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Capelin harvesters further entrench their 2014 price gains_suffix

June 26, 2015

The FFAW and ASP have reached an agreement on the 2015 capelin price, which keeps in place the 2014 prices. This is a significant positive development for the capelin fishery.

In 2014, the Panel endorsed the FFAW’s position of a two-tiered pricing system and higher prices. Under the two-tiered pricing system, most capelin that was landed was subject to the minimum price. Before the two-tiered system, less than 20% of all capelin was subject to the minimum price. As a result, most capelin prices were negotiated directly between the harvester and processer, undermining the benefit of collective bargaining for harvesters.

The other important step forward in 2014 involved prices. From 2009 to 2013, the minimum price for capelin never exceeded 10 cents a pound. Given that most sales of capelin did not meet the minimum requirements, the actual price of capelin was often less than 10 cents a pound. In 2014, the minimum price for Price “A” capelin was raised to a minimum of 15 cents a pound, a fifty percent increase, while the Price “B” amount was set at a minimum of 10 cents a pound. In 2014, the actual per pound price paid to harvesters was 14.4 cents a pound; in 2013 it was 9.1 cents.

So why is maintaining this price such an accomplishment in 2015? In 2014, the FFAW needed the Panel’s authority to back up its position as ASP rejected the Union’s ideas; in 2015, ASP accepted the FFAW’s position. The gains of 2014 were not a blip in time, rather they were the start of a move to a new normal in the capelin fishery. Now is the time to focus on increasing the value of our capelin fishery and to work to ensure that harvesters receive a fair share of increased values.