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Signs of squid positive as price negotiations underway

August 17, 2018

This week FFAW entered into negotiations with ASP for squid prices. The parties were not able to reach an agreement and price submissions were heard by the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel on August 16th. Your Union is seeking a per pound price of 85 cents, which is 11 cents higher than last year. ASP is proposing to maintain last year’s price of 74 cents. The Panel must select either our position or ASPs. The Panel’s decision will be released by Wednesday next week.

The price of squid bait has been an ongoing frustration for harvesters for several years. Since 2014, the price of bait has doubled from just over $1.00 per pound to $2.10 per pound this year. To put this in perspective, the price of squid bait in 2018 was more than the per pound price of snow crab in 2013. The increased prices are the result of a reliance on imported squid from Argentina, which has dramatically increased in price over the past few years.

A better squid price is expected to draw more interest in the squid fishery, which could result in much higher landings. As NL squid is also used for bait, a significant increase in landings will produce lower bait prices by reducing the need to import more expensive bait from Argentina. As well, an 85 cent per pound price will be a record high in the province and provide harvesters with better and fairer compensation for their efforts.

Like capelin, squid populations are reported to be flourishing this year. We are hopeful this is a sign that this season’s squid fishery will bring in large volumes and provide extra income for both harvesters and plant workers in our province.