Canso, NS - Shrimp fishermen in Canso are finally getting the recognition and price they deserve for fishing sustainably, in near shore waters with shrimp traps.
A deal this season with Pictou–based North Nova Seafoods has the fishermen receiving top dollar at the dock, more than double that currently paid for the same type of shrimp caught by bottom trawl.
The trap shrimp fishery was started over a decade ago by Mike Newell with the view towards providing an income for fishermen in Canso in the winter months, and maximizing the sustainability of the fishery.
As both local and global demand for sustainable seafood increases, valuable opportunities for small-scale sustainable fisheries in Nova Scotia are growing.
“We are averaging 800 pounds per day, per boat over the winter season, and our deal with North Nova is for 500,000 lbs until the end of March. This is a value of $725,000.00 for this fishery, “ says Alan Newell, the son of Mike Newell and active fisherman in Canso. “With seven small vessels fishing, this is a significant and meaningful boost for our community.”
The vast majority of the trap caught shrimp will be processed and packaged in brine and sent to Japan for the sushi market.
“Globally, seafood markets are recognizing the high quality of trap-caught shrimp, particularly as an alternative to farmed shrimp, which have a high environmental cost,” says Paul Logan from North Nova. “We’re incredibly lucky to have this fishery in Nova Scotia, and it is high time it was a true success.”
“We hope that in time, we can develop more processing and a local market, “ says Ginny Boudreau of the Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association. “This is a real boost to our small scale fisheries, and it is great to finally have the recognition for this product.”
SeaChoice, Canada’s Sustainable Seafood Program ranks the northern trap-caught shrimp as “best choice” because of the low impact of the fishery on the marine ecosystem and healthy stock status. “While SeaChoice rankings focus on marine science and management,” says Rob Johnson, SeaChoice representative from the Ecology Action Centre, “this fishery is also owner-operated and uses less than ¼ of the fuel of other fishing methods for the same species.” “It’s an excellent model and example of a small-scale sustainable fishery producing top quality Nova Scotia seafood that should be promoted for both local and export markets.”
Contacts for further information:
Sustainable Seafood Coordinator
SeaChoice Representative from Ecology Action Centre
Ph. 902-222-4933 (cel)
Chedabucto Bay Trap-Shrimp Fisherman
Ph. 902-870-0016 (cel)
Guysborough County Inshore Fishermen’s Association
North Nova Seafoods