St. John’s, NL (May 11, 2023) – Today, the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) is providing clarification on what has occurred over the last several days in relation to the 2023 snow crab fishery.
ASP did not send the FFAW the proposal that is currently being internally discussed by the FFAW relating to the raw material price for snow crab for the 2023 season. As stated previously, our Association will continue to follow and abide by the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel decision.
ASP has had dialogue with the FFAW on potential ways forward and trip limits and met with the FFAW crab bargaining unit. Yesterday, ASP was presented with an offer from the FFAW, similar to what they had submitted to the Panel on March 31st 2023, an increase on the minimum price. Those conversations quickly dissolved mid day Wednesday, May 10th. Later that day ASP was approached by the President and Secretary -Treasurer of the FFAW for a discussion and they outlined a potential solution verbally, which was agreed would be a FFAW offer to ASP.
When the FFAW provided the details of the offer in writing to confirm, ASP clarified it was a FFAW offer for a potential solution. ASP requested clarification on why this offer was being presented as an ASP offer when it was a proposal from the FFAW. The FFAW then proceeded to issue a press release informing membership ASP had made a counteroffer. This was not true.
If the FFAW would like to present ASP with a proposal, we are ready to listen. However, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that the FFAW do not have the authority to get a deal done to allow this fishery to start. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador deserve better. They have been misled by the FFAW and it is affecting the people of this province in a detrimental way.
It is time for Government to carry out one of its fundamental purposes, which is to provide public safety. The FFAW and its membership say they are not on strike, but they are blocking harvesters from fishing. This is not permitted under the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act. Haversters are blocking their own from fishing, blocking trucks from getting ice, and the Government has a responsibility to step in and allow those who want to work, to go to work. Harvesters are not being protected in their workplace.
ASP’s Executive Director, Jeff Loder, will be available to speak with media throughout the day.