Skip to content


May 20, 2021

May 20, 2021 – FFAW-Unifor is frustrated and disappointed with DFO’s 2021 decision on the total allowable catch for Northern shrimp in shrimp fishing area 6 (SFA 6) – the only area where most harvesters have access.

The Northern shrimp stock in SFA 6 has shown strong signs of growth in the past two years, with the stock growing by more than 40% from 2020 to 2021. With DFO’s consideration of the stock to be in the critical zone, the exploitation rate of the fishery for the past three years has been set at a historically low level of 10%.

It was the expectation of harvesters and other stakeholders in SFA 6 that the exploitation rate would remain consistent in 2021, and that the quota would increase in step with the growth in the stock. However, DFO has lowered the exploitation rate for 2021 to 8%. Instead of a 40% increase in quota, harvesters will receive a 15% increase in 2021.

“There is no logic to this decision,” says Keith Sullivan, FFAW-Unifor President. “Why decrease the exploitation rate when the stock is getting stronger? There appears to be a double standard with exploitation rates. In other shrimp fishing area, like SFA 4 and 5, where only offshore corporate-owned vessels are permitted, the exploitation rates are much higher despite the overall size of the stock being much smaller.”

“FFAW has repeatedly stated that DFO science and resource management have made decisions that cater to environmental groups,” Sullivan continued. “Environmental groups, who have no economic interest in the fishery, have an outsized voice in setting quota levels for those who depend on the resource for their livelihood. This is a deep insult to harvesters.”