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November 13, 2013
For immediate release
Independent Review of the Prince Edward Island Lobster Fishery released
Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
The Independent Review of the Prince Edward Island Lobster Fishery has been presented to government and was released to industry today, says Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley.
“The lobster industry is at a crossroads,” said the minister. “We now have a maritime report and a provincial report both recommending ways to strengthen and move the industry forward. I am fully committed to working with fishers, buyers and processors to shape a stronger industry that returns a better price to fishers and all those involved.”
The review was commissioned last spring to examine factors that contributed to low shore prices for lobster that caused fishers to tie up their boats. It was carried out by former auditor general Colin Younker, in conjunction with MRSB. Extensive interviews were held with fishers, buyers, processors, brokers and industry associations. Financial data was reviewed to help present an accurate picture of the current state of the industry.
Last week, the Maritime Lobster Panel presented its report to regional fisheries ministers. The report addressed five key areas and provided strategic marketing advice and action to stabilize and increase prices paid to fishers. It also recommended options for a formal system to establish shore price.
“The work carried out by Colin Younker and the Maritime Lobster Panel will help chart the course for the lobster industry to achieve better results,” said Minister MacKinley. “By working together, our rural communities that depend upon the lobster fishery could see increased job opportunities and economic growth. I am fully committed to working with the lobster industry to determine the best path forward.”
The lobster fishery is a key contributor to the provincial economy. Prince Edward Island fishers caught more than 27 million pounds of lobster in 2013, with a landed value of $91 million. More than 5,000 people earn their living in the lobster sector.
Copies of the report are available from Island Information Service or online Independent Review of the Prince Edward Island Lobster Industry.