Corporate Concentration and how it has caused a crisis in our fishery:
Corporate Concentration refers to the extent to which a small number of enterprises account for a large proportion of economic activity such as total sales, assets or employment. Less corporate concentration in the fishery and more processing licenses in the hands of different companies will create competition and attract investment in the industry in Newfoundland and Labrador. Corporate concentration in the fishery is nothing new, but many may not realize why this fight is so important for the province and its coastal communities.
We are calling on harvesters to join us in lobbying new government to acknowledge that long-term sustainability in the fishing sector needs less corporate concentration, more processing licenses in the hands of different companies, and more outside competition. For years, FFAW has been vocal about a corporate monopoly that is hurting rural Newfoundland and Labrador and robbed the fishery of the flexibly and innovation that it needs. It is time for a provincial government to commit to our recommendation to enact regulations that mirror the purpose of the new federal Owner-Operator and Fleet Separation regulations.
Processing companies control a greater share of the inshore fishery with every year that passes and they are not held to account. The impact has been terrible for the fishery – the price of licenses is incredibly inflated, creating significant barriers for new entrants. The pervasiveness of controlling agreements is setting up an environment whereby the next generation of harvesters will not see the benefits of owner-operator and processing companies will control the plants and the quota in the ocean.