November 7, 2013
For immediate release
Maritime Lobster Panel presents report on industry
Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
The three-member Maritime Lobster Panel presented its report and recommendations on the lobster industry today, November 7, to fisheries ministers from New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
The independent panel was appointed by the fisheries ministers to examine factors affecting lobster prices.
“The members of the panel took the time they needed to carry out an extensive consultation process over the past several months and I am confident that their recommendations will give us the foundation to move forward on the challenges facing the lobster industry,” said Michael Olscamp, New Brunswick Minister of Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries.
Since beginning its work in July, the panel met with about 100 organizations representing fishermen, buyers, shippers, processors, brokers and First Nations throughout the Maritimes, Newfoundland, Quebec and the state of Maine. The panel also received nearly 30 submissions from organizations, companies and individuals.
“I want to thank the panel members for their excellent work,” said Prince Edward Island Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Ron MacKinley. “My colleagues and I are committed to working with the Maritime lobster fishery to bring about the changes necessary to improve the returns for fishers and all other stakeholders in the industry.”
The panel members were Gilles Thériault of New Brunswick, John Hanlon of Nova Scotia and Lewie Creed of Prince Edward Island.
“Each of the Maritime provinces will be setting up sessions to brief representatives of our respective lobster industries on the Maritime Lobster Panel report,” said Nova Scotia Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister Keith Colwell. “We are committed to working with our counterparts in Newfoundland, Quebec and Maine and with the Federal Government to ensure the long-term viability and stability of the lobster industry.”
The report addresses five key areas. It looks at why there was a sudden drop in price this spring, and examines the various cost and revenue components of harvesters, buyers and processors in the Maritimes. The report also provides strategic marketing advice and action to stabilize, then increase, prices paid to harvesters.
It also recommends options for a formal system where the industry would know the price paid harvesters before landings.
The report is available at www.gov.pe.ca/fard