Nfld. & Labrador

'Unfair sharing' of shrimp resources at centre of FFAW protest

About 30 of members of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union have staged a demonstration outside a cold storage facility near Bay Roberts harbour, to protest against changes to the shrimp fishery.

FFAW shrimp protest in Bay Roberts

8 years ago
Duration 0:50
About three dozen inshore fishermen protested in Bay Roberts Friday in anticipation of quota cuts

Members of the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union have staged a demonstration outside a cold storage facility near Bay Roberts harbour, to protest against changes to the shrimp fishery.

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced in the fall it would be cutting the inshore shrimp quota by 26 per cent, while the offshore quota would be cut by three per cent. 

About 30 shrimpers protested against those cuts on Friday. They said the changes will result in the loss of thousands of jobs, resulting in a devastating impact on the coastal communities that rely on the resource. 

They blocked the offshore vessel Newfound Pioneer from offloading shrimp at Moorfrost.

Frustrated shrimp fishery workers protested the allocation of quota cuts to the inshore shrimp industry during a demonstration Friday in Bay Roberts. (Jamie Baker/CBC)

The union said the Canadian government is failing to adhere to adjacency — the principle that those who live near a resource should benefit from it. 

"There's thousands of jobs in Newfoundland and Labrador at stake," FFAW president Keith Sullivan said.

"And that goes beyond 1,500 harvesters in the inshore vessel, 1,500 plant workers in 10 processing facilities from the southern coast of Labrador to the Bay de Verde Peninsula, and all the spin off jobs associated with that."

Similar demonstrations have been held over the course of several months since the federal government announced quota cuts.

In early December, 60 shrimp workers blocked an offshore shrimp vessel from loading and offloading at the St. Anthony wharf. 

"It's too important to let go of for people in the fishery and for people of the province," said Sullivan.

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