Report advises against increasing carapace size

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A report commissioned by P.E.I.’s seafood industry with the support of the provincial government and the Prince Edward Island Atlantic Shrimp Corporation confirms the economic importance of canner lobster to the economy and advises against further increases to carapace size.

Ron MacKinley, minister of fisheries, aquaculture and rural development, says the report shows that canner lobsters are the backbone of the fishing industry, creating jobs and economic spinoff.

“Any change to the carapace size will be devastating to the province,” said MacKinley.

The report, P.E.I. Lobster Industry: Strategic Importance, Economic Relevance, and Uniqueness of PEI’s Canner Product, was commissioned after New Brunswick’s lobster industry lobbied the federal government to have the carapace size increased beyond the current 72 millimetres.

The P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association commissioned the study in conjunction with the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association, the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island, and the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development.

The report says a change in carapace size would hurt the entire economy as canner lobsters alone create an annual GDP of $78.7 million and generate $20 million in tax revenues.

More than 80 per cent of canner lobsters caught in the Gulf of St. Lawrence are landed on Prince Edward Island, and the majority of the catch is processed in the province.

“The Prince Edward Island processing industry has developed strong niche markets for canner lobsters,” said seafood association president Jeff Malloy. “Our business model is different than New Brunswick’s and decisions by Fisheries and Oceans Canada should not favour one model over another.”

“We have worked closely with industry to respond to consumer demand for a high-quality smaller lobster and we have diversified markets for canner lobsters in Canada, Europe and Asia,” said MacKinley.

“The U.S. continues to be an important market as well. I will be following up with Fisheries and Oceans Minister Keith Ashfield to discuss the findings of this report and reaffirm the united Prince Edward Island position of no change beyond the 72 millimeter mark.”

Organizations: Prince Edward Island Atlantic Shrimp, P.E.I. Lobster Industry, P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association Department of Fisheries Rural Development Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, P.E.I. Fishermen Canada Europe Asia U.S.

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Recent comments

  • Steven
    April 21, 2013 - 09:32

    It's nice to see all these positive steps for our fishery, BUT until things here at home change on P.E.I we are going to be in tough. The stigma that fisher people are lazy and only work 2 months of the year and just do that to get EI has to be dealt with. We have the best product in the world and I realize a high percentage of it is shipped away but it would be a nice bonus to have our own province's support. We need P.E.I's support too, when we go to the Superstore's and the Sobey's demand local lobster our own product. We do this for our pork and beef industries and it is finally starting to pay dividends. We need to support all of our local business lobster fishers included it can only be a positive for all of P.E.I, fishers spend their money on P.E.I and need some local support for their product, it is the best in the world.

  • Chester L
    April 21, 2013 - 05:32

    The View From Martinvale..............Great News on this story.......... 1. Finally some cooperative agreement on the need to maintain PEI's Canner size and its importance to the Lobster Fishery of PEI......On average 70-80 percent of our landed lobsters are Canner sizes....Good going all here......full support. 2. Now we have to get more folks eating lobster.........this needs direct and constant marketing initiatives and advertisements as well as niche partners.......getter done........more people need eat lobster.......... 3. Nice to hear a good news story .........kinda like an Ann Murray song ...:)

  • kenneth campbell
    April 20, 2013 - 20:43

    Good work ! Nice to see all sectors of the PEI fishing industry industry come together and have the support of the government to defend the position of the industry at this very critical time.Congratulations on your cooperation. If Minister Ashfield looks objectively and in a politically unbiased way at the numbers he cannot side with the New Brunswick industry to the detriment of PEI.

    • Gtown fisher
      April 21, 2013 - 10:45

      This can't be the. Kenny Campbell from Georgetown