FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Friday, May 31st, 2019
The Federation of Independent Sea Harvesters of Newfoundland and Labrador (FISH-NL) is asking the federal Competition Bureau to investigate an allegation of collusion involving fish processing companies on the Great Northern Peninsula.
“The charge is incredibly serious, and must be investigated,” says Ryan Cleary, President of FISH-NL.
Roland Genge, a well-known and respected fisherman from Port Saunders, sold his northern shrimp in past years to QuinSea Fisheries, but recently decided to change buyers and sell to the Corner Brook-based Barry Group.
The going rate for Gulf shrimp is $1.82 a pound, but processing companies have been paying a bonus on top of that. QuinSea Fisheries has been paying an extra 20 cents a pound, while the Barry Group has been paying 45 cents more.
Genge choose to sell to the Barry Group for the extra 25 cents a pound, and made arrangements this past week for Barry’s to unload his shrimp.
However, when Genge tied up at the Barry wharf Thursday in Port Saunders with 37,000 pounds of shrimp aboard his fishing boat, he was told by a Barry’s representative they were no longer interested in his shrimp.
“‘We don’t want your shrimp,’” Genge said he was told.
The Barry Group eventually unloaded the shrimp, but Genge said it was trucked to QuinSea’s plant in Old Perlican. The Barry Group owns a shrimp operation in Anchor Point on the Great Northern Peninsula.
Genge has no idea how much he will be paid for his shrimp, and questions whether he’s being targeted for wanting to change buyers. Other harvesters who landed their shrimp Thursday at the Barry wharf had no trouble, and were reportedly paid the 45 cent a pound bonus.