Reg MacDonald, an inshore fisherman out of Cox’s Cove, Bay of Islands, coined the term Salt-Water Mafia in reference to the FFAW.
Reg figures that between what the union actually got out of him/wanted to get out of him in fees and charges this year, the total adds up to $2,900.
Here’s his breakdown:
1) $1,200 for 150 pounds of halibut that DFO cut from each harvester on the island’s west coast this year for quota overrun. At the same time, Reg says the FFAW was given a science quota of 45 tonnes of halibut. Reg figures the FFAW “stole” his fish, and puts the $1,200 down as a loss to the FFAW.
2) $50 fee to register with the Professional Fish Harvesters Certification Board (controlled by the FFAW).
3) $50 paid to the FFAW for 220 lobster trap tags.
4) $300 in FFAW union dues (based on three-months fishing at $25 a week).
5) $200 for dockside monitoring fees (roughly $12 a trip paid to FRC, which is controlled by the FFAW).
6) $200 for halibut tags paid o the FFAW. Reg’s halibut quota is 1,050 pounds.
7) $400 for a 5 cent a pound lobster levy that the FFAW attempted to secretly introduce this year. Reg fishes an average of 200 pounds a day over two months. The secret proposal was rejected by the Association of Seafood Processors.
8) $500 for a 10 cent a pound levy the FFAW also apparently wanted to introduce on crab. (Reg’s crab quota is 5,200 pounds.) That proposal was also turned down.
* Harvesters who fish caplin, mackerel and herring have to pay more fees to the FFAW for each species.