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

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

It’s time for P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association to grow up

10-lobsters1‘Will fishermen assume their traditional role of bitching and complaining, and doing little else?’ General speaking, lobster fishermen fishing the spring season on the Island had a “pretty good year.” While catches were down from last year in some harbours on the north side and on the south-east coast, prices ranging from $6.50 to $8 a pound made up for it. There wouldn’t be many boats that grossed less than $100,000 and there’d be a good many that grossed well over $200,000.,, Recently the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) decided to gradually increase the minimum legal size for lobsters caught in District 25. Scientific and anecdotal evidence suggests that following an increase in the carapace size, catch sizes also increase. There seems to be general acceptance of this change. However, no one was surprised when PEIFA opposed the measure. Read the story here 12:00

P.E.I. – Only five tuna have been landed so far this season

pei tuna season 2016Michael McInnis’s tuna season is over before most members of the Island’s fleet even toss a baited hook over the sides of their boats. The Island’s fleet has landed only five of the big fish since the season opened Aug. 1, and McInnis has one of them. “I was just about to take in the hooks and call it a day when it struck,” he said. The fish gave him a 45-minute fight before he was able to bring it alongside his boat. Doug Fraser, a member of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association’s tuna advisory committee, said there have been three good-sized fish landed in western P.E.I. over the past week and two smaller ones in eastern P.E.I. prior to that. “As we move into September, the next four or five weeks, it really ramps up pretty quickly.” Read the story here 14:49

An optimistic outlook for fall lobster fishery in LFA 25

2016-07-28-05-00-53-Fall%20lobsterThe president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association thinks the way the spring lobster fishery finished off bodes well for the fall fishery which is due to open Aug. 9. “There is really heavy, heavy demand,” Craig Avery noted. Avery, who fishes spring lobster out of Northport, saw prices start off at $5.25 and $5.75 a pound for canners and markets respectively. By the end of the season he was getting $7.75 across the board while some buyers to the eastern end of the province were paying $8.00 a pound for canners and $8.25 a pound for markets. “I don’t see any reason why the price shouldn’t stay the same as where it finished this spring,” Avery commented. He pointed out the Lobster Fishing Area 25 is pretty well “the only show in Canada,” when it comes to fall lobster. Read the story here 20:09

P.E.I. lobster fishermen being polled about season extension beyond June 30th closure

lobster-avery-1Island lobster fishermen are being asked if they want an extension of the spring season. In most parts of the Island, the season is scheduled to end on June 30th, but low catches in some areas and stormy weather have prompted a discussion around adding more fishing days into July.  “It’s very preliminary at this point. We’re doing a canvas amongst our harvester organizations to see if there’s interest for us to proceed,” explained Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. “It won’t be something we proceed with unless there’s quite a bit of significant support.” A spokesperson for DFO Gulf Region says the department has not received any request from P.E.I. for an extension to the spring lobster season but says there was no delay in the opening so “no circumstances which would warrant an extension of the season”. Read the rest here 09:11

P.E.I. lobster fishermen hope higher prices make up for lower catches

lobster-avery-1With prices currently at $6.50 for canners and $7 for markets, P.E.I. lobster fishermen are hoping to ride out a spring of bad weather and lower catches. “Prices have been fairly good, catches are down quite a bit and the weather has been just terrible,” said Craig Avery, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, who stayed on shore Monday for the third time this season. “It’s been a tough, tough year. The price, whatever we’re getting for them, it’s well-earned,” he added. About a thousand Island fishermen are currently on the water, including 630 along the North Shore from North Cape to East Point and 340 on the south shore from East Point to Victoria, P.E.I.. Catches are down all along P.E.I.’s North Shore, called Lobster Fishing Area 24, according to what Avery is hearing. He fishes out of Northport, near Alberton, P.E.I., and estimates his catch will be down about 25 per cent from last season. Read the rest here 09:56

P.E.I. fishermen are not happy with the lobster size increase

lobster-sizeA decision to increase the lobster carapace size for Lobster Fishing Area 25 has upset the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans issued a notice to fishermen Friday informing them of the change. PEIFA executive director Ian MacPherson said he doesn’t believe the science supports a carapace increase. “Island fishermen just can’t see the value in having less choice for the consumer and having more lobster competing in certain size categories for price,” said MacPherson. “Half of the plants on Prince Edward Island rely on the smaller lobster as a large part of their marketing efforts. They have been marketing to different parts of the world that want that smaller lobster so, you know, this is a real disappointment.”  Read the rest here 09:03

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association: Lower catches and increased demand are driving lobster prices up

10-lobsters1P.E.I. lobster fishermen are getting about $1 more a pound this year than they did at this time last year. They are getting $5 a pound for canners and $5.75 for market lobsters. Craig Avery, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, has heard rumours some fishermen are getting as much as $6 a pound for markets. On Wednesday, grocery stores in Charlottetown were selling live market lobsters from between $9 and $11 a pound. Lower catches and increased demand have driven the price up, he said. Much of the demand is coming from Asia and Europe. Avery credits fishermen, processors and government officials for working hard to promote Island lobster. Link 09:35

PEIFA president is optimistic, sees signs of higher prices

The president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is chomping at the bit to get the 2016 spring lobster fishery underway next weekend and he’s optimistic of higher prices. “Prices are tremendously high, over $8.00 a pound over in Nova Scotia right now,” Craig Avery said Friday. Avery, who will be setting out of Northport Harbour in Lobster Fishing Area 24 on April 30, estimated the starting price for a lobster fishery that got underway in Nova Scotia on April 19 to be between $2.00 and $2.50 a pound higher than what they got starting out in years past. “There’s a lot of optimism out there and we’re hoping, definitely, for a higher price than last year, for sure,” Avery commented. Read the rest here 14:47

P.E.I. fishermen have concerns about some proposed safety requirements

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association has concerns about some of Transport Canada’s proposed changes to safety requirements for commercial fishing vessels. Transport Canada says these changes are designed to help prevent accidents and loss of life. It notes 58 per cent of the fatalities are caused by stability-related accidents and 27 per cent are caused by falling overboard. The proposed changes include new safety equipment requirements, introducing safe operating procedures for crews, and requiring stability assessments for some existing and all new fishing vessels. Read the rest here 08:56

Prince Edward Island fishermen want dedicated cabinet minister

lobsterDM0811_468x521A dedicated minister and department of fisheries should be created to tackle the issues and challenges facing the second most important primary industry in the province, say Island fishermen. The call for separating the provincial Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was delivered during the annual meeting of the  Friday in the P.E.I Convention Centre in Charlottetown. “We definitely need our own minister because things move too fast in this industry and there are too many issues to deal with for a department that has two portfolios,” said president Craig Avery. “We have no problem with the current minister or deputy who are great people, but we need our own.” Read the rest here 10:17

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association seeks better prices, more quotas

Better prices and increased quotas were a few of the topics discussed at the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association annual general meeting. The two day meeting held in Charlottetown featured speakers on seafood marketing, ongoing tuna and halibut research, and a report on lobster prices. “Fishermen expect a better price due to the low Canadian dollar this year, that always helps us, but it’s about supply and demand, hopefully looking forward to this spring for more money than we got last year,” said Bobby Jenkins, PEIFA vice president. Jenkins said increasing quotas remains a priority for this year.  Read the rest here 09:52

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association launching crew member recruitment campaign

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is launching a new campaign and training program to combat a growing problem in the lobster industry — fishermen are having trouble finding enough crew members. The association conducted a survey of 250 captains that showed many respondents were struggling to recruit crew members. Fishermen describe the problem as a perfect storm: they are getting older, the catches are up, and they need two crew members to help handle the load. But finding them is now harder. The survey showed:  Read the article here 08:42

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association asking for separate deputy minister

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is asking the province to appoint a separate deputy minister of fisheries. Association President Craig Avery says the association took a wait-and-see approach when Premier Wade MacLauchlan combined the agriculture and fisheries portfolio following last May’s election. However, Avery — a veteran fisher himself — says the industry is now convinced something needs to change. Read the rest here 08:01

P.E.I. lobster levy will launch this spring

When the lobster fishery begins this spring, P.E.I. will become the first province in the region where a two-cent-per-pound levy will be collected. The levy will take one cent per pound from P.E.I. fishermen for lobster they bring in and another cent per pound from the buyers. The money will be used for marketing. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are expected to launch their own levies in 2017. A lobster marketing board — comprised of six executives from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) and six lobster fishermen — has been established to decide how to spend the harvesters’ half of the money. Read the story here 08:06

P.E.I. fishing industry wants more temporary foreign workers to fill vacant processing jobs

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association wants changes made to the temporary foreign workers program to allow seafood processing plants to hire more workers. Executive Director Ian MacPherson said there needs to be enough workers to process the catch from the lobster season that is only a few months away. PEIFA is asking the federal government to loosen up the restrictions brought in by the previous government. Those restrictions limit the number of foreign workers entering the country. Read the article here 09:28

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association – Hunter Tootoo a good choice for federal fisheries minister

The head of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is pleased with the appointment of Nunavut MP Hunter Tootoo as the new minister. Up until her defeat last month, Island fishermen had local Egmont MP Gail Shea as their minister. While there were many benefits to that, association executive director Ian MacPherson said Island fishermen are looking forward to a fresh take on the fishery from Tootoo. Read the rest here 09:41

The Master Lobster brand – “Every lobster fishermen in Prince Edward Island is part of this brand”

The first shipment of P.E.I.-brand processed lobster products from the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association has left the Island. The blanched frozen lobster was shipped from Royal Star Foods in Tignish Tuesday, about a year and a half after the association began working on the Master Lobster brand, which the PEIFA hopes will distinguish P.E.I. product from the competition. “Fishermen decided that we want to be a part of marketing and promotion, [to] create competition in the marketplace,” said president Craig Avery. Read the rest here 08:08

Possible World Record breaker for longest lobster roll at the P.E.I. Shellfish Festival

2015-09-20-07-08-10-20092015-PRV-shellfish5%20mmAt 79-feet and one-inch long, organizers felt the sandwich was big enough to earn the Guinness world record. The sandwich was prepared by Charlottetown chef Ross Munro, Food Network Canada chef Lynn Crawford and Indiana chef Matt Nolot. “Partying, shucking and shellfish. It’s great,” said Munro after the record attempt. “I’m very happy, it’s always fun to bring something different to the Island.” The roll also was made with 75 pounds of lobster donated by the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, as well as 20 litres of mayonnaise, 24 lemons and five pounds of red onion. Read the rest here

UPEI leads three-year study on impact of pesticide run-off

The University of Prince Edward Island is taking the lead on a team of researchers examining the potential impact of agricultural pesticide run-off on lobsters in the Northumberland Strait. The three-year study is funded by a Strategic Partnership Grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) and brings together partners from UPEI, the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) and Homarus Inc. — a non-profit organization managed by the Maritime Fishermen’s Union. “The lobster populations in the Northumberland Strait have been collapsed for quite a number of years and no amount of fisheries measures seem,,, Read the rest here 11:29

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is happy the province is seeking to become ‘Canada’s Food Island’

A proposal to brand P.E.I. as “Canada’s Food Island” has the full support of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. Under the plan, announced recently by Premier Wade MacLauchlan, the province hopes to expand on the Island’s growing reputation as a food destination. The proposal includes an expansion of fresh lobster holding capacity through expansion of existing facilities and the establishment of new ones. Read the rest here 12:59

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association concerned about Gulf of St. Lawrence oil exploration

The executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is calling on the federal government to better assess the risks of oil exploration in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Ian MacPherson wants Ottawa to study the potential impact of an oil spill on the seafood industry. Halifax-based Corridor Resources has applied to do exploratory drilling in the Old Harry reserve between the Magdalen Islands and Newfoundland. Read the rest here 10:01

P.E.I. lobster season extended four days

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association asked for an extension of the season to make up for the late start, and on Thursday Fisheries and Oceans Minister Gail Shea announced a four-day extension. “This four-day extension strikes the right balance between ensuring we protect our precious resource while allowing our fishermen to get more days out fishing,” said Shea in a news release. Read the rest here 05:33

The P.E.I Fishermen’s Association ask’s DFO for response on lobster season extension by Wednesday

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association has sent a letter to Fisheries and Oceans Canada asking for a decision on an extension to the spring lobster season no later than next Wednesday, June 24. The season normally closes June 30. The executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association Ian MacPherson said fishermen need to know what will happen. “For a variety of reasons, certainly so people can plan what they need to do to either leave their traps in the water or take them out,” Read the rest here 12:39

P.E.I. lobster fishermen pleased with first catches – Fishermen’s Association confident lobster levy to go ahead

Saturday marks the first day of the year that fresh Island lobster is available for sale on P.E.I. Fishermen along the North Shore started their season yesterday, eight days late, because of ice. Read the rest here 11:01  P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is optimistic the one cent per pound levy will go ahead as planned. The money will be used for marketing and Island fishermen voted in favour of the levy last fall. Read the rest here 11:04

P.E.I. Lobster fishing opening date still unclear

The earliest Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen will be setting traps for the spring fishery is Monday, May 4, according to the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association. However, Association president Craig Avery says boats on the South shore of the Island may have to wait longer than that because, as Avery told CBC Monday, most of the harbours from East Point to Victoria are still iced in. Read the rest here 11:39

P.E.I. Lobster season opening under discussion

Officials from the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans will be on a conference call with fishermen in the region Monday to update the start of the lobster fishing season. On Thursday DFO decided to delay the April 30 opening of the spring lobster fishery due to ice in many harbours. No new date for the opening was set. That is expected to be discussed on the conference call. Read the rest here 10:35

Lobster industry looks to students for labour shortage

Shut DownThe P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is in talks with Holland College to design a course for people who want to work on lobster boats. Lobster boat captains are having trouble finding crew. They say many potential workers have moved out west, and others are retiring. Ian MacPherson, executive director of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, said a short Holland College course on lobster boats skills and safety may be particularly appealing to college athletes looking for a job to help them keep in shape. Read the rest here 11:09

P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association has signed a $17-million, three-year deal to sell lobster in China.

 Acting association president Craig Avery said 2.5 million pounds (1.1 million kg) of raw, blanched lobster will be exported to Lanesync Supply Chain over three years. Lanesync is just getting into the lobster business, said Avery,, Read the rest here 16:30