Tag Archives: P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association

Concerns on P.E.I. about the risk foreign bait might pose to ecosystem

In March, DFO put a moratorium on commercial fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and mackerel across the East Coast, saying urgent action is required to allow those fish stocks to recover. That moratorium led to fears of a shortage of bait for use in the lucrative Maritime lobster fishery. Mark Prevost, the co-owner of the Bait Masters alternative bait company in Nine Mile Creek, P.E.I., appeared before a federal fisheries committee earlier this week. He is calling on the federal government to regulate the kinds of fish being used for bait. >click to read< 15:36

P.E.I. fishermen seek province’s help in wake of herring, mackerel moratorium

In March, the federal DFO put a moratorium on commercial fishing for herring in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and mackerel across the East Coast, saying urgent action is required to allow the stocks to recover. Fishers were not pleased, and said a complete moratorium goes too far. “This has been a devastating and direct blow for these fishers,” said Molly Aylward, the association’s executive director, appearing before a legislative standing committee on natural resources. The P.E.I.F.A. represents independent core fishers who depend on the commercial herring and mackerel fishery for their main source of income, as well as lobster fishers who use the fish for bait, often fishing it themselves to keep their costs down. >click to read< 09:17

No incidents, but tension simmering as Lennox Island launches treaty fishery

“Everything went smooth and no trouble and it was a great day,” said Kyle Sark, captain of the lobster boat Way Point. The treaty fishers were able to set about 240 traps on Saturday, but plan to set 1,000 in what they say represents the “moderate livelihood” to which they are entitled. They said they have had trouble launching boats, because local boat-moving companies say non-Indigenous fishermen have threatened to boycott them. And with no understanding with DFO in place, it is raising tensions in the fishing community. PEIFA strongly advocates for peace on the water leaving any enforcement related to this unauthorized fishery to DFO and other authorities. >click to read< 15:19

Abegweit First Nation won’t launch treaty lobster fishery off P.E.I. this year

The community held a press conference on Friday saying it is still negotiating with DFO to get an agreement on the fishery, clarifying that it will not follow the decision of Lennox Island First Nation to launch such a fishery without the federal government’s support. Once it finalizes an agreement, Abegweit said it will launch its self-regulated moderate livelihood fishery when the community deems it is the right time. Gould wants to make sure all commercial fishers on the Island realize Lennox Island and Abegweit are separate communities, and Abegweit is conducting its own negotiations with DFO independently. Abegweit First Nation fishes commercially using communal licences owned by the band, and the chief said he is proud of the relationships his community has built with non-Indigenous harvesters in the surrounding area. >click to read< 18:07

P.E.I. – Lennox Island First Nation to launch unauthorized treaty lobster fishery

The Lennox Island First Nation says it will be launching a treaty lobster fishery off P.E.I.’s North Shore next week with or without the federal government’s support. The First Nation has a clear treaty right to harvest lobster for a moderate livelihood without the federal government’s approval, a right affirmed by the Supreme Court of Canada in the 1999 Marshall ruling.  The First Nation intends to launch the treaty fishery on Saturday, May 7, weather permitting. On Thursday afternoon, the provincial fishermen’s association issued a written release, calling it “unfortunate” that discussions between the federal government, non-Indigenous fishing associations and First Nations have not taken place to discuss the requirements further.  >click to read< 17:09

91-year-old active fisherman in P.E.I. to be inducted into Acadian Business Hall of Fame

For many people, eventual retirement is the force that pulls them to work every day, but for 91-year-old Alcide Arsenault, it’s a love of the sea. “In the spring, when the ice goes, it’s just like a magnet that takes you back to the shore. I’ve always loved fishing.” Alcide, who lives in Cape Egmont, has been fishing lobster off P.E.I.’s north and south shores since 1944 when he was just 14 and could be the oldest active fisherman in P.E.I. On Dec. 3, he was named one of four 2022 inductees into the Acadian Business Hall of Fame, considered the highest and most prestigious recognition from the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI. >click to read< 10:50

Weather Delay: Spring lobster seasons in parts of three Maritimes provinces to open on Tuesday.

The decision came after the Lobster Advisory Committee met with DFO Sunday morning. The seasons for LFA 23 in northeastern New Brunswick, LFA 24 in northern P.E.I. and LFA 26A in southerneastern P.E.I. and northern Nova Scotia were originally scheduled to start April 30, but were delayed due to poor weather. “Safety is paramount,” Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association,,, >click to read< 14:35

Lobster season delayed on P.E.I.’s North Shore, now, Southern P.E.I. lobster crews as well

Setting day was scheduled for Friday, but that has been moved to Monday for lobster fishing area 24, which includes the North Shore of P.E.I. A decision on the opening for LFA 26A, which encompasses the southeastern shore from Point Prim to Victoria, is expected Thursday. Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, says delays are not uncommon, but fishermen were hoping for a good start this year after the season was delayed two weeks last year due to COVID-19. >click to read< – The opening of the spring lobster season is being delayed for southern Prince Edward Island because of high winds in the forecast, a day after a similar decision was made for North Shore boats. >click to read< 12:19

Consultation lacking on decision to reactivate licenses for Indigenous communities

The reactivation of dormant lobster fishing licences by the federal government has prompted a terse statement from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) and the Maritime Fishermen’s Union (MFU). The two organizations say they were left out of consultation over the reactivation of 10 lobster licences by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) in the Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25, located on the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.,,, The statement said fishermen were “frustrated” by the lack of consultation prior to the decision and called for the federal government to bring together Indigenous and non-Indigenous fishermen’s organizations. >click to read< 09:54

PEISPA, PEIFA disappointed with the opening date of fall lobster season

The opening day is Monday, Aug. 10. A media release issued from the PEISPA explains this date will create difficulty for lobster processors to handle the large number of lobsters that will be harvested in the first week. The release goes on to say the fall season would usually start on Aug. 9, but since that date falls on a Sunday this year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) supported changing the opening date.  “We are very disappointed that DFO rejected our simple but impactful request to start the fall fishery on Aug. 7,” said Jerry Gavin, executive director of the PEISPA. The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) also made a formal request for an earlier start date, confirmed executive director Ian MacPherson. >click to read< 09:54

Lower prices, reduced markets ‘doesn’t make for good math’ – P.E.I. fishermen ask for four day season extension

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) has asked for a four-day extension to the spring lobster season. The PEIFA made the request to the federal fisheries minister and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on June 16 to help offset the delayed start to the season. The season started two weeks late because of coronavirus and concerns over the safety of crews on boats, and questions over the demand and markets for lobster. According to the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, about 200 fishermen have been dealing with quotas for most of the season, and prices are down substantially this year — most fishermen have been getting between $3.50 and $4.50 a pound for their catch.  >click to read< 21:57

Coronavirus: Crew screening, enhanced cleaning part of P.E.I. lobster season launch Friday

The season was delayed two weeks by the COVID-19 pandemic. That delay was partly in the hopes that depressed markets would recover somewhat, and partly to give the industry time to establish new safety protocols to prevent an outbreak within the industry. Those protocols include Daily health questions for captains and crew before they board a fishing vessel. Minimum number of crew on board. No sharing of equipment, such as gloves and clothing,(more),,, The new rules were developed by the P.E.I. Workers Compensation Board in consultation with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, and reviewed by the chief public health officer. >click to read< 08:32

‘Level of anxiety really high’: Lobster season to start Friday for some Maritimers>click to read<

Some P.E.I. fishermen feeling left out of lobster market

This year due to considerations around the coronavirus (COVID-19 strain) pandemic, P.E.I. lobster fishers will be setting traps on May 15 instead. Beach Point fisher Brayden Handrahan says he was ready to fish April 30 as usual, and he says he’s not alone. “That’s when everybody gets the most lobster, in the first two weeks, and that’s why everybody wants to go,” he said. Federal Fisheries Minister Bernadette Jordan said her department chose May 15 after fishers in licensed fishing areas (LFAs) 24 and 26a voted on the date. Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, who co-ordinated the vote, says it was close, but the majority asked for a delay. By the time the vote was underway, many felt it was too late for the season to start on time, said MacPherson. As the decision date approached, Jordan added a “new wrinkle” by including processors into her considerations, he said. >click to read< 09:50

Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation calling on Ottawa for Coronavirus aid

The Canadian Independent Fish Harvesters Federation says the federal government needs to do more to help people who work on the water sooner rather than later, amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The federation represents fishing groups from across the country, including the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. “The time for some assistance that we heard the minister speak about is now,” said Melanie Sonnenberg, president of the federation. Earlier this week, federal Minister of Fisheries Bernadette Jordan announced Ottawa’s plan to help processors during the pandemic and said the federal government is working on help for fishermen. >click to read< 14:53

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association want answers about new whale restrictions

Among the new rules, Transport Canada has identified a sensitive area off western P.E.I. that it’s calling the Shediac Valley. Boats won’t be allowed in unless absolutely necessary, but exact boundaries have not yet been set. “The coordinates won’t actually be set until after the whales arrive,” said Melanie Giffin, marine biologist for the association. “So we don’t actually know the location of that box until the whales are here and aggregating. So there’s still some confusion around that.” >click to read< 11:48

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association hopes N.S. rejects Northern Pulp effluent plan

The federal government’s decision not to carry out an environmental assessment on the Northern Pulp mill is a “setback,” says the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association.  Now the final word on the mill’s future is in the hands of Nova Scotia Environment Minister Gordon Wilson. He’s scheduled to release his environmental assessment decision on the Pictou County pulp mill’s controversial plan for a new effluent treatment facility at 11 a.m. Tuesday. >click to read< 07:55

Lennox Island chief says First Nation has right to fish lobster in July

Chief Darlene Bernard was reacting to a statement the PEIFA issued last week indicating it supports a mid-summer ban on all lobster fishing activity in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence. A news release indicated the ban, proposed as a conservation measure, would also include the food, social and ceremonial fishery, but as far as Bernard is concerned, that’s the only fishery that would be impacted by such a ban and she is having no part of it. “It’s still rights-based,” Bernard said of the First Nations’ food social and ceremonial fishery. >click to read< 09:09

PEIFA joins MFU in seeking mid-summer lobster-fishing ban

“After 20 years of lobster research from the government of Canada and our science affiliate, Homarus, we understand just how important the mid-summer (July 7 – Aug. 7) is for the hatching and development of lobster larvae into juvenile lobsters,” MFU executive director, Martin Mallet said. ”Any fishing activity during this time has an extremely negative effect on several key biological processes for lobster, including moulting, extrusion of new eggs and hatching of eggs that are in the final stages of development.” >click to read<  08:54

‘They need to come to the table’, Lennox Island chief rejects PEIFA’s calls for July lobster fishery ban

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is requesting a ban be implemented by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans on lobster fishing for part of the summer. The association is supporting the idea of a ban on all lobster fishing in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence during midsummer, mainly July.,,, Chief Darlene Bernard of the Lennox Island First Nation said they have a ceremonial fishery in the month of July for the annual St. Anne’s Sunday celebration and she has no plans to stop it. >click to read<  18:21

P.E.I. fishermen feel unjustified blame in right whale deaths, says PEIFA

Island fishermen feel they’re being blamed in some cases of right whales becoming entangled in fishing gear and dying this year, according to the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. Several of the eight dead right whales found this year have been entangled in fishing gear. “This year a number of the deaths that were necropsied already show to be due to vessel strikes rather than the entanglement,” >click to read<  19:45

How a small change in scallop gear could make a big difference on P.E.I.

Some Island scallop harvesters are adjusting the way they do their work this year, in the hopes that it’ll help make the fishery more sustainable. The idea is that by increasing the size of the holes, or rings, in the trawler used to fish scallops, only larger ones will be caught, leaving younger ones to grow and multiply. With this in mind, Fisheries and Oceans Canada has changed the minimum ring size for one of the scallop fishing areas surrounding Prince Edward Island, Zone 22.,It was aboard Island scallop harvester Richard Gallant’s boat that this research took place last spring — with assistance from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. Gallant has been harvesting scallops for more than two decades, and said he’s been advocating for changes like these for a while.,, >click to read<14:11

New Brunswick fish-packing plant fire could affect P.E.I. fishery

Officials in the Island fishing industry are monitoring the fallout from a fire that destroyed a fish-packing plant in Cap-Pelé, N.B. The impacts will definitely be felt more so in New Brunswick, officials with the P.E.I. Department of Agriculture and Fisheries said.  “We have a small number of lobster buyers who sell their lobsters purchased in P.E.I. to this processor.,,, The Cape Bald Packers fish-packing plant in Cap-Pelé was destroyed by fire this past Sunday. The plant employed about 500 people, no one was injured in the fire. >click to read<19:56

P.E.I. Lobster fishermen confused and frustrated over prices

Lobster fishermen are expressing frustration with prices for their catch at the wharf this spring being about the same as they were 16 years ago. “The harvesters of Prince Edward Island are experiencing a season that is both confusing and frustrating,” the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association said in a news release issued early Friday morning. With the spring season coming up to the midway mark, the PEIFA says prices at the wharf in 2018 are comparable to what was being paid in 2002. >click to read<09:03

Lobster fishermen are putting canopies over the formerly open deck

Some lobster fishing boats are sporting a new look this year. Fishermen are installing canopies over the formerly open deck behind the wheel house. It’s all about keeping the catch fresher — and tastier. “For lobster quality,” said Lyman Getman, a fisherman in Tignish, P.E.I. “Keep the sun off them. Keep them cool.” The removable tops are becoming an increasingly common sight in Tignish and at other ports around the Island. >click to read<18:47

New safety gear needed for P.E.I. lobster fishermen, but supply comes up short

P.E.I. lobster fishermen will have some new safety gear on board when the spring lobster season opens at the end of April. At least, they are supposed to, after new federal safety rules came into effect last July. But the new fishery safety standards affect more than 22,000 Canadian boats and that has left many fishermen scrambling to get the gear they need. Under the new Transport Canada regulations unveiled in 2016, fishing vessels are required to have specific safety gear on board, including a life raft, survival suits and a location signaling device. >click to read< 18:10

P.E.I. Lobster fishery reduces floating rope in hopes of protecting North Atlantic right whales

Lobster fishers on P.E.I. are taking new measures this season to help protect the endangered North Atlantic right whales from entanglement. In January, Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc announced changes to the snow crab fishery in the Gulf of St. Lawrence to protect the right whales, including reducing the amount of rope floating on the surface and mandatory reporting of all lost gear. Fishermen are also required to report any sightings of the endangered whales. >click to read<13:46

Pro-Active – P.E.I. snow crab industry figuring out how to protect endangered whales

Fisheries experts are on a tight timeline to figure out changes to the snow crab fishery to protect endangered right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence before the 2018 seasons starts. The season opens in April — including 35 Island fishermen landing about $14 million dollars worth for the Island. Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) wants feedback from fishing groups in the next two to three weeks. Industry and DFO officials met in Moncton Wednesday to discuss possible solutions. One of the ideas was starting fishing earlier so fishermen could possibly reach their quota before whales arrive. click here to read the story 19:17

Ian MacPherson navigates waters of lobster industry

Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, admits he has no commercial fishing background. But he is still an important voice advocating for the association’s membership with the help of 1,300 experts at his disposal. Originally from Toronto, MacPherson joined the organization in 2010 after working in the transportation industry in Alberta and New Brunswick. According to Statistics Canada, the industry contributed about $73 million in 2016 to the Island’s GDP. To date, there is an estimated 1280 fishing licences held on the Island valued at $800,000 to $1 million per license, explained MacPherson. click here to read the story 08:53

Fisheries and Oceans Canada has granted an extension to the halibut fishing season for the first time. 

The move was made to allow Island fisherman an opportunity to fill their quota for the year. As of the end of last week, the 330 registered fishermen on P.E.I. had only caught half of the allowed number.  Bobby Jenkins, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said catches haven’t been what they were. Fisheries and Oceans is allowing fishermen two more days next week and another two the following week, and then the P.E.I.F.A. will reassess. click here to read the story 09:53