They won't fish

Shawn Hayward
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FFAW members agree to tie on to push for higher crab prices

Members of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) won’t fish until processers offer them a better price for crab.

Members of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union (FFAW) prepare for their meeting in Clarenville on April 4. The fishers vowed not to fish until processors offer a better price for crab.

The fishing union held a short-notice meeting that filled the Clarenville Events Centre theatre and spilled out into the hallway today. FFAW president Earl McCurdy says support for a boat tie up was strong among the 400-plus crowd.

“It was very clear at the meeting people aren’t going fishing at those prices,” he says. “It couldn’t be more clear. People are fed up of being treated like that, to be led down the garden path all winter and have the rug pulled out from under them now, without fighting back.”

A government-appointed panel determines the price of the various species after hearing recommendations from both the FFAW and the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP). This year ASP first asked for a crab price of $1.55 per pound, and the union offered $2.15.

In the second round of negotiations ASP raised its offer to $1.83, FFAW reduced its offer to $2, and the panel chose the ASP offer, a dip from $1.95 last year and $2.15 in 2011.

McCurdy says the fishers were expecting a higher price this year based on what processing companies were indicating over the winter, and many invested in larger quotas to take advantage of the expected price increase.

“I can’t recall seeing it this extreme where so many companies that don’t normally operate like that were out projecting really good prices," he says. ”We were bombarded with calls from harvesters saying we aren’t going fishing for that price.”

McCurdy says he hopes the tie up will get processors back at the table offering a higher price than $1.83 per pound.

“We’ll notify the companies of what transpired and that we’ll negotiate. It makes sense for them to come back and work something out so we can get the fishery started,” he says. 


Organizations: Association of Seafood Producers, Clarenville Events Centre theatre

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Recent comments

  • Capt.Construction
    April 11, 2013 - 21:08

    I personally think that everyone in business deserves a fair shake at growing their business and I applaud fishermen entrepreneurs who risk everything to make a living on the sea . Like every business there is many factors that an be challenging and you risk losing everything in this volatile business climate, however I must point out to Captain Black that he has some great advantages to other business operating ie construction. Our fuel prices are not subsidized and with multiple pieces of equipment @$1.50 liter our fuel has always been an issue, in terms of safety training we have every employee trained in multiple costly courses and have to maintain standards , constant audits, all vehicles are annually inspected, etc. To my knowledge and I stand to be corrected your employees payroll taxes, cpp, UI premium , etc. are also paid by the buyers of your product, another tremendous savings, In addition captains of enterprises or fisher person business owners can utilize Employment benifits during off season!! Other seasonal business owners do not qualify! Well , when you see these unique differences fishing business owners have and that the rest of us cannot avail of , one cannot wonder if fair is fair, I think not!

  • Kevin
    April 06, 2013 - 11:48

    It's time for the fishermen to buy out the procrssors and than they can set their own prices according to the marketts. The price of crab,cod and other ground fish have trippled in the food stores across thios country, I know because I travel across this country on a regular basis; so why is it that these fish processing plant owners are lieing about the privces down in the marketts? It's time for Newfoundlanders to take back control of the most important resourse that canada has the fish, to you that no little about the economy and natural resources; the food that comes from the oceans are renewable and should be protected with every ounce of government support. The oil , gold and other minnerals will be depleated one day and the fishermen will be the only people that will have a job and employment in Newfoundland, so to the rightwing biggots take of the blinders and stop sniffing the drugs. And to the unions, shame on you!!!!!

  • Rk oneil
    April 05, 2013 - 06:14

    How will they requalify for the pokey?.

  • captain black
    April 04, 2013 - 21:05

    Today was the first time in 25 years that i was proud to be a member of the ffaw union and proud to be a newfoundland fisherperson.The fact that we stood together to fight this injustice of fish (crab) prices and will continue to stand together until all fisherpeoples are treated the same make me proud to be a newfoundlander. In 2000 i received a price of $2.75 plus .25 cents for a total price of $3.00 per pound for my crab,fuel was .28 cents a litre,bait was .34 cents a pound, and vic young was running FPI .Under our government of the day both liberal and pc parties done nothing but watch as NEOS took over fpi and removed MR.YOUNG.Our present gov.has done nothing but allowed companies like OCI to ship out our fish to places like china to create jobs oversea,those same resources that our families menbers went off to war and in some cases gave their lives to help protect . What we want is to receive the same prices for our product as fishers in nova scotia are receiving . We want the same rights that was granted OCI, the right to have outside buyers on our wharf to buy our fish so we can received a fair price. Today i was offered a price of $1.83 per pound,fuel is now .89 cents a litre ,bait is between $1.20 -$1.47 per pound ,all crews must have med a1 ,radio license,advanced first aid ,quota is cut 21,000 lbs and two fourth class skipper,insurance has double and safety equipments has increased 200%. THE ONLY WAY I CAN PAID MY BILLS AND CREW A DECENT WAGE IS RECEIVE A GOOD AND FAIR PRICE FOR MY PRODUCTS OR I MUST SELL OR LET THE BANK TAKE BACK MY ENTERPRIZE . PS DON;WORRY BE HAPPY .

  • Duffy
    April 04, 2013 - 17:15

    Same old thing every year. No wonder suppliers can never expect NL products. They should buy from New England or some other reliable place. They will fish after they complain for awhile. The boat owners with the quotas make big money and the crews make a little but get EI twice a year so they fish.