Why Arnold’s Cove plant re­quested de­lay to 2J3KL Stew­ard­ship Fish­ery

The Packet (Clarenville) - - FRONT PAGE - BY MARK SQUIBB THE PACKET

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.

PACKET FILE PHOTO

Ice­wa­ter Seafood Inc. in Arnold’s Cove.

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