Shrimp harvest facing difficult challenges, says price-setting panel

Staff ~ The Telegram
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

A?Newfoundland fishery that encountered more than its fair share of headwinds last summer is one step closer to getting underway.
But the panel that sets prices for the fishery is predicting another challenging year for shrimp harvesters and processors.
The province's Standing Price-Setting Panel announced today that fishermen could sell their shrimp for 48 cents per pound.
That's roughly three cents higher than last year, but is unlikely to offset some of the major challenges facing the industry, the panel wrote in its decision.
The three-member government-appointed panel stated that some might not survive another difficult year.
"The harsh realities of the current situation will likely lead to lost fishing enterprises and the closure of some processing facilities in 2010."
The price was set more than a month after the fishery was scheduled to open, and comes just days after a bitter price dispute was resolved in the troubled crab fishery.
Fisheries Minister Clyde Jackman was expressing hope today that the fishery would begin as soon as possible.
But he acknowledged the price would present challenges for both processors and harvesters.
Weak markets, a strong Canadian dollar, punishing tariffs by the European Union and high operating costs are all working against the industry, Jackman explained.
The worldwide economy is also recovering from one of the worst recessions since the Great Depression.
Shrimp landings and overall value took a dramatic drop in 2009, due mainly to a price dispute between harvesters and processors that resulted in a shutdown.
Less than 78,000 tonnes of shrimp was landed in 2009, compared to more than 111,000 tonnes in 2008.
And the overall landed value dipped by nearly 40 per cent to $109 million.
Several other reasons accounted for the reduction, including poor weather in the fall, an abundance of small shrimp, low catch rates, higher operating costs and the EU tarriffs.
Nearly 50 per cent of shrimp exports go to the EU.
According to the provincial government, some 13 shrimp plants operated in 2009, employing almost 2,700 people in 150 communities. Some 265 vessels were involved in the harvest, employing another 1,600 people.

Organizations: European Union

Geographic location: Newfoundland

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page