FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Wednesday, May 15th, 2019
The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) says the 2019 negotiated price of cod is an insult to inshore harvesters.
“Harvesters right around the province say the price of cod wasn’t negotiated for them, but for the plants,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL.
“Harvesters have done everything asked of them when it comes to cod — shorter trips to sea, and bleeding, gutting and icing the fish. As bargaining agent, it’s the FFAW’s job to ensure they get paid for those efforts, and the union has failed miserably.”
The FFAW-Unifor and Association of Seafood Producers agreed this week to cod prices for the 2019-2020 season.
Until Aug. 4th, harvesters will be paid 82 cents a pound for Grade A, 38 cents a pound for Grade B, and 20 cents a pound for Grade C. After that, the price of Grade A will rise to 90 cents a pound, 40 cents a pound for Grade B, and 20 cents a pound for Grade C.
The average price will be far lower. According to DFO statistics, the average price paid for cod over the past three years (round weight) was 61.6 cents a pound.
“I thought for sure we’d get at least $1.20 a pound this year for our fish,” said fisherman Jason Sullivan, Secretary-Treasurer of FISH-NL. “The average price will be around 70 cents, which raises the question who’s negotiating for the FFAW because they must have escaped from an asylum.”
“The wharf price is so low the U.S. market considers our fish an inferior product,” he added. “If we’re selling cars and I’m selling mine for half the price as the guy next to me people will assume there’s something wrong with the car.”