Shrimp fishermen facing catch crisis

SHRIMP fishermen in parts of  northern Norway are reporting their worst winter ever, with catches down by  between  50 and 75 per cent.

Some say that if the situation continues they may be forced to sell their vessels and turn to  something new. It is not just Norway which has problems. Some areas on the north east coast of Canada are also reporting a sharp decline in shrimp stocks.

One prawn fisherman Lynne Prudence Sjåvik , based in Helgeand region,  told  the northern office of the state broadcaster NRK  that for every year that passes the situation just seems to he get worse.

Sjåvik  added: I have  been  fishing  since 1990, but it has never been as bad as this year. There is simply no shrimp obtainable. We had five vessels fishing for shrimp at one point – now there is just me. Many have given up and gone over to fishing for cod instead. ”

In fact NRK reports that the situation has become so bad that at least one processing plant in the region has been forced to lay off workers. One company, Northern Shrimp AS, said supplies had been fairly good until about four years  and then the decline set in.

In January this year fishermen were only catching 50 kilos for a full day’s work which was simply uneconomic. The company has had decent access to the shrimp until four years ago. Since then, the decline has been significant. In January fishermen have gotten maybe 50 kilos in a full day’s work, and it is not possible to operate on.

NRK also reports that the drop in caches has now  spread to  areas even further north such as Tromso and Finnmark.

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