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May 6, 2023

The Lobster Committee met tonight to discuss the most recent counter-offer from ASP days into a second buying stoppage this season. The Committee approved the tentative proposal, and pending signing (as soon as can be arranged) ending the industry stalemate and resuming the competitive lobster fishery.

The primary aspect of the counterproposal is to remove Thursdays from the price calculation up until Mother’s Day as well as to change the formula from 80% to 70% after $8.00 on the formula table.

The proposal is for 2023 only without prejudice, and harvesters approve on the condition that the new agreement states buyers will buy at the agreed adjustment for the remainder of the season.

“Leaders engaged in significant debate over the implications of the proposal and the situation that processing companies have placed the industry in this year. Harvesters see the stoppage as totally unwarranted and taking place at the onset of an ultra-competitive fishery caused extreme undue stress on harvesters,” says FFAW-Unifor Secretary-Treasurer Jason Spingle. “Lost time and incomes, significant extra labour holding lobsters and the constant worry of losing thousands of lobsters to a storm during in an already difficult year has left an awful bad taste,” Spingle says.

In the end, the majority of the Lobster Committee voted to pass the approval but emphasize the importance of protecting the lobster pricing formula into the future.

Minister Bragg made a commitment for outside buyers for live lobster and FFAW-Unifor expects that by Monday the approval will be finalized. FFAW-Unifor will do everything possible to facilitate outside sales.