Though fishing season officially began April 1, the journey to the seas has been rocky and slow due to a stalemate in price negotiations. The government proposed $1.35 per pound, but fisherman claim that is too low to cover the basic costs of operations, and processors argue that it’s too high given the current parity of the U.S. and Canadian dollar.
Many in the fishing industry are worried about losing the window to make the catch. “If you look at quotas and how they’sre allocated, fishermen need a certain amount of time to get those quotas caught and as the clock ticks on and we lose days and weeks, the ability to catch the quotas allocated is not there,” Derek Butler, the executive director of the Association of Seafood Producers, told CBC News.
According to a recent story in St. John’s Telegram, the anxiety has spread beyond the fishing community. Bonavista mayor Betty Fitzgerald expressed concern that her town could take a financial hit. “Bonavista, being the largest town, will be impacted the most, because it is a major service centre. If it’s not settled soon we could also see other jobs affected. If people aren’st working they will find it hard to pay bills and families will suffer,” Fitzgerald was quoted as saying in the paper.