Hundreds of fish harvesters, along with labour leaders and politicians from all three political parties packed into the Bella Vista Thursday to demonstrate about the state of the shrimp fishery.
In the face of news that northern shrimp stocks are falling the Fish Food and Allied Workers union wants greater priority to be given to inshore harvesters over the larger boats in the offshore fleet.
“Over 3,000 people are directly employed by the inshore northern shrimp fishery, including 250 owner-operated enterprises with 1,500 crew members and 1,500 workers in 10 shrimp processing plants,” literature from the FFAW said.
In recent years, under the controversial “last-in, first-out” quota setting policy, inshore harvesters bore the brunt of quota reductions, although the new Liberal government elected in October has promised to revisit that policy.
Following a rally at the Bella Vista, people are planning on heading up to the Holiday Inn where the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee is holding meetings today.
More to come