St. John’s, NL (April 24, 2023) – Today, the Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) held a technical briefing for media to provide an update on ASP’s position(s) regarding the 2023 snow crab fishery.
Global economic pressures and extensive snow crab supply are driving prices downward, and we expect volatility to remain as the market corrects itself. On March 31st, the date of submission to the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel, the snow crab 5-8oz section price was $5.75 USD. Today the price sits at $4.80 USD, a 16.5% decline. All industry stakeholders are facing significant challenges because of the market reality.
ASP has fully complied with the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining Act as endorsed by the FFAW and established by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador. Our Association intends to continue to follow and abide by the decisions from that process through the 2023 season for all species, including snow crab.
ASP members will not purchase snow crab in fall 2023. Condensing a fishery to a period when quality will be an issue and we are beyond the optimal selling window, will only create additional surplus inventory for the 2024 season. Regardless of the price, a fall fishery is not a solution.
The solution is to begin the fishery. The minimum price has been set and differential payments above the minimum price are permitted if the market rebounds. In addition, both ASP and FFAW have the ability to ask the Panel to reconsider the minimum price.
ASP is willing to begin discussions with the FFAW, the Department of Fisheries, Forestry and Agriculture, and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada on how we can maximize the value of the fishery through quality, trip limits, and structured purchases. However, ASP will not discuss a minimum price outside the legal process that has been established.
ASP has a great deal of respect for fish harvesters and plant workers. We work together to support our communities and our province, and we are all hopeful that market conditions will improve as it’s important for the livelihoods of everyone involved. Any further delay in the snow crab fishery is only creating uncertainty, confusion, and undermines the value of this fishery, having a major economic impact on the province. Every day that goes by is another day lost in the fishery.ASP Crab Tech Briefing - April 24 2023 - Final