Today, the Standing Fish Price Setting Panel released its decision on squid prices for 2018 and it selected the position of FFAW. The squid price for 2018 is 85 cents, which is a record high for harvesters in the province and a better, fairer price for harvesters. The ASP position was to maintain last year’s price of 74 cents.
The price of squid bait has been an ongoing frustration for harvesters for several years. Since 2014, the price of bait has doubled from just over $1.00 per pound to $2.10 per pound this year. To put this in perspective, the price of squid bait in 2018 was more than the per pound price of snow crab in 2013. The increased prices are the result of a reliance on imported squid from Argentina, which has dramatically increased in price over the past few years.
A better squid price is expected to draw more interest in the squid fishery, which could result in much higher landings. We are already seeing very positive signs of squid in the province, with many squid landings in excess of 10,000 lbs. As NL squid is also used for bait, a significant increase in landings will produce lower bait prices by reducing the need to import more expensive bait from Argentina.
Like capelin, squid populations are reported to be flourishing this year. We are hopeful this is a sign that this season’s squid fishery will bring in large volumes and provide extra income for both harvesters and plant workers in our province.
A big thank you to the negotiating committee!