In the spring of 2021, prawn fishermen and their families experienced high anxiety when a last-minute reinterpretation of the Fisheries General Regulation resulted in the banning of tailing, tubbing and freezing B.C. spot prawns at sea. As prawn harvesters are well aware, “Tubbing” has been used for the past 50 years and is how many British Columbians access B.C. spot prawns.
In collaboration with other B.C. prawn groups, UFAWU-Unifor pushed back on this reinterpretation in a campaign that included multiple petitions and a media strategy. This resulted in a commitment from DFO to not enforce the reinterpretation in 2021. However, as this year comes to an end, the topic of prawn tubbing has returned as a high-priority issue.
DFO has now issued a new directive for prawn tail tubbing:
- All containers must be transparent
- Containers can be no more than 250ml or 8 oz. This is 1/3 the normal size of 24 oz.
- Fish companies will still be able to pack prawns in any size container they wish as they are covered by different legislation.
- It also in no way allows C&P to access the size of the telson through the container and ice.
These regulations are unacceptable and without clear reason — in effect banning tubbing by fishermen and providing companies with a huge competitive advantage. This will also impact the many British Columbians who enjoy access to fresh, local prawns by way of their local harvesters. In response to this new directive, and in collaboration with Fisheries For Communities, UFAWU-Unifor has helped to create a petition to push back on these irrational changes.
- FOPO recommendations for DFO on packaging regulations
- On-board freezing and glazed prawn requirements_letter to W and FW licence holders
In the Media: