring, and $0.15/lb. lower than the actual price of $0.70/lb. Using the deductions ASP put forward for water and other factors, the FFAW price of $0.68/lb. is roughly equivalent to $0.74/lb., which is $0.04/lb. (5.7%) above last years’ price paid to harvesters.

Sea Cucumber is an emerging fishery in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the 2021 price decision for the species was significantly impacted by a lack of information available to the Panel. Instead of addressing a lack of transparency from processors, the Panel positioned that lack of information against harvesters, setting a low price and a new grading protocol that was not properly negotiated or explained to fish harvesters. The Panel noted in today’s Decision that it is frustrated by the lack of undisputed information on the Sea Cucumber fishery. Consequently, the actual usable raw material landed in previous years and the associated average raw material prices cannot be accurately determined.

It was also noted by the Panel in its 2022 Decision that a year-over-year comparison of exchange rates shows an improvement this year compared with the same time in 2021. The ASP price for 2022 was based on their determination of actual net weight of landed product, which they indicate in 2021 included a 34% average deduction for water, and 2.42% deduction for other unusable material. The ASP offer was 22% lower than last year’s $0.70/lb. price.

Thank you to the Sea Cucumber Negotiating Committee for your hard work and insights leading up to and during the negotiation process. You performed an outstanding service to your fellow harvesters.