Canadian trawlers are considering dropping Greenland after news of new cargo-rates

February 21, 2023

Press release from the Greenland Business Association / Sulisitsisut

Chrisian Kelsen, director, Greenland Business Association / Sulisitsisut

The Canadian trawler-companies Arctic Fishery Alliance and Baffin Fisheries, call at Greenlandic ports to unload parts of their catch. In 2022 this equated to approx. 500 40-foot containers that the Canadian trawlers had Royal Arctic Line transport from Greenland to markets beyond Greenland. Measured in turnover this is a two-digit million Danish Kroner amount that Greenland could lose out on. Add to this the derivatives in terms of crew exchange (air fare and accommodation) at Greenlandic ports, procurement of supplies and fuel and trade with Greenlandic companies and agents during port calls.

The latest statement from Royal Arctic Line about rises in the cargo-rates of 32 % has resulted in a response from the Canadian companies. Their considerations are now whether it will still be sustainable and financially viable to call at Greenlandic ports and whether they will be better off calling at Canadian ports. The trawlers are fishing under Canadian quotas and are hence free to chose the best suited ports for their businesses.

The Greenland Business Association who has been contacted by the agent of the Canadian fishing companies, notes that the original strategy from Royal Arctic Line was to make business with the world easier and more accessible and that the Greenlandic Government is working on opening up more business with North-America. Director, Christian Keldsen, says: “We must assume that both RAL and the Government has considered the risk of losing international business when deciding the new cargo-rates. But it seems counterproductive to the strategy that has been pursued so far. We are closing ourselves off and risk losing incomes from foreign sources.”

“With a shipping cost increase of this magnitude, we are going to have to look very closely at our fishing plan to see if landing in Greenland is still a viable option for us,” said Chris Flanagan, CEO, Baffin Fisheries. “We appreciate the great service we receive in Nuuk and Sisimiut, but economics play a key role in decision making.”

Contacts: Keith Coady, Arctic Fishery Alliance, + 1 709 579 3278 [email protected], Chris Flanagan, Baffin Fisheries, [email protected] and Christian Keldsen, Grønlands Erhverv, +299 55 99 99 [email protected]

Originally published on 20 February.

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