September 17, 2019
(St. John’s, NL) The new abundance of squid around the province has resulted in expanded harvesting and producing opportunities, with landed volumes and values well ahead of 2018, says the Association of Seafood Producers.
As various media have reported recently, a changing ecosystem has resulted in more squid being seen around the province, and an expanded opportunity for the fishery this year.
But with the increasing volumes came challenges in structuring the fishery to maximize value.
“With the greater abundance, we needed to take care to ensure harvesters landed the best quality and that producers can produce the best quality,” says Derek Butler with the Association of Seafood Producers.
After some protracted discussions with the FFAW, it appears some progress has been made around the issues that a large squid fishery entails.
“I was skeptical we’d get there, and we didn’t get all the way, but we’ve had progress,” says Butler.
“We’ve managed to get some agreement on water for next year, though we wanted that this year. We don’t think producers should have to pay $0.75 a pound for water,” says Butler. “We also have a new quality handling protocol, and we have language in our schedule around additional measures that producers might need to put in place to
ensure, together with harvesters, that we get better value out of this fishery. That’s progress for 2019 and we’ll look for more progress in 2020.”
Butler says year to date the fishery is already bigger than last year, and he is now confident that number will be bigger again by the time the fishery concludes later in October or November.
“Overall, when you look at all the species in the inshore fishery, we’re on track for 2019 to be one of the highest value fisheries again. We’ve got our challenges, but once again,” says Butler, “it’s a business that means a great deal to a lot of harvesters, to producers and plant workers, and to communities around the province.”