The head of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW) union says cuts announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to the inshore quota for northern shrimp amount to “skullduggery.”
Earle McCurdy, president of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers' union. — Telegram file photo
Meeting with reporters Monday at the FFAW’s office in St. John’s, president Earle McCurdy said DFO’s decision strongly favours the offshore sector, despite the fact harvesters with the inshore fleet have adjacency to the resource.
The inshore quota has dropped from 45,300 tonnes in 2013 to 33,876 this year — a decline of 26.2 per cent. By comparison, the offshore sector’s portion of the quota is down only 3.6 per cent compared to 2013 — from 66,224 tonnes to 63,789 in 2014.
The overall total allowable catch (TAC) for 2014 is 115,891 tonnes, down 13.1 per cent from 2013. McCurdy said the special allocation that makes up the remainder of the TAC for this year is mostly handled by the offshore sector.
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In 2009, the inshore allocation exceeded the offshore one, but the ratio has favoured the offshore sector every year since according to data provided by the FFAW.
McCurdy noted that unlike the offshore sector, where product can be sent elsewhere without adding value to Newfoundland and Labrador, shrimp harvested inshore is processed in local plants. In light of the quota cut, he expects some of those plants will face hardships this year.
The FFAW is planning to organize a protest later this week.
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