This afternoon, the Shrimp Committee met virtually with President Greg Pretty and Secretary-Treasurer Jason Spingle to state their intentions to not go down without a fight.
The 4R Shrimp Fleet has endured significant challenges for several years and continues to face a more dire situation with another quota cut in the gulf and, for the third consecutive year, failure to for processors to pay a fair price to get a spring fishery going.
“The spring fishery is the traditional time for the gulf and is not only better for harvesters and processors regarding catch rates and yields, but also no doubt better for the resource” said long-time fleet chair Rendell Genge of Anchor Point.
The Price Setting Panel selected the ASP position of $1.08 – a price that the 4R Fleet cannot afford to fish for. This fleet has no other species to fish, and they are looking for solutions.
In the meantime, Quebec harvesters have been fishing all spring for an average price that is more than 20% higher. In addition, two 4R vessels were able to obtain ice from an independent source, and following good fishing sailed their catch all the way to Gaspe, Quebec, where they received $1.48. While other boats were going to follow suit, harvesters were told ice is now unavailable. Also, given the quality of the product at least one out-of-province buyer has offered to pay for the fuel for the boats to come and get ice and get back to the fishing grounds.
The Fleet recognize that the Premier’s direct involvement in the snow crab helped to get a resolution and given the crucial importance of this fishery and the 400+ jobs including the three (3) processing plants located in Port au Choix, Anchor Point and St. Anthony, there are asking for similar intervention.
“You cannot compare us to anyone else fishing shrimp in this province and all we’re fighting for is a price that will allow us to try and make it here, so we’re willing to discuss this with the buyers,” said committee member Jason Spence from Port aux Choix.
President Pretty will reach out to Minister Davis on a mediator and also the Premier noting the people of the Northern Peninsula deserve this attention.