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Staff shortages mean processors struggle to keep up with supplies

US - The sardines are being packed like, well, sardines off Oregon's Northern Coast. But fish processors are feeling the pressure. They say they are struggling to staff their operations to keep up with business.

Some processors point to industries such as construction who are competing for workers to fill temporary jobs. Others say tougher border enforcement has cramped the flow of immigrant labourers across Mexico's border.

And this year, there is an added difficulty for seasonal workers who are struggling to find housing. Migrant recruiters and housing managers say there are few options in the area for low-income housing.

Voleen Toten, who manages Elk Creek Terrace apartments in Cannon Beach, says it's so tough right now that she sees a number of people with children living in vans in parking lots. There are yearlong waits at some low-income housing sites.

The problem is expected to continue as processing season moves on. The sardine landings mark the beginning of the season and continues with other fish stocks through the summer.