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February 5, 2014
For immediate release
Low Interest Loan Program extended to Western PEI lobster fishers
Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
The provincial government is expanding the low-interest loan program for fishers to include the western fishery in LFA 25, says Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allen Roach.
“We reopened the Fishers Low Interest Loan Program last summer to fishers in LFA 24 and 26A because we know there are fishers who have good prospects but who face current financial challenges,” said Minister Roach. “By extending the program to LFA 25, we are making sure all Island fishers have the chance to take part in this program.”
The Fishers Low Interest Loan Program assists Prince Edward Island fishers experiencing financial difficulties due to rising costs, low landings in some areas and market conditions that have resulted in low shore prices for lobsters.
“While we are working closely with industry to implement key recommendations from the recent lobster reports to achieve a more stable fishery, expanding this program will provide immediate relief for fishers facing financial hardship as a result of last year’s low prices,” said Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development Minister Ron MacKinley. “This expansion reflects government’s commitment to strengthening the fishery.”
The program, which began in 2007, will be reopened to allow new clients the opportunity to apply. It was open to LFA 24A and LFA 26 in summer 2013 and will now be open to LFA 25 as well.
In addition, Finance PEI will also be extending the interest rate of four per cent for existing clients under the Fishers Low Interest Loan Program for an additional year, so that clients will receive the lower interest rate for a total of seven years instead of six.
“This program is an indication of our belief in this industry as a major pillar of our Island economy,” said Minister Roach.
The program will be opened immediately for the fishers of LFA 25, and applications will be accepted until June 30, 2014, as they are in LFA 24A and 26.
The Fishers Low Interest Loan Program is a joint initiative of Finance PEI and the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development. Guidelines for the program can be obtained online at www.financepei.ca/index.php?number=1048313&lang=E.