For Immediate Release, St John’s, NL – April 27, 2020 – Derek Butler, Executive Director of Association of Seafood Processors (ASP) says his association is ready and willing to negotiate a price for snow crab for the province this year, despite assertions to the contrary from the FFAW.
But to do that, Butler says, the industry needs a start date.
“Right now the FFAW has requested that the fishery be delayed till May 11, and they say that by Friday this week, they will decide if that date should be pushed out by another 10 days or 2 weeks,” says Butler. “That means, we could be waiting till June for a fishery.”
And Butler says without a firm start date, discussions would be pointless. “The market is there, but the longer this goes the harder it gets. We have explained that to the FFAW. The other Atlantic provinces are harvesting and producing crab, so why can’t we?,” says Butler.
The other issue, Butler says, is the FFAW keeps saying NL crab plants are not safe.
“Unfortunately, while the FFAW says they want to negotiate a price for NL crab, they are saying NL crab plants are not safe places to work,” says Butler. “And they are doing that through misrepresentation.”
“Covid-19 is no occasion to play so loosely with the facts,” says Butler. “Our safety protocols are fully vetted by Occupational Health and Safety and the Chief Medical Officer. The FFAW is being irresponsible in suggesting otherwise and it is a sad spectacle in light of this serious matter.”