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Year-round harvesters offer up option to N.L. shrimp plants

Canadian Association of Prawn Producers
Canadian Association of Prawn Producers

The Canadian Association of Prawn Producers (CAPP) says it can help supply shrimp to plants in this province hurt by recent quota cuts.

“Canada’s year-round shrimp harvesters would welcome supplying whole, frozen-at-sea shrimp for cooking and peeling by shore-based shrimp processing plants in NL,” CAPP executive director Bruce Chapman said in a news release Tuesday.

Much of the shrimp caught by the year-round shrimp harvesters is unavailable. The larger shrimp is packed for use in sushi and sashimi restaurants in Japan, the release states, while the medium-sized shrimp that is cooked and packaged on board goes to Scandinavia and Asia.

A portion of the catch, however, consists of small size whole shrimp that is sold to shore-based cooking and peeling operations.

CAPP says seasonal processing plants in Newfoundland and Labrador have utilized this shrimp in the past.

But because this previously frozen shrimp is much smaller than they normally process from seasonal fishers, with higher costs and lower market returns for very small re-frozen shrimp after the cooking and peeling process is completed, interest has been limited.

“It is a higher business risk for the seasonal shrimp plants in NL that are not designed to cook and peel this previously frozen, small-size shrimp, however, our year-round shrimp harvesters would very much prefer to sell this product to local plants should they be interested,” Chapman said.

Chapman said the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) has tried to misdirect the public with assertions the shrimp quota in Shrimp Fishing Area 6 (SFA6) held by year-round harvesters should be redirected to seasonal vessels.

“The small SFA6 quota we have left would be caught by the large seasonal fleet in a single day, solving nothing for the over-capacity and employment challenges that have long existed in the seasonal shrimp sector of this province!” Chapman said.

Notre Dame Seafoods announced last week the company won’t be reopening its shrimp plant in Twillingate this year due to declining quotas.    

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