(St John’s, NL) While the Newfoundland and Labrador Snow Crab fishery appears to be headed for a delay, the industry trade association representing the processing plans in the province says it and its members are committed to working together with all stakeholders for a safe 2020 fishery.
“There is likely going to be a delay in the season, but the delay is not about throwing away the season,” says Derek Butler, head of the Association of Seafood Producers. “It’s about taking the time required to ensure we have adapted to the new realities, and remain a healthy and reliable part of the supply chain.”
Butler says Covid-19 is likely a new reality for the foreseeable future, but that the industry will work to adapt to it.
“The major players – and we’ve had calls with the FFAW, with other producers in the province outside of ASP, with Minister Byrne and DFO – all the players are committed to all the necessary protocols and procedures, to adapt to this new reality,” says Butler.
Butler says it will take work and above all cooperation, but he is confident the industry can adapt to keep workers safe, produce the usual high quality food products it is known for, and maintain livelihoods in rural communities for the thousands who work in the fishery.
“Everyone who produces food in the world is struggling with this, and are adapting to this new reality. We can learn from others, including within the province,” says Butler. “We expect and need others in the supply chain to produce our food, and we have a part to play in producing food for others. That’s how we keep the grocery shelves full.”