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Shrimp price drops for Newfoundland and Labrador fish harvesters after ASP and FFAW worked to find middle ground

Workers process shrimp at a fish plant on Fogo Island. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Workers process shrimp at a fish plant on Fogo Island. - Contributed

Provincial panel reduces price to $1.08 a pound, 10 cents less than its original decision, but in doing so, still sided with the union

After more than a month of wrangling between processors and fish harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador, the province’s Fish Price Setting Panel has set a new price for shrimp for this summer.

The panel has pegged the price at $1.08 a pound, 10 cents lower than the $1.18 price set at the beginning of July. It announced the decision Tuesday.

During initial hearings that began in late June, the ASP had suggested a price of 70 cents per pound, while the FFAW had suggested $1.25.

The matter went to arbitration and the price-setting panel sided with the FFAW.

The latest review by the panel was prompted by an application filed July 10 from the ASP for a price reconsideration.

This time the two sides appeared willing to in finding some middle ground.

The ASP increased its offer on summer shrimp 85 cents per pound, while the FFAW proposed $1.08.

In its decision on July 13, the price-setting panel once again sided with the FFAW.

The ASP did not respond to a request for comment on the decision.

A spokesperson for Ocean Choice International (OCI), one of the members of ASP and one of the major shrimp processors in the province, said the company is still assessing the decision by the panel.

Keith Sullivan, president of the FFAW, told SaltWire he has not heard a lot of feedback regarding the prices, and he has no information on when or if the companies will start buying and processing shrimp.

He did say fishers and plant workers on the west coast of the province are especially anxious for the season to start.

The shrimp fishery is the main fishery for most harvesters along the west coast of the Northern Peninsula, he said, and people who work in shrimp processing plants at Port aux Choix, on the Great Northern Peninsula, and Charlottetown in Labrador have not been called back to work yet. For those plants, shrimp is the main product.

“Everyone is anxious to get going,” said Sullivan.

Twitter: @BarbDeanSimmons


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