July 8, 2013
For immediate release
Provincial Minister pleased with lobster carapace decision
Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
“I am extremely pleased with Minister Keith Ashfield’s decision not to increase lobster carapace size beyond 72 millimetres,” said the Minister. “Canner lobsters are the backbone of our fishery, creating jobs and economic spinoff in our rural communities. Any increase in carapace size would hurt our fishery and our economy.”
More than 80 per cent of canner lobsters caught in the Gulf of St. Lawrence is landed on Prince Edward Island and the majority of the catch is processed in the province.
“I presented the province’s position on this issue to Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield and to the Senate Committee on Fisheries and Oceans. As well, the Legislative Assembly passed a unanimous resolution opposing any change to carapace size beyond 72 millimetres,” Minister MacKinley said.
“Both Jeff Malloy, president of the Prince Edward Island Seafood Processors Association, and the fishing industry played a very important role ensuring carapace size did not go beyond 72 millimetres and I commend them for their input in this decision,” he said.
Prince Edward Island processors have developed a strong niche market for canner lobsters.
“The province works closely with the processing industry to respond to consumer demand for a high-quality smaller lobster and we have diversified markets for canner lobsters in Canada, U.S., Europe and Asia,” said the Minister. “From a marketing perspective, it makes no sense to increase carapace size. A successful industry needs a variety of product sizes and prices.”
The fall fishery in LFA 25 is scheduled to open August 9.