The executive director of St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. (SABRI) is optimistic the social enterprise could see a small boost in its shrimp allocation this year.
After three years of precipitous cuts, Sam Elliott told The Northern Pen he is expecting a three-per-cent increase to SABRI’s quota in 2019.
According to Elliott, an interim quota has been provided to SABRI until the official total allowable catch (TAC) is announced by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO).
That interim quota is 75 per cent of last year’s quota, from 393 tonnes in 2018 to about 294 tonnes this year.
But Elliott says this is only temporary. He anticipates SABRI will see a small increase when the final TAC is announced.
When he attended the Northern Shrimp Advisory Committee (NSAC) meeting in Montreal on March 7, he learned the fishable biomass had increased three per cent to 89,600 in Shrimp Area 6.
While the species is still in the critical zone, harvesters can catch 10-per-cent of that fishable biomass, meaning the TAC in Area 6 would be about 8,960 tonnes.
SABRI is allowed 4.5 per cent of the TAC in Area 6.
Finishing the math, that would give SABRI a quota of about 403 tonnes, up about three per cent from the previous year.
Elliott says unless DFO goes against their policy to give SABRI 4.5 per cent of the TAC, then the organization can expect this small increase.
While it’s not going to make a big difference for the organization, he says they will take whatever they can get.
“At the end of the day it’s not going to make or break the industry,” Elliott told The Northern Pen. “But if you got a policy in place, you take it.”
St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc. is a non-profit social enterprise that administers an allocation of northern shrimp on behalf of communities from Big Brook to Goose Cove. SABRI is involved in a number of other projects, to facilitate the expansion of the region’s economic base and improve employment opportunities.
In 2016, its 3,000-tonne allocation was cut 42.6 per cent. It has seen further cuts in 2017 and 2018.