Ocean Fisheries Ltd. v. Mitchell

In Contracts, Fish Cases on (Updated )

This case involved an agreement between a herring fish harvester and a fish processor whereby the fish processor advanced money to the fish harvester in exchange for an agreement to deliver fish. The agreement did not address the issue of what would happen if there were not enough fish landed to cover the funds advanced. At trial evidence was lead that it was the custom of Ocean Fisheries Ltd. to require its fish harvesters to assume the risk of a shortfall. There was no evidence either way with respect to the practice of other fish harvesters. Based upon the conclusion that it would not be commercially sensible for a fish processor to advance funds and not expect to get it back, the court implied a term into the contract that the fish harvester would be liable for any shortfall.