Shrimp price expected to stick

FFAW president Earle McCurdy: 'We think the market will support the price that we proposed.'

Newfoundland and Labrador's unionized fishermen have won a pricing battle over the cost they can charge for the shrimp they will be catching this summer.

A government-appointed pricing panel sided with a proposal from the Fish, Food and Allied Workers union, which argued that markets are stronger than what processors had claimed.

"We're pleased with the outcome," FFAW president Earle McCurdy said.

"We've zeroed in on prices that reflect changes in the market over the past year."

The panel backed an FFAW recommendation of 76 cents per pound. Processors said had wanted the maximum price set at 68 cents per pound.

"There was quite a gap, really, between the parties. The processors put in what we thought was really an unduly pessimistic and low figure, based on a worst-case outlook for the market," he said.

"We think the market will support the price that we proposed."

While lobster buyers are currently refusing to take raw product at prices set by the government-appointed panel, McCurdy said he does not expect a similar fight over shrimp.