July 10, 2013
For immediate release
Minister meets with PEI Fishermen’s Association
Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
“We are fully committed to the success of the lobster fishery,” said Minister MacKinley. “With more than 1,200 fleets and 6,000 people working in the lobster industry, it is critical that the province support the industry through these difficult times.”
An update was provided on the work of former auditor general Colin Younker who has been contracted by the province to examine the factors which led to low shore prices in the 2013 spring season. There was also discussion about the three-member panel established by Maritime Fisheries Ministers to examine factors affecting lobster prices in Atlantic Canada and Maine and to work collectively on marketing initiatives. Both initiatives are underway and consultations are being held with harvesters, buyers, processors and brokers.
The minister discussed changes to the Fishers Low Interest Loan Program that could help those fishers facing financial hardship. He indicated that program changes designed to support fishers will be communicated to fishers over the next few days.
There was also discussion about the federal decision concerning lobster carapace size in LFA 25 announced earlier this week.
“I am extremely pleased with the decision by Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield not to increase lobster carapace size beyond 72 millimetres. The industry came together to present a united position and our efforts paid off. The decision reflects an understanding of the importance of canner lobsters to the Island economy,” he said.