Fishermen are increasingly forced to overload their boats to make each trip profitable, a Labrador skipper says.

"Yes, there's a lot of pressure for sure," said Allister Russell, skipper of the Shandy Pauline II, a 20-metre trawler out of Mary's Harbour, Labrador.

"Everybody's been under pressure with the way the fishery's been this year."  

Russell said low shrimp prices and a small run of shrimp this year have exacerbated a long-standing problem.

He added that part of the pressure comes from fish-processing plants that sometimes reject thousands of pounds of undersized shrimp.

"Every extra pound that you can get on her ... means a little more few dollars," said Russell. "In a hard year, I guess everybody likes to get his full amount of their full trip limit for sure."

This comes on the heels of allegations that overloading led to the Sea Gypsy's sinking Sept. 12.

The fishing vessel went down about 130 kilometres east of St. John's. Survivor Jimmy Kavanagh, of Cape Broyle, said the Sea Gypsy was overloaded with shrimp.

He said there was so much in the hold that the crew had to jump on the cover to get it closed.

"The boat was blocked. We had a tub of shrimp on the roof and we had more on deck in a tub ... and, like, they're after doin' that the last few trips," said Kavanagh.

Kavanagh is one of three survivors of the shipwreck.

Robert Keough, 58, of Calvert, N.L., died. A fifth crew member has not been found.