Fisherman stage protest

Crab shipment to local plant prompt demonstration

Kevin Curley
Published on April 15, 2013
Protest held outside Golden Shell Seafood results in 30,000 pounds of crab being thrown off the wharf in Hickmans Harbour
Kevin Curley

A protest is being held outside the Golden Shell Seafood plant in Hickmans Harbour on Random Island today.
About 200 protestors were at the plant, blocking workers from entering the site.

The stand off is in response to a truckload carrying 30,000 pounds of crab being brought to the plant from the west coast, according to a spokesperson from the FFAW.

FFAW members and fisherman had agreed on April 4 to tie on to push for higher crab prices.

FFAW Inshore Vice-President George Feltham said the protest was the result of frustrations building over lack of negotiations between the processors and the union.

"The show of people here this morning is spontaneous. Rumor got out that Edgar Simmons, President of Golden Shell Fisheries Limited, was going to process crab. Hes the only plant on the northeast coast thats processing crab, and fisherman just showed up from all over.  Im here to try and keep this peaceful. We met with Edgar to try and end this off, where this is going now I dont know, Feltham told the Packet Monday.

CST. John Galway said RCMP were on the scene at 7 a.m. this morning.

Everyone has been behaving themselves right now, no issues so far, said Galway this morning.

No crab has been processed so far, all boilers in the plant are off. It would take several hours before crab could be processed from the time the boilers are turned on.

Fisherman did not want to speak on the record, but many agreed they felt they were being tested to gauge their reaction by the processors.

As of noon today, representatives from Golden Shell and the FFAW were still in talks.

In a release issued at 1:06 p.m. RCMP said that the crab that had been in the plant had been removed and dumped over the wharf by the protestors. RCMP said no arrests had been made at this time.