Quota cuts likely

The Packet (Clarenville) - - Front page - Jonathan.par­sons@thep­acket.ca Twit­ter: @je­j­par­sons

He adds that if they were back to get­ting be­tween $1 and $2 a pound for crab, it wouldn’t be worth it for any har­vester to un­tie their boats.

A re­prieve with cod?

While the cod fish­ery may be seen as a way to al­le­vi­ate the low crab stocks and po­ten­tial quota cuts, But­ler calls the ground­fish quo­tas “a joke.”

He ex­plains that they’re on weekly quo­tas of 1,500 to 1,600 pounds per li­cence. While he un­der­stands he doesn’t want to go out and de­stroy ev­ery­thing, he says they’d be much bet­ter off if they gave an en­tire quota for one ves­sel, like 50,000 pounds, and a full two months to catch it. It would save on trips and other costs like fuel and bait as well.

“’Dribs and drabs’ that’s all we’re do­ing by go­ing out and get­ting, say, 1,500 pounds in one ves­sel and then we got two ground­fish li­cences on an­other ves­sel—3,000 pounds in the other one.”

But­ler adds that, as far as the price, once his cod­fish is graded, he’s get­ting the same price as he got 20 years ago.

“That’s once it’s graded and ev­ery­thing else, and we’re get­ting pretty good grades as well, but that’s what they were pay­ing us back in 1998!” he said. “As far as I’m con­cerned, it should be at least a dol­lar a pound, no grades, no noth­ing, a dol­lar a pound straight.”

With the har­vesters los­ing at the crab, they aren’t mak­ing it up with cod, but as it stands now it’s all a help, says But­ler.

And look­ing ahead, he pre­dicts an­other cut in quo­tas for crab. The only pos­i­tive he can see is if it helps re­build the re­source.

But he still ques­tions how much more they can be cut— and how much more they can take?

“It don’t look good, let’s put it that way.”

FILE PHOTO

Fish­er­man Reg But­ler.

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