Harvesters Won’t Fish for Panel Price, Colossal Failure of Price Setting Panel Continues

Thursday, June 20, 2024, ST. JOHN’S, NL – Capelin harvesters in Newfoundland and Labrador are expressing staunch opposition to the offer selected by the Price Setting Panel for the 2024 capelin fishery. The offer from the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) fails to provide a fair distribution of value and highlights the total failure of the price setting system in the province, and harvesters are refusing to fish.

“The ask here is straightforward—capelin harvesters are seeking a fair share of the value derived from the capelin fishery. We are proposing a formula-based system that would account for market uncertainties and ensure that the value is evenly split between processors and harvesters. We need to guarantee that at least half the value of the fishery remains with the workers in Newfoundland and Labrador,” explains FFAW-Unifor President Greg Pretty.

“If ASP members are serious about this being a shared industry under threat, then give us our fair share,” says Trevor Jones, fish harvester and Negotiating Committee member. “If the Province is serious about preserving the inshore fishery and keeping the value of the fishery in the hands of workers in this province, then they have to take a stronger stance. A minimum price must be a fair price,” says Jones.

Unjust Profit Distribution

FFAW-Unifor has repeatedly highlighted significant disparities in earnings between harvesters and processors. Last year, processors reportedly paid $0.95 per pound to process capelin and earned $0.25 per pound, while harvesters were paid an average of $0.175 per pound of landed capelin. This led to processors earning $6.9 million, compared to the harvesters’ $4.8 million.

“To share that value evenly, harvesters would have needed roughly a 20% raise, or a $0.30 Grade A price,” says FFAW-Unifor Price Negotiations Lead, Abe Solberg. “This would have resulted in a 50% share to both harvesters and processors.”

Urgent Call to Action

The harvesters have submitted a new offer to ASP, proposing a formula-based system that splits the value of the capelin fishery evenly while accounting for production costs. The offer includes a “true-up” payment mechanism to adjust for market increases, ensuring fair compensation for harvesters as market conditions change.

“Time is rapidly ticking on the capelin fishery, and we need to set a fair price. There will be no fishery at all on the northeast coast if a price is not set before capelin arrive,” warns Pretty.

The full Press Conference can be viewed on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ffawunifor

Media Inquiries:  Courtney Glode, Director of Public Affairs, [email protected]

Courtney Glode (she/her)
Director of Public Affairs

T: 709-576-7276

M: 709-743-4445
368 Hamilton Ave.

St. John’s NL A1E 1K2

[email protected]



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