Shrimp catch rates down in Newfoundland after seismic surveys – FFAW

FFAW objects to seismic work in shrimp grounds June 08, 2012

The Telegram

Food Fish and Allied Workers (FFAW) union president Earle McCurdy
Credit: The Telegram

The Food Fish and Allied Workers (FFAW) union president Earle McCurdy wants seismic prospecting company MIK’s prospecting permit revoked for interfering with the fishery.

Seismic prospectors must provide their travel schedule beforehand, and must avoid interfering with commercial fishing operations, according to Canada Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) regulations.

McCurdy states the company conducted seismic surveys on fishing grounds in violation of the schedule they were supposed to follow.

“We’ve had enough of it,” McCurdy said. “This is the second year in a row that seismic companies have interfered with our fishery.”.

FFAW has received complaints from shrimp boat captains that catch rates have dropped following seismic activity in the area.

Last year, FFAW received the same complaints.

While fishermen are stating the seismic work is affecting catch rates, a study by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans found seismic activity didn’t impact crab or whale populations. (

McCurdy has requested a meeting with the CNLOPB, MIK, provincial department of fisheries and other groups to discuss the matter.

The CNLOPB issued a statement saying it is following up in response to a report of possible seismic survey interference with fishing activity.The CNLOPB will attend a meeting of stakeholders next week as part of this follow-up.