Why Arnold’s Cove plant requested delay to 2J3KL Stewardship Fishery
ARNOLD’S COVE, NL – Earlier this fishing season, cod fisherman on the Northern peninsula say they were unable to reach an agreement with Icewater Seadfood Inc. in Arnold’s Cove and therefore could not sell their cod to the plant, as they had done previously.
Alberto Wareham of Icewater Seafoods Inc. says there is a reason that an agreement could not be met, and that agreement had to do with timing.
He requested the Fish, Food and Allied Workers (FFAW-Unifor) Union delay the start of the 2J3KL Northern Cod Stewardship Fishery to help accommodate both 3Ps and 4R fisheries.
Wareham says he asked only that the opening of the 2J3KL fishery be delayed until 4R closed for the summer and 3Ps slowed down.
“We buy from all three areas, but normally we don’t have this problem, because normally the 3Ps starts winding down in the middle of July, 4R is finished by the third week of July – so in a normal season we wouldn’t have no problem buying this fish,” said Wareham.
This year, 2K3KL opened June 12, while 4R did not close until Aug. 19. The 4R fishery will re-open Sept. 5.
“For us to have an orderly fishery, we couldn’t buy from all three areas,” said Wareham. “We just don’t have the capacity.
“When we were planning what we were going to do for operations back in May and June, we didn’t expect we would be buying 3Ps cod in large quantities through July,” Wareham explained.
“We didn’t think that the 4R fishery would be going through early August,” he added.
“It was a small window of time for approximately 10 days, so we went to the FFAW and said, why don’t we delay the opening of 2J3KL by two weeks and then we won’t have to stop buying anywhere and we’ll continue to have an orderly fishery.
“The FFAW unfortunately would not delay the opening of the 2J3KL fishery and they basically said, ‘If you can’t buy, tell people you can’t buy.’ And that’s what we did,” explained Wareham.
On Sunday, Aug. 6, the Labrador Fishermen’s Union Shrimp Company Ltd. (LFUSC) reached a preliminary agreement with FFAW-Unifor and St. Anthony Seafoods Inc. to purchase and process cod caught on the Northern Peninsula.
This means fish harvesters on the Northern Peninsula were selling cod to a LFUSC plant in L’Anse au Loup.
“We operate a plant that’s only focused on cod. Obviously, we want all the cod we can get, but it has to be in somewhat of an order. We’re located in a 3Ps area in Arnold’s Cove – how do we say to 3Ps fishermen, ‘we’re stopped buying from you now but we’re going to buy from fishermen on the Northern Peninsula?’”
Wareham says the plant is now buying from 2J3KL.
He says that he contacted FFAW first instead of Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) because he believed DFO would be more likely to make a decision if the FFAW had input.
Icewater Seafood Inc. in Arnold’s Cove.