Fisherman who vowed to dump shrimp if no buyer stepped forward has found one,,, in Nova Scotia

The La Scie inshore fisherman who vowed to dump his first load of northern shrimp for the season if he couldn’t sell the catch has found a buyer across the Gulf in Nova Scotia.

“Thank God we don’t have to dump it,” says Ryan, who operates the fishing enterprise, Atlantic Blue Too, with his son Josh, the skipper and license holder. “A Nova Scotia buyer has agreed to purchase the shrimp for significantly more than buyers are willing to pay here.”

Most of the province’s shrimp fleets in the Gulf and off the east coast have yet to untie this season, despite the fact the spring price was set on April 24th, and the fishery opened on May 29th.

Buyers have refused to buy at the $1.42/lb price, as set by the government-appointed price-setting panel. A market report prepared for the panel on this year’s shrimp fishery predicted  “good demand, low inventories, and higher prices.”

Ryan’s threat to dump shrimp — which he made earlier this month, only fishing was delayed because of mechanical issues — was meant to shake up the fishery, and get it going.

He won’t know until the shrimp is graded at the wharf in Nova Scotia on Sunday, but Ryan expects the estimated 60,000/lb catch to sell for at least $1.30/lb. Spring shrimp has the highest yield, and earns the best price.

Ryan said shrimp fishermen here in the province had been offered as low as $1.20/lb for their shrimp — 22¢/lb less than the spring price set by the panel.

The FFAW and Association of Seafood Producers returned to the bargaining table this week to negotiate a summer shrimp price. After both sides failed to reach agreement, the decision went to the panel, again, on Wednesday.

The panel must choose either the FFAW’s offer of $1.36/lb, or the ASP’s 90¢/lb. A decision is expected by early next week.

Given the price in Nova Scotia that Ryan has been offered, the panel should side with the FFAW.

“But when the panel sets the price of fish, and the fishery remains dead in the water, it tells you there the pricing system is broken,” said Ryan Cleary, SEA-NL’s Executive Director. “The panel’s day is done.”

Ryan doesn’t expect to make much money from the vessel’s steam to Nova Scotia given the five, 24-hour days, round-trip across the Gulf, and the sky-high price of diesel, and, but he’s prepared to continue the steams until the enterprise’s entire 300,000/lb quota is taken.

“I can tell you that other fishermen are interested in going to the Maritimes to sell their shrimp too,” said Ryan. “It’s that or leave it in the water, and that won’t pay anyone’s bills.”

Contact Ryan Cleary: 682 4862

Terry Ryan of La Scia is available for interviews, but only until 10 a.m. when he plans to tend to his lobster traps.