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

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

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