Canadian snow crab fishermen add victories but need more

Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab has gained an additional five cents per pound increase in its minimum price, totaling 2.25 per pound.
Live Snow Crab. Photo by: Adobe Stock.
Live Snow Crab. Photo by: Adobe Stock.

Newfoundland and Labrador snow crab has gained an additional five cents per pound increase in its minimum price, totaling 2.25 per pound. This increase is in response to Urner Barry market increases that automatically trigger an increase paid to harvesters. However, despite the good news, the Fish Food and Allied Workers (FFWA-Uniform) has launched a federal support campaign for the collapse of the snow crab industry.

It has been a long and complex story for Canadian snow crab fishermen, although not bat at all. On the one hand, the increasing price after the fishermen and food business problems were finally solved. On the other hand, the hope is that those affected by the pandemic collapse can also be better.

A right price with fair regulations

After a better price, the following discussion of the fishermen is how to limit trips and tolerance. The objective is to ensure that all fishermen can participate in the season. At the moment, throughout this week, possibilities will continue to be discussed. It is expected to have a response for Monday, 12 June, when the price table will also be updated.

However, it still needs financial support

The FFAW-Unifor campaign seeks to support those affected by the post-pandemic collapse in the snow crab fishery. The detailed proposal includes requests for income support for fishermen, fishery workers, and business owners to address this year's significant revenue shortfall and provide the assistance needed to get them through to next season.

The fishery plays a fundamental role in the economic development of coastal communities. With more than 7500 Newfoundlanders and Labradors relying primarily on crab, this activity becomes even more crucial. However, the current crisis has multiple causes, including the consequences of COVID-19, the challenges of Ukrainian invasion and Russia's takeover of Japanese seafood markets. These factors have contributed to the market price collapse and caused a 70% drop off from last year. The federal level must intervene to protect the crisis, considering this unusual downturn in the snow crab fishery.

"Our members are facing serious income shortages this year and inshore enterprises are facing bankruptcy. In place of proposing complicated and convoluted changes to the federal employment insurance system for fish harvesters, we're proposing a non-repayable grant program. These funds would provide the economic assistance needed to protect the existing investment and infrastructure of the inshore, owner-operator fishery and the rural communities that rely on the industry, so that these people can make it to next season," said Jason Spingle, FFAW-Unifor Secretary Treasurer.

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