St. John’s, NL, 21 July 2022 The Association of Seafood Producers (ASP) says it welcomes a review of the Fishing Industry Collective Bargaining announced by provincial Minister Bernard Davis, Minister Responsible for Labour Relations in Newfoundland and Labrador.
“All parties, the producers, harvesters, stakeholders and community members generally recognize that we have a broken model here, and a review of that is timely and welcome,” says Derek Butler, Executive Director of ASP. “2022 is going to be the best year on record for harvesters in crab, for example, and the worst for producers. The model could not handle that discrepancy. We have had delayed shrimp, delayed sea cucumber, and no northeast coast capelin fishery. These are all consequences of the model.”
Butler says the entire idea of putting a price on fish while it is still in the water, at the start of the season, is an anachronism that requires a re-think.
“This review process is not at that level, but even for what it will cover, it is worth a look, and we will be participating in the process and ensuring our positions are communicated,” said Butler. “The next step may very well be a full on industrial inquiry into fish price setting in the province.”
Butler also welcomed the appointment of David Conway, former head of the Labour Relations Board as head of the review process.
“We know him mostly by reputation, and he appears a good candidate for the role. We look forward to working with him, and getting into the details of how this will unfold,” said Butler.