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April 28, 2004
For immediate release

MacAdam Responds to Lobster Management Proposals

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

Prince Edward Island Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry Minister Kevin MacAdam said today he wants to discuss the recently announced 2004 proposed lobster fishery management plan for Area 25 with federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Geoff Regan. The management plan was released last Friday.

I want to have further discussions on the increase of the minimum carapace size to 70 mm, the elimination of the existing prohibited size range and the implementation of a maximum size for both male and female lobsters, said Mr. MacAdam. I share the views of fishermen that the results of management measures established last year should have been taken into account before more restrictive measures are put in place for the coming season.

Minister MacAdam said that Premier Binns, last February, asked Minister Regan to stay the course and see if the conservation measures implemented in 2003 were successful. This request was not respected.

Mr. MacAdam said he is concerned that the proposed management plan fails to reflect the recommendations put forward by the Prince County Fishermens Association. The Association draws on the collective experience of fishermen, and I am disappointed their views were ignored in the establishment of these additional conservation measures, he said.

The Minister said that fishermen already adopted several of the other measures to reduce effort put forward in the management plan, including reconfiguration of their traps and downward adjustments in trap sizes.

We are all concerned about the conservation of the resource in this area, and want to see the stocks in this area rebound, said Mr. MacAdam. It is my view that the plan initiated in 2003 with the additional suggestions put forth by the Association would have been an appropriate course of action. The change to the minimum size and the implementation of the maximum size limit on both male and female lobsters will undoubtedly have an economic impact on the livelihoods of the fishermen in this area.

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Media Contact: Wayne MacKinnon
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