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Fish Harvesters Shortchanged by 2018 Crab Price Decision

April 4, 2018

Today the Fish Price Setting Panel announced their decision to side with the proposal put forward by the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) to set this year’s Snow Crab Price at $4.55. The Panel’s decision is very disappointing to fish harvesters as it ignores the fact that the market is significantly better than in 2017 and is based upon an ASP submission that lacked evidence, fact and argument.

“This decision is frustrating for fish harvesters who will see another reduction in their quota for 2018,” said Keith Sullivan, President of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor). “Compounding this frustration is the fact that harvesters in the Maritimes are receiving greater than $5.00 per pound for snow crab.”

The FFAW-Unifor negotiating team, consisting of elected harvesters from around the province, did an exceptional job in getting ASP to a position that is already a higher minimum price than in 2017. The evidence presented by the negotiating team clearly pointed to a market that can support prices of $4.80 and above for harvesters.

Fish harvesters in the province are facing another difficult year with the decline of several species, including snow crab. This year, quota cuts are expected for many, on top of an overall cut of 22 percent in 2017. In previous years, a strong price helped to offset reduced quotas.