N.L. Shrimp Industry Enters Choppy Waters


ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Just as weeks of debate over the price of this season’s crab dies down in Newfoundland, comes news about shrimp pricing from St. John’s standing fish price-setting panel, which predicts a bad year for the industry.

At $0.48 per pound, the newly announced price is roughly three cents higher than last year. It won’t likely be enough to offset the “worst economic recession since the 1920s,” according to the three-member panel, which gave a reality check in its report, stating, “The harsh realities of the current situation will likely lead to lost fishing enterprises and the closure of some processing facilities in 2010.”

The problems have been attributed to high operating costs, tariffs, shrinking demand and currency factors; similar situations that have already caused duress to the industry abroad. “Plants in Norway and Iceland have discontinued shrimp operations and harvesters have diverted to other species. Losses were prevalent in 2009 throughout the supply chain in our established outlets in Europe,” reads the report.

At the very least, the panel predicts that higher prices may be available this year as less shrimp is yielded given the late start to the season, which should have begun more than a month ago.

According to the CBC, 3,000 of the province’s residents depend on the shrimp fishery for a portion of their income.


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