Fishermen hope to net profits

Aaron
Aaron Beswick
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Must contend with higher fuel prices as they gear up for shrimp and crab

Scattered snowflakes drift past the bridge of the North Queen as the crew talk ice and wind.

Outside, a forklift and wharfhands mill about loading ice into the 65-footer's hold.

Anchor Point's North Queen was in St. Anthony last week, preparing for its first shrimp trip of the year.

Ice is loaded into the North Queen's hold to keep the shrimp cool and fresh for the return trip to the plant. Photo by Aaron Beswick/The Northern Pen

St. Anthony - Scattered snowflakes drift past the bridge of the North Queen as the crew talk ice and wind.

Outside, a forklift and wharfhands mill about loading ice into the 65-footer's hold.

Anchor Point's North Queen was in St. Anthony last week, preparing for its first shrimp trip of the year.

Skipper John Plowman's ice chart showed a wide band caging the Northern Peninsula and Labrador, covering much of the shrimp grounds. He was to guide the North Queen, with its four-foot by 10-foot ribs and fibreglass-over-wood hull, through the ice until he finds open water to set the trawl. The forecast called for 70 km/h winds that night.

Shrimp prices are up an average 10 cents per pound - landed at the plant - over last year's prices, but marine diesel is up 30 cents a litre to $1.08. The North Queen will burn some $10,000 a day of each five-day trip.

"Yeah, it's expensive," said owner Oswald Genge. "But we'll still be flat-out until September."

Northern Peninsula wharves were busy last week as boats returned from the ice floes, usually with only a few seal pelts, geared up for shrimp or crab and headed back out again. The North Queen got seven pelts this year.

Talk of seals brought news of Avalon Peninsula boats taking upwards of 3,000 seals over a few days.

"You couldn't pay me to clean 700 seals a day," said Hedley Taylor. "Not even for $100 a pelt - 300 a day is plenty."

As wharf workers poured ice into the boat's hold to keep the shrimp cool, the crew heads back down on deck to sew a mat to their trawl to protect the netting when it's dragged along the ocean floor.

"Haul on that there," said Plowman.

Genge grabs the mat Colin Noseworthy's standing on and pulls, sending his crewmate to the floor. Something close to a giggling fit follows.

Once the North Queen fills its shrimp quota, the crew will fill its decks with crab pots and head back out to catch crab at $1.61 per pound.

Geographic location: St. Anthony, Northern Peninsula, Anchor Point

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments