Tag Archives: Prince Edward Island

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

Lobster prices similar to 2021 though costs up, say P.E.I. fishers

Lobster prices are about the same as they were this time last year, but expenses are on the rise, says one P.E.I. fisherman. “Prices and catches are good,” said Malpeque lobster fisher Chris Wall. At the wharf, prices for fishermen are between $7 and $8 per pound, down from $8.50 and $9 per pound earlier in the season, said Wall. The 2021 minimum shore price between June 6-12 was $6.97 per pound while average market price was $9.78 per pound,,, >click to read< 18:55

PEI – Lobster prices remain low as fuel and bait cost soar

The cost of fuel and bait continue to cause concern as fishers in LFA 24 reach the halfway point in their season. “Expenses are at a high right now,” said Korbin Fraser, Captain of the No Worries, based in Northport. “You really got to watch what you’re spending on fuel and bait because your profit can go out the window pretty quick.” Shane Gavin, captain of the Miss Holly 86, based in Seacow Pond, commiserates with Mr Fraser on the expense of these necessities. “You gotta have bait and fuel, you can’t do nothing about it,” said Shane Gavin. “I just hope the lobsters stay where they’re at right now for a while anyway, for another couple of weeks.” While expenses have been increasing, prices haven’t. >click to read< 10:19

Lobster prices in P.E.I. similar to last year, but rising fuel costs have had impact

Donnie MacPhee was on his way home when he saw the truck. “Lobsters. Canners: $9.00. Markets: $10.00,” the sign read. MacPhee stopped in and bought one market lobster, the bigger size, to make lobster rolls for him and his wife. He was one of several customers who stopped by Mike Lannigan’s truck in the Nimrod’s parking lot in Stratford,,, The rising cost of fuel has had some impact, but so have the other rising costs, said Lannigan. “Little bit of everything, right? Same as any business, going to throw it off a little bit. >click to read< 07:55

Snow crab fishermen plead guilty for failing to accurately report catch weight

A number of snow crab fishers pleaded guilty in a P.E.I. court Thursday to violations of the Fisheries Act following a Department of Fisheries and Oceans investigation of landings at a Souris wharf in recent years. A total of 13 people are charged. The three fishermen in court in Georgetown Thursday pleaded guilty to charges of failing to accurately report the weight of their catches of snow crab in accordance with the Fisheries Act. Also pleading guilty was a woman who worked on the dock monitoring crab catches. Court heard the fishers unloaded the catches in Souris between June of 2019 and May of 2020 at Souris wharf. >click to read< 19:12

Lennox Island, DFO reach ‘interim understanding’ on lobster treaty fishery

The fishery hadn’t been authorized by DFO before it launched on May 7, which meant it could have been subject to enforcement including trap seizures or fines. “We have continued discussions with DFO in the hopes of reaching some kind of understanding that would see our community members able to exercise our treaty right to fish and harvest lobster, while respecting conservation and sustainability,” Chief Darlene Bernard said in a written release. >click to read< 17:18

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

Lennox Island treaty lobster fishery gets underway without government approval

Treaty fishers set out following a morning ceremony at the island’s harbour, a week after the P.E.I. First Nation announced it would launch a moderate living fishery without authorization from the federal government. The initial plan was to set 1,000 lobster traps during the first day of the fishery. But Chief Darlene Bernard said they had to lower that target because some of the fishers did not have enough time to prepare. The decision to launch the fishery without the government’s authorization follows two years of negotiations between Lennox Island and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans that broke down last week. >click to read< 10:08

Why Lennox Island First Nation is launching a treaty fishery without federal approval

Prince Edward Island’s Lennox Island First Nation is set to launch its first moderate livelihood fishery, or treaty fishery on Saturday. The fishery is not authorized by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, after negotiations to reach an agreement were unsuccessful, but the First Nation says it doesn’t have to be.  To understand the significance of the decision to proceed without a nation-to-nation agreement in place, it’s important to know the history of the ongoing debate and the unique treaty rights held by the Mi’kmaq as the original inhabitants of the Maritime region. >click to read< 11:13

Prince Edward Island: Lobster fishermen sail out to start the spring season

It’s setting day, the start of the season when fishermen drop their traps and begin the two months of intensive work of bringing ashore the east coast’s famous delicacy. The season is starting with lobster prices high. While prices are up, so are costs. Diesel is at record-high prices, and bait is harder to come by with a moratorium on herring and mackerel fisheries. photos, >click to read< 08:47

Lobster fishing season in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence will open on Tuesday

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans announced on Saturday that lobster fishing areas 23, 24, 26A and 26B South will open on May 3 at 6 a.m.  That includes areas along the northeastern coast of New Brunswick, the north shore of P.E.I., the western coast of Cape Breton, and part of the Northumberland Strait. The season was supposed to start on Saturday, but earlier this week the DFO postponed the opening due to the weather and the need for dredging at many harbours. >click to read< 19:40

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

P.E.I. Lobster season delayed by weather, need for dredging

No date has yet been set for opening P.E.I.’s spring lobster fishery in LFAs 24 and 26A. The season was originally set to open on Saturday. “If the tide is reasonable and the weather conditions are favourable, I’m sure we can squeak out over it,” said Chris Wall, who has fished out of Malpeque for more than 30 years. “Weather is something that we always watch and talk about on P.E.I. anyway, but you do have to pay more attention to it, especially when you’re going with a fully laden boat … For some people, it’s the first time out of the harbour for the year because it hasn’t been fit to leave otherwise.” >click to read< 08:41

P.E.I. – Working toward hybrid and electric fishing boats

Ian MacPherson, senior adviser for the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association, said the pilot project will not only help the environment, and get P.E.I. closer to its goal of net-zero carbon emmissions, but also cut ever-increasing fuel costs for fishermen. Aspin Kemp & Associates, an engineering company based in P.E.I., showcased its new diesel-electric hybrid model for the first time at a boat show in Moncton, N.B., April 8-10. The hybrid-fishing boats operate on electricity when on the water fishing and convert back to diesel when sailing back into port. >click to read< 09:25

Will Atlantic Canada lobster season break another sales record? Or will inflation curb consumer appetite,,,

Roger Fowlow is paying a lot of attention to the long-range marine forecast these days. Lobster season opens soon and he’s hoping the unsettled spring weather will ease off, giving him light winds to set his lobster pots. He used to catch cod, but with quotas so low, cod prices stalled for years at less than a dollar a pound, and fuel prices soaring this year. He said it’s not worth bothering with. Lobster is the money maker, and the last few years have given him good catches and good prices. Fowlow is confident of good catches again this year. But on the question of the price he might get paid, he’s not so certain. For P.E.I. lobster fisher Bethany McCarthy, inflation is already driving up the cost of running her boat. In addition to higher prices for fuel, she’ll have to shell out more money for bait this year, thanks to DFO’s decision to kill the mackerel fishery. photos, video, >click to read< 12:15

P.E.I. fishermen ‘optimistic’ about spring lobster season amid record prices

Island fishermen are anticipating the start of the spring lobster season in a few weeks with a heightened sense of optimism. In areas where the season has already begun, the catch is fetching record prices. Some fishermen in the Maritimes are reporting getting as much as $20 a pound for their lobster. “It makes us feel really good. The fishermen are optimistic,” said Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the Lobster Fishers of P.E.I. marketing board.  Last spring, lobster prices in P.E.I. hit record prices, starting the season at the highest they’ve been in 15 years. But expenses have climbed,,, >click to read< 08:09

Aspin Kemp unveiled new diesel-electric hybrid lobster boat model earlier this month

The federal government is giving Aspin Kemp & Associates $340,000 for the further development of a hybrid lobster fishing boat. The Montague-based engineering firm showcased its new diesel-electric hybrid model for the first time earlier this month at a boat show in Moncton. The vessel is designed for inshore lobster fishery. Aspin said the bigger boats often have requirements unique to each vessel that ultimately end up driving up costs. But the company is striving to “totally standardize” things for the lobster boats, which would help lower the price. Aspin Kemp has also been working with another company on a retrofit solution so that older boats can also get the hybrid system installed.  >click to read< 13:57

P.E.I. alternative bait manufacturer sees increased interest amid Mackerel and Herring fishery closure

In 2017, Mark Prevost and Wally MacPhee had an idea to create an alternative, sustainable bait to fish lobster with. With experience in lobster fishing and buying, the pair saw a need for an alternative bait after noticing fluctuations in cost of bait, decreasing fish availability and increasing waste from the use of traditional baits like mackerel and herring. With a few barrels welded together and a hand-cranked meat grinder, the pair experimented with ingredients and field-tested their new product in the waters of P.E.I. and Nova Scotia. >click to read< 11:36

Rising fuel, bait prices could eat into profit margins

Lobster fishers have had to contend with the rising costs of doing business for years, but this season presents a set of circumstances perhaps without compare. Fuel prices are higher than they’ve ever been on PEI and that will have a direct impact on fishers, especially the ones who sail further out from shore. Throw in rising bait prices driven by quotas and feeding predators, and insurance costs, and it could take a sizable big bite out of profit margins. “It’s going to be different from last year for sure. The cost of everything is going up,” said Naufrage lobster fisherman Lucas Lesperance. He hopes those pressures will create a strong price throughout the season.  Mr Lesperance said seals are becoming more of a nuisance than ever, chowing down on bait species like herring and mackerel. A seal hunt would certainly help, he said. >click to read< 10:07

Fishers are key players

This week we celebrate the fisheries and the crucial role it plays in the Island economy. The value of the fisheries exceeds $590 million in this small province which boasts a population somewhere in the neighbourhood of 160,000 residents.  The worth is evident in the fact harvesting and processing of fisheries and aquaculture products accounts for about 9,500 jobs. Among those involved in the industry are skilled lobster and crab fishers, mussel farmers, oyster harvesters and all who earn a living from the water. All Islanders benefit from a lucrative fishery. However, those engaged in it will be especially challenged this coming season with escalating fuel prices which influences the cost of bait, transport of product and other essentials.  >click to read< 09:16

Lobster fisherman involved in fatal collision to be sentenced March 17 – Prosecutor wants jail time

A federal prosecutor is calling for at least two years in jail for a lobster fisherman involved in a boat collision that killed two people off Beach Point, P.E.I., in June of 2018. The judge on Wednesday adjourned the case until March 17, when he will hand down the sentence. But first, court heard from families of the victims, 20-year-old Justin MacKay and 59-year-old Chris Melanson. Tammy Crossman wept as she said how proud she was to see her son Justin graduate from high school and make plans to own a fishing boat someday. Isabella Melanson told court her father Chris was her superhero. >click to read< 16:11

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

DFO says it is considering request from P.E.I. fishermen to change lobster setting dates

The federal government is considering allowing P.E.I. lobster fishermen to start the spring season earlier than normal. Krista Petersen, a spokeswoman with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Gulf Region,,, “Before DFO makes any decisions on requests for season date changes, proposals need to be discussed with all groups who fish in a particular lobster fishing area,’’ Petersen said in an email. “Issues related to safety, weather, ice conditions and harbour dredging will be taken into consideration.’’ >click to read< 10:48

P.E.I. lobster fishermen vote to move up setting day in the spring

“We’re coming off back-to-back seasons here where the season was extended into July,’’ said Mike Dixon, co-chair of LFA26A lobster advisory committee, which represents close to 400 fishmen between Souris and Victoria. “As commercial fishermen, we recognize the resource becomes vulnerable at certain times of the year when the water temperature reaches a certain degree so that puts the lobster into their reproductive stages.’’ This vote was strictly meant to address the issue of not fishing for lobster when the animals are molting. >click to read< 07:58

Prince Edward Island fall lobster season sees record prices

The fall lobster season, off the southern and western shores of P.E.I., closes this weekend, and it’s been a good one. Catches were about average, said Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of Lobster P.E.I. “The big change would be the price per pound. The last five weeks or so, it’s been pretty steady at about $8.60 and $9.60, canners and markets respectively,” said McGeoghegan. Those are record highs, he said. >click to read< 13:11

Lobster captain found guilty on lesser charge in 2018 deaths of 2 men

Justice Gregory Cann has found lobster boat captain Clarence Barry White not guilty on two counts of criminal negligence causing death over a boat collision that left two men dead. He did find White guilty of dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death, however. Sobs broke out in a Charlottetown courtroom on Friday as the judge announced his decision. White’s boat, Forever Chasin’ Tail, collided with Joel ’98, killing two of the five people on that vessel: Justin MacKay and Chris Melanson. During the trial, court heard that White’s boat was on autopilot at the time of the crash, >click to read< 11:42

Foundation created in memory of Alex and Ethan to memorialize ‘2 great young men‘

Alex Hutchinson and Ethan Reilly were killed in a boating accident last September. But nearly a year later, the community is rallying to create a foundation in honour of the boys, who were both known for their kind-heartedness before they died at only 17 years old. The families were then approached by Joey Dumville, who coached both Ethan and Alex in hockey and knew them well. The Hutch Cup will be held on Sept. 11. It’s a competition to see who can catch the biggest lobster and take home the trophy in honour of Alex. “Alex loved being a fisherman, and he was the third man in the boat, which is usually a job for an adult,,, The foundation also plans to host the Rufus Run this year, an all-terrain vehicle event in honour of Ethan, who loved anything and everything to do with motors. For Ethan’s mom, the warmth behind the legacy foundation is something she saw in her son from the time he was a child. >click to read< 13:19

‘We’re quite happy’ P.E.I. fall lobster fishery has ‘higher demand than we’ve ever seen before,’

Fall lobster fishing in western P.E.I. seems to be off to a good start amid talk demand could be as high as it’s ever been in the season. On Monday morning, fishermen started setting their traps in Lobster Fishing Area 25, located at the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick. Charlie McGeoghegan, chair of the P.E.I. Lobster Marketing Board, says the sector has benefited recently from a considerable rise in demand for live lobster within Canada, as more people decide to cook at home due to the pandemic. “This year it seems there’s a higher demand than we’ve ever seen before, which we’re quite happy about.” >click to read< 08:19