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April 26, 2023

Harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are facing another crisis in the fishery – this time with lobster – with companies refusing to buy because they claim the formula-calculated price is not to their liking.

Today’s formula calculation is based on market prices and puts the harvester share at $14.37 per pound. The ASP position at Panel would have put the price at 14.20, 17 cents lower. While this number is expected to drop in the coming weeks as fisheries open throughout the Atlantic Canada, this starting price is an all-time high for Newfoundland and Labrador harvesters. As a result, companies are colluding to shut down all fisheries in Newfoundland and Labrador that don’t eliminate their share of the risk.

As it stands, there is a standstill in snow crab, shrimp and lobster fisheries throughout Newfoundland and Labrador. These are the three largest fisheries in our province. Harvesters are demanding a fair market share.

“It’s clear the system in Newfoundland and Labrador is broken when a handful of companies have our entire fishery held hostage,” says FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty. “We’ve got tens of thousands of people who don’t know if they’ll be able to make a living this year. The licensing program in this province is a trainwreck that rewards the merchants and impoverishes harvesters and communities. So once again, we’re asking for an urgent meeting with the Premier to discuss this emergency situation,” says Pretty. “There’s no doubt in my mind that this is revenge on crab harvesters’ inability to fish at 2.20,” he adds.

FFAW-Unifor is holding a virtual meeting for all lobster chairs this evening, and an update will be provided when available.