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