Compensation for scallop fishermen determined
NALCOR and the Fish, Food and Allied Workers have reached an agreement on compensation for scallop fishermen.
Scallop harvesters will reportedly receive approximately an extra 10 per cent in earnings of their yearly catch as compensation for the area that will be closed off as a result of NALCOR’s cable across the Strait of Belle Isle for the Muskrat Falls project. In dollars and cents, it adds up to a $2.6 million lump sum, plus an additional 15 per cent for administrative cost.
McCurdy says the area will be approximately 45 square kilometers, which represents about 10 per cent of the scallop grounds in the Strait of Belle Isle.
“The basic principle of the thing is that anyone, in any year under this program, who is fishing during the year for scallop, will receive compensation as a percentage of his landings,” he explains. “This project takes up 10 per cent of the grounds so that’s the percentage bump they’ll get on their actual landings.
“The first compensation payments will be paid at the end of the year as a percentage of each active crew’s receded landings for scallops.”
The deal should allow for compensation to be given out to the scallop fishermen for the next 30 years.
According to McCurdy, when NALCOR did their public consultations four years ago, there was representation from scallop harvesters, who raised concerns the cable would have serious effect on the scallop grounds.
The FFAW was asked to intervene on their behalf. After extensive meetings over the past couple of years, the FFAW and NALCOR reached an agreement.
“There was a lot of input from lawyers and so forth to make sure it’s put together in an appropriate matter,” explains McCurdy. “It’s a formal agreement between the union and NALCOR and the money will be held in trust to be paid out for that purpose.”
McCurdy was very pleased with how NALCOR handled the negotiations.
“We got a lot of industrial users take up traditional fishing grounds – whether it’s oil and gas or refinery or smelters or whatever the case might be – and this is a first in our province, at any rate, where an industrial user recognized they’re dislocating some people and adversely effecting them and prepared to make good on that,” he explains. “So I certainly applaud NALCOR for recognizing that and for the professional way they conducted that. It was never an issue of them somehow denying liability or being difficult – it took some time to sort out all of the details but it was a constructive negotiation throughout.”