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Update on Gulf Shrimp

May 14, 2020

Today a call was held between the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and Gulf Shrimp stakeholders from Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick and Quebec. Stakeholders highlighted the very significant challenges facing the Gulf Shrimp fishery, particularly the impact the pandemic has had on the demand for cooked and peeled shrimp.

Processors have noted that if conditions do not improve, there is a strong possibility that there will be no inshore shrimp fishery this year.

Shrimp harvesting requires large vessels, with extremely high costs for fuel and constant repair to vessels and gear due to wear and tear. On the Northern Peninsula, three shrimp plants and hundreds of plant workers depend on the shrimp fishery for survival. The value of this fishery to these harvesters, plant workers and communities cannot be overstated.
The 4R shrimp fleet does not have opportunities in other fisheries to make up for the loss in Gulf Shrimp. Unfortunately, unless this fishery begins, new federal programs to support the industry in the pandemic will not benefit the fleet.

“While we are glad to see other fisheries up and running and much needed federal support flowing to the industry, not being able to fish puts our fleet in a very different, very difficult situation,” said Ren Genge, Chair of the 4R Shrimp Fleet. “Our fleet will be working with our Union, our counterparts in Quebec and New Brunswick to advocate for programs to help us through what could be a devastating year for the shrimp fishery.”