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September 3, 2004
For immediate release

Lobster Fishery Issues Discussed

Agriculture, Fisheries, Aquaculture & Forestry

Prince Edward Island fisheries minister Kevin MacAdam held a courtesy meeting today with Nova Scotia MP Bill Casey to discuss issues in the Northumberland Strait lobster fishery. Also attending the meeting were two Northumberland Strait fishermen representing the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association and a fisherman from Nova Scotia.

“There was a good exchange of information on both sides,” said Mr. MacAdam. “Although no specific management measures were discussed, there is general agreement that additional science on this fishery is needed.” He said that the Southern Gulf Advisory Committee has been established to discuss specific management measures.

He said his department’s sea sampling program and the support of the Atlantic Veterinary College’s Lobster Science Centre are two examples of his department’s commitment to lobster science and conservation.

One of the issues discussed at today’s meeting was the idea of a fisheries resource conservation fund. “Fishermen in the Northumberland Strait from all three provinces are suffering financially and some are at risk of losing their livelihoods,” said Mr. MacAdam. “This fund could be established using revenue from fisheries resources with allocations that are experiencing major increases and that could provide income support and a buy-out program over an extended period of time.”

The minister said the fund could be managed jointly by industry and government representatives from all three provinces.

The minister said government and industry representatives from the three provinces could get together to discuss the merits of such a proposal, and depending on the outcome, a follow-up meeting could be held. Mr. MacAdam said he would be pleased to host such a meeting.

Media Contact: Kevin MacAdam
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