“A lot of people are going to be hurting” that’s the assessment of at least one crab harvester as those involved in the fishery gathered at Confederation Building today to protest the price set for snow crab this year.
The event was organized by FISH-NL.
The price set by the Fish Price Setting Panel is $4.55 cents a pound. That’s below the recommendation made by the FFAW.
The price set for harvesters in the Maritimes is more than $5.00 a pound.
Harvesters are concerned that with declining stocks they won’t be able to make a go of it.
— Gerri Lynn Mackey (@GerriLynnMackey) April 6, 2018
Max and Maryann Hynes of Southern Harbour just bought a second enterprise and they’re afraid they’ll go under.
“This is it for us” says Maryann through tears. She says they recently bought a second enterprise and their whole life is based on the fishery. She’s fearful they’ll lose everything.
Provincial Fisheries Minister Gerry Byrne says while there’s little government can do, he offered a reminder that the price set is a minimum.
He says it’s not necessarily the final price that’s paid and there are “usually” bonuses offered.
FFAW Offices Closed
Meanwhile, several crab harvesters who were hoping to pick up personal licenses for the coming season were out of luck at the FFAW Building this afternoon.
The building was locked with no way for fish harvesters to access the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board which is located in the same building as the FFAW.
Mitchell Dalton is a fisherman from St. Mary’s Bay. He says it’s an inconvenience for him not being able to get his license while he’s in St. John’s today.
Dalton admits it’s a bit of an annoyance finding the doors locked and not being able to access the certification board when he needs it.
A spokesperson with the FFAW meanwhile, says there were no senior union officials in the building this afternoon and following what they say were threats of violence posted to the Newfoundland Fisherman’s Forum Facebook page today, they decided to close the doors and sent staff home.
The spokesperson says President Keith Sullivan is meeting with DFO officials today to discuss the crab management plan.