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August 11, 2004
For immediate release

MacAdam Continues to Press Lobster Issue

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

With the fall lobster fishery set to open on Monday, August 16, Prince Edward Island Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture and Forestry Minister Kevin MacAdam continues to express concern over Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ recent changes to the LFA 25 Lobster Management Plan. Federal Minister Geoff Regan announced the new management plan this spring despite the fact fishers signed a five-year management plan just last year. Key issues in the DFO plan that have been the centre of discussion in the lobster fishery have been DFO’s decision to increase the minimum carapace size to 70 mm in 2004, instead of the 69.5 mm previously agreed upon, the elimination of the restricted size range (window) for females and the adoption of a five inch maximum size restriction for males and females.

“We met with Minister Regan in the spring and asked him to honour the previously agreed upon lobster plan. Despite having scientific data showing females within the window are the most productive, Department of Fisheries and Oceans chose to impose a maximum size instead,” Minister MacAdam noted.

“Both Premier Binns and I asked Minister Regan to stay the course and see if the conservation plan, implemented with the cooperation of Prince Edward Island LFA 25 fishers in 2003, would be successful. It appears our requests have not been respected.”

Minister MacAdam said that LFA 25 fishers worked hard to develop a five-year conservation plan. “To see their efforts cast aside in less than a year is disheartening. These new management measures will cause additional hardship to fishers in this lobster area.”

“I am continuing to press Minister Regan for a face-to-face meeting for further discussion on the lobster issue and other important Prince Edward Island fishery issues, including herring seiners and the future of our groundfish-dependent fishermen. I want to ensure that Prince Edward Island’s interests are well understood when federal decisions are being made that affect the Prince Edward Island fishery,” concluded the Minister.

Media Contact: Barry MacPhee
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