Town of St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet to spon­sor plant worker pro­gram

Northern Pen - - Front Page - FROM A1

Even so, it will only pro­vide the bare min­i­mum.

“We’ll sur­vive the win­ter, that’s about it,” she added. “You won’t have no lux­u­ries.”

While she’s pleased to have some sup­port, she doesn’t be­lieve the pro­grams get to the root of the prob­lem.

Patey, as other plant work­ers and lo­cal har­vesters have re­ported to The North­ern Pen in pre­vi­ous sto­ries, feel the shrimp re­source has been over­fished by the off­shore sec­tor.

“They’re let­ting those fac­tory freez­ers fish all year round and then the in­shore fish­ery is get­ting cut back, cut back and cut back,” she said, a pal­pa­ble sense of frus­tra­tion in her voice. “They’re let­ting the fac­tory freez­ers do all this fish­ing and the in­shore fish­er­men got to do with­out.”

Shrimp cuts to the in­shore fish­ery have hit plant work­ers hard.

The last two years, quota cuts in the in­shore fish­ery have meant sub­stan­tially less shrimp to process at plants like St. An­thony Seafoods.

In shrimp fish­ing area 6, the quota was cut 62.5 per cent in 2017 and an ad­di­tional 16 per cent in 2018.

The to­tal al­low­able catch was just 8,730 met­ric tonnes for in­shore har­vesters this year.

Most of the shrimp pro­cessed at St. An­thony Seafoods comes from the in­shore source.

With­out dras­tic changes to in­crease em­ploy­ment, Patey is wor­ried about the long-term sus­tain­abil­ity of com­mu­ni­ties like St. Lu­naire-Gri­quet on the Great North­ern Penin­sula.

If more and more peo­ple have to move away to find work, she pon­ders, what will re­main.

“What’s go­ing to be­come of those com­mu­ni­ties?” she asked. “It’s all go­ing to be ghost towns. A few older peo­ple and that’s all that will be left be­cause ev­ery­body else has to leave.”

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