UPDATE: P.E.I. lobster fishermen on strike

Steve Sharratt
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More than 700 Prince Edward Island lobster fishermen trade their traps for picket signs and head to Charlottetown demanding higher prices for their catch

A rally in Charlottetown that drew more than 700 fishermen to protest low lobster prices is the first-time in Island history the fishing industry has stood together, tied up their boats, and shut itself down.

However, a meeting with processors late Thursday to demand higher prices has yet to yield any firm indication that more money is forthcoming.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM THE LOBSTER PROTEST

"No one expected an immediate response, but we're working on it," said Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, about the private gathering with processors at a Charlottetown hotel.

"It will take some time." 

Almost every captain from Tignish to Wood Islands and North Lake to Covehead has tied up their boat, refused to fish, and turned out for the rally in front of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans building to show solidarity in seeking a better price.

But the cheers and chants of hundreds at the rally may not be enough to sway the decision of those that buy the lobster. With millions of pounds at stake, and ready to be landed over the next seven weeks, the race is on to finalize a better price.

“Divided we lose,’’ said Bearded Skipper Norman Peters of North Rustico, during the event that filled the parking lot and vacant lot next door to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans building across the street from the Sears department store.

There were so many cars and trucks, the overflow filled the parking lot at the Sears.

“I’ve never been prouder to be a fisherman,’’ said McGeoghegan, to the enormous crowd gathered under brilliant sunshine. “But we have to stay united on this.”

It's only been a week since the spring lobster season opened on P.E.I and prices were revealed as too low. Fishermen banded together to shut their industry down. Port by port, boats started to tie up and the support includes boats in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia even Newfoundland and Quebec.

“It wasn’t the Fishermen’s Association that said let’s do this (strike), it was individual fishermen who said they’ve had enough,’’ said the fisheries association president. “They decided to get together on this and strike.”

The current price is $2.75 for canners and $3.25 for markets, which is $2 less than the price on the mainland and a price most fishermen say can’t turn a profit.

“Everyone of us should be making money every year … borrowing money to stay fishing is ridiculous,” said McGeoghegan.

While there were plenty of fishermen, including some from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the crowd was also filled with public supporters and business people. The shutdown of the industry is costing the provincial economy an easy one million dollars a day.

A private meeting with processors later in the day drew only two reps and ended with P.E.I. Fisheries Minister Ron McKinley anxious to end the strike and broker a deal. 

“I’ve never been prouder to be a fisherman,’’ Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association

"We're at loggerheads,'' he said.

Jeff Malloy of the P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association said discussions would continue.

P.E.I. Fisheries Association executive director Ian MacPherson said there are contingency plans should the buyers and processors refuse to budge on price, but he would not say anything more. At this point, fishermen say they are planning to stay ashore until a price of around $5 a pound is confirmed.

“Never in the history of P.E.I. have all the boats tied up and refused to fish – be proud of that,’’ said MacPherson.

The current shore price for lobster is the same as it was in 1990 when bait was seven cents, fuel was 30 cents litre, and fishermen held free giveaways of their catch to protest prices.

“We’re sorry if drivers and plant workers are upset about this tie-up,’’ said fishermen and MLA Charlie McGeoghegan . “But we’re all affected by these low prices.”

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Justice Ben Taylor has granted a temporary injunction to prevent fishermen from blocking access to processing plants. The injunction is good until May 17 and the blockades, set up in ports like Beach Point and Georgetown, is not endorsed by the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association.

However, as of late Thursday the blockades remained in place.

 

Twitter.com/PEIGuardian

 

 

Geographic location: Charlottetown, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia Quebec Iceland P.E.I. Fishermen

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Recent comments

  • beenthere
    May 13, 2013 - 17:55

    Regarding some comments posted here. It is very hard to sympathize with most of the fisherpeople when some people work very hard for much less than you. Fishing is hard work, granted, but it is no harder than working on a line in a plant for 12-14 hours a day. Also when the fleet is jointly owned by a husband died and wife their income is divided, less income means both qualify for E.I. With no clawback. Another way to lower income is to buy a new truck, boat, engine or electronics. When you do not have a good season don't forget that the working poor are always just getting by every year. They have learned to live within their means so perhaps no new trucks that will never see a trap on them only a trailer behind them, no 600+ horsepower engines to go 10-15 miles from port. No more receipts for gas when you fill up your snowmobile or 4-wheeler. To top this off your actually asked the government to top up your price. To blame government for oversupply of inventory is inane.

  • Jonah
    May 11, 2013 - 10:35

    They want what $4.50? Hell, I'd say give em $8. We all good with $8? Oh one catch though, you don't get to claim EI 3/4 of the year. Dying industry, move along.

    • proud daughter of a lobster fishermen.
      May 11, 2013 - 17:53

      All of you that are not willing to support our fishermen shall pack their bags and move along to a place where you are welcome, because it is certainly not here. PEI is based on agriculture, fisheries and tourism. These men dont just one day decide to be fishermen for the hell of it. They are hard working men who are trying to make a living just like you all are, except for most of you, who most likely work for the government and do absolutely nothing for their paychecks. If you have nothing nice to say about our hardworking men, do what your mother should have told you and say nothing at all. You all speak of these nice big trucks and snowmobiles that they are using? I have yet to see that around this house. All my father is working for is to put his children through university so they can have a good job and do not have to deal with people like the ones whom are posting negative comments.

  • Laurie
    May 11, 2013 - 08:10

    We are a country that just takes what is given or done to them and if some one try's to change things or complains they are attacked by everyone else. Lets grow up people. Telling fisher men to get a different job is stupid. Many have no training for anything else. Trying to get ahead, demanding better treatment is not a crime. If everyone did it we wouldn't see so much inequality in this country. We wouldn't have businesses offering only part time hours so they don't have to pay benefits. We wouldn't have companies ignoring labor laws and rule because they know people can't quit because there are no other jobs. No one is going to take care of us, or rush to our rescue. So stop bashing the people who are actually willing to fight for their rights, who are not embarrassed to protest and hold up signs in order to do so. P.S. To the people talking about the price of lobster at the stores this weekend educate yourself. Its mothers day weekend of course the price is going to be a sale price in stores.

  • JONNYMONEY
    May 10, 2013 - 19:01

    SO WHAT IF THEY ARE GETTING A BTTER PRICE SOMEWHERE ELSE?????????? I MAKE 18 BUCKS AS A PLUMBER HERE. THEY MAKE 55 BUCKS IN ALBERTA??!!

  • sam
    May 10, 2013 - 17:29

    you shoud do the same truckers work for 10 weeks and draw ei for 40 weeks good luck truckers paying big prices for fuel park and see whet the fisherman eat

  • Onlooker
    May 10, 2013 - 15:01

    I guess these fisherman won't be going to their packer to get cheques to live off of today. Who is going to pay their bills now?

    • greedyfishermen
      May 10, 2013 - 20:29

      maybe if most fishermen didn't have 2 or 3 lobster gear plus crab gear onto of that the could afford it.................I own my own business if I have a bad few months I don't have any ei..............we normally people work 52 weeks a year with no help....most of these fishermen give stamps to their wives who r never on the boats if u can not make it work on top ei there is something wrong live like normal people get off your high horse eh

  • DOESN'T MATTER
    May 10, 2013 - 13:04

    For all you who have stated that they could make more by selling the lobster themselves, the reason they will not do this even if they got 8.00 a pound is EI. They will not sell themselves even though they could get triple is they would not qualify for EI if they did. The summer brings in money but the period of winter when they need money for their snowmobiles , and winter vacations down south requires plenty of EI.

    • confused
      May 10, 2013 - 19:19

      how would one even go a bout selling their daily catch? where are they going to take it to and how are they going to transport it? I don't think its as simple as loading your daily catch on the back of your truck and taking them to a processing plant on PEI and tripling your money, or else everyone WOULD be doing it. you can't live off EI

    • Christa
      May 12, 2013 - 17:14

      Um, not sure if you know. About EI but you are not allowed out of the country when claiming. Get your facts straight before you spew crap out your mouth. They can't fish out of season as it is against the law, who would provide your mea if there weren't rope out there doing the dangerous jobs thes people do. Give them what they need to help pay their bills and salaries of this they employ. If you are so damn jealous of the time they are unemployed, you try fishing! Good lord people! They work and damn hard...they should be able to enjoy time off!

  • Objective Islander
    May 10, 2013 - 12:50

    I make these comments as a lover of PEI lobster and supporter of the local economy, but with an objective assessment of the situation. I don't care if fishers drive nice trucks, take trips, have big boat engines, or are able to employ family members. Those benefits are part of the bounty from the business they are in. I also don't care if they have to get up at 4:30 in the morning and spend their days on the cold waters of the Atlantic to make their living as that is the requirement for the business they are in. I have read many posts here that suggest that local fishers see fishing as their job, but "job" is not the right term in this situation. Given that they own their own vessels and employ others, it is not a job. It is a business. And like any business, there are good times and bad times. Some people eventually conclude that the bad times outweigh the good times, and they make a change. Some do it out of need, while others do it because they tire of the pace of business and the need for a more stable lifestyle. While I respect and sympathize with the fishers, we all make decisions and we have to live by those decisions. You cannot ask to be treated like a business, enjoying the benefits of running a business along the way, while expecting to be treated like an employee in a job. As an employee, I can assure you we do not enjoy the same benefits at all. And to be clear, I am a private sector employee who does not have a pension...just like the fishers. I have many co-workers who feel that they are worth more for the job they do. To be honest, in many cases they are correct, however the business we are in and the value of their job warrants the pay that they get. Would we like to pay them more? Absolutely! But the business will not sustain it. And the job that they do only brings so much value to the business. That is why we have something that all businesses experience - turn over! In a sector where everyone is his or her own business person who is competing with their port mate for the sale of the exact same product, the market sets the value of the product. That is something that every business person in that sector must come to terms with. At the same time, I think it is unfair that all the attention has been placed on the fisherman and processors only. There are many other players in the chain of bringing lobster to market. Those folks are all making a piece of the pie as well, I assume. In the end, the lobster business is what it is and consumers will dictate the value of the product. Some people have done very well in the lobster business while others have simply made a living, and still others have probably barely scraped by. At the end of the day, if my business only allowed me to scrape by, I would quickly look for an alternative. I know many of our island fishers have chosen to work out west in the off season. Some would suggest this is out necessity while others would suggest it is as result of seeing an opportunity. I'm sure the reason is different for different fishers. In the end, fishing is a business. Unlike farmers who many commenters have tried to group with fishers in the online discussion, fishers have a very unique business situation in that they can claim EI to augment their incomes in their off season. I do not believe farmers have that option, but perhaps I am wrong. In the end, I know a guy who started a business many years ago. He invested money and his most important asset - his heart and soul. He worked hard, he did very well when his service was in demand. Over time however, the market for his service became saturated, even though everyone loved what he did and liked him personally. The reality was that after several years of profits, his business closed down and he found something else to do. At no time while he was running his business was he able to reach out to an insurance plan to augment his income, and the big difference was that when his business went by the wayside, there were no protests or government defenders. He just went away. His business? Well actually my story is fictional, but there are many islanders who have experienced this same fate in other sectors. Pick one - blacksmiths, harness manufacturers, garage owners, drive in theatre owners, camp ground operators, and even IT entrepreneurs. The moral of the story? Change is constant. Individuals fishers have to decide how they want to deal with it. Don't wait for processors, brokers, wholesalers, retailers OR government to decide for you. In the end, consumers will make your decision for you.

  • Farmers?
    May 10, 2013 - 11:40

    Farmers face the same problems with buyers marking up the produce...what would happen if they went on strike? No one would eat. Farmers do not get EI, they work 24/7 365 days a year and I don't hear them complaining on the news.

  • Unsympathetic
    May 10, 2013 - 11:01

    Stay United, Fall Together! Do what everyone else has to do in a bad economy, hang up your present hat, and put on another! Unsympathetic here due to everyone else in society having to go through some form of job loss and career change. Here is a suggestion, Apply for EI for the 2 months of strike, then work like the rest of us during the other 10 months! Boo Hoo, tough times for you. yeah well, misery loves company, bout time you fishermen and women joined the rest of us hard working people with no income! You people are so resistant to change, wasn't it only like a year or two ago that PEI even brought in a modern radio station. Our forefathers lived this way, our fathers did, so we must too. BAH HA HA! what a joke. get with the times, or go home and sit on yer arse like the rest of us in society that have been mistreated and used.

  • kelly h
    May 10, 2013 - 10:27

    unless you people know a fisherman, you have no idea. some fisherman make out ok, yes that is true. but i live in a fishing community and i happen to know that a lot of fisherman start out the season owing the buyer money, because they cant afford bait, gas and repair money for their boats, so they are in a few thousand dollars right off the get go. so there first few checks have 4 or 5 hundred taken out from the buyer to pay back debt. iv seen fisherman only take home a couple hundred a week. iv seen them take home nothing for the first few weeks, because the buyer wants his money back. iv seen children and wives go without medical prescriptions and food. iv seen cut off notices and debt collectors calling. and during the winter it is just as bad. yes they get ei, but so do lots of people who are able to work. you say "if your not making money fishing, do something else" easier said than done. many fisherman starting fishing with there fathers when they were young and have no education. what do you suppose they do? you people are ignorant. you like these low prices, because you can buy your lobsters at a lower price. but lets think about the fisherman who put thousands and thousands of dollars into there jobs. and as i said, some fisher are doing ok. some may pull in 200 pounds a day, while another fella may only get 50. so its not fair to judge all them the same way. why dont we drop minimum wage backdown to 7$ an hour and see whose crying. because thats basically whats happening to the fisherman. you need to have compassion for people. my goodness what is wrong with all you negative people. cant you support a good cause. or at least say nothing, especially when you have no idea of what you are saying. you all listen to rumors and gossip. most of you have never even fished or probly dont even know a fisherman who struggle.i hope they get what they are asking for. good luck boys!

  • Unfortunate
    May 10, 2013 - 09:30

    Lobster selling for $5.99 and less in stores this week. Since processors are in it to make money they aren't going to raise the prices they're paying anytime soon, no profit in that. If you want to sell at $4 and $5 a pound sell to the general public, you'll easily get $5 a pound but you won't be able to get rid of all your catch. Or sell it all to the processors at $2.75, not getting much for it but you'll get rid of it. Six of one, half a dozen of the other, tough times all around.

  • middle class families
    May 10, 2013 - 09:25

    I think the fisherperson should try to live on low income and c how it feels to not b able to buy food or just paying enough to keep there lights hooked up. People r going on about the poor fishermen well I did feel for them but not now. They choose to tie up their boats and says that they cant live off of the prices well what about there hired hands and there families. What about the poor person working in these plants trying to make ends meat. All my life I have listened to the cries of them and when they were getting 5 and 6 dollars a pound they were still crying. Where else can u work for 8 weeks and draw EI for the rest of the season. I dont think they need big boats and high costs devices just to fish for 2 months a year. I know a fisherman with 3 fleets in the south side and 1 in the north side why dont this person sell one or two of them if they r hurting that bad. Plus most wives sit home and draw big money from a fleet they never step a board. Im sorry if some dont agree with me but thats how I feel and I see how much this is effecting families all across PEI. Especially when North Lake fish plant workers r still working and recieving lobster when the rest of the plants r blocked. Another fact is that the fishermen r not down on there own buyers just targeting certain buyers. If the fishermen can get rid of at least 500 pound of lobster a day on their own more power to yas but it cant b done and thats why u all r up in nots over this, plus what about the buyers that have their own plants and there is no middle man they r still getting hit the hardest. I think the fisherperson is greedy and will never b happy regardless of the price. Down size ur boats, vechiles and homes and try to live like the rest of us in this world instead of trying to out beat each other in material things

  • Fisherman's Wife
    May 10, 2013 - 09:24

    Hoping Island Fisherman get the change they are looking for this week. It takes a lot of guts to tie up and stand your ground even if you are just breaking even. Your communities are behind you and hoping this is over soon. (Petty comments about new trucks, 52 weeks of working, EI or nice homes will be deleted - driving by someone's house does not make you an expert on their personal finances or life history - it's irrelevant.) If the fisherman and farmers in our rural communities do not prosper, those communities disappear. So regardless of your occupation, stop for just a moment and imagine what the impact of no fishing would have on YOU personally. I already know that most fisherman I know have not or have barely covered their costs so far this season and that will certainly impact my business (which has absolutely nothing to do with fishing) in a big way. If you live in rural PEI and you don't support fisherman getting a decent price for their lobsters, please take a minute and think about the alternative.

  • Island Girl
    May 10, 2013 - 09:08

    Hay boys! I'll pay 5$ a pound! I just want lobster :) Heck I'll even pay for it on the warf!

  • Just Sayin
    May 10, 2013 - 09:00

    Hello People, If one can not make a living doing what they do then it is simple "Do something else that pays the bills". Why is it the responsibility of the DFO to subsidize an industry that is dependent year after year on handouts. Whether it be in EI payments or those that have spouses, family members, etc. that don't even step onto the boats and still draw an EI check. Something smells fishy and it's not DFO. I would love to make hammocks for a living but guess what it doesn't pay the bills so I do something that does and contribute to the economy of PEI and Canada and am not a constant drain on other peoples pockets.

  • AJ
    May 10, 2013 - 08:54

    I know there is a serious issue at play here, and I don't want to take away from that at all by making my comment. I just wanted to point out that this article -- and pretty much every other story I've read or listened to about the lobster fishing situation this week -- mentions only fisherMEN. I don't know numbers, but as far as I know there are women who fish, as well. It would seem appropriate in this day and age to use gender-inclusive language here.

    • Richard Simmons
      May 10, 2013 - 10:13

      lol^

  • really?
    May 10, 2013 - 08:46

    How many fishermen really fish 30-40000 pounds a year? More like 25000. Expenses at $75000 min per year. So, let's do the math: 25000 * $3/lb = $75000. Equals net income of $0. And that's assuming the prices stay at $3/lb. Now, let's do the math for the grocery stores. Even give them credit for selling them at $8/lb. (even though they were adverstised at 10.99 last week) 25000 * 8 = $200000, and I don't see them getting up at 4:30 am every morning, risking their lives everyday.

    • Marc LeBlanc
      May 10, 2013 - 10:15

      First thing it's not a year. It is 10 weeks of fishing! A couple of weeks to set up and a couple of weeks to put traps away. What happens to the other 46 weeks?

    • agree
      May 10, 2013 - 11:32

      That $75,000 in expenses includes the pay to the helpers, and pay to the captains/owners. The net is $0, but they get paid for the season and then get full EI stamps.

    • yes really
      May 11, 2013 - 04:13

      Not so good with profit and loss or cost recovery are you? You left out a few expenses in your little rant. Like..... the cost of goods for resale ($75,000.00), cost of the land, the building, the parking lot, plowing the lot, cost of heat, cooling, hydro, taxes, employee wages, their bennies, maintenance/ repairs, paper or plastic, muzac etc.etc.etc, and yes.... the ocasional dead lobster. Finnaly this store is a business and not the government or a charity so it has to make a profit (like fishermen) or go out of business. Them there are the rules, the facts. So...... if if you think that grocery stores and lobster buyers are all dong so well, it would be logical to give up fishing and join them. Fortunitly I know where you can get a vacant store front or fish plant cheep. But remember your not so good with all that damb math, are you?

  • THE APPEARANCE
    May 10, 2013 - 08:43

    What can you expect people to think when you see fishermen driving around in cadillac SUVs wearing thousands in gold chains around their necks and driving expensive snowmobiles in the winter and ATVs in the spring.

  • New Fisher
    May 10, 2013 - 08:24

    Keep the boats tied up.

  • Joe Macdoanld
    May 10, 2013 - 08:19

    I have little sympathy for the fisherman. The price of lobster is set by supply and demand, right now the lobster landing are very high so of course the price is going to be low. They need to find a way of keeping all this lobster from going on the market at 1 time. Also they say they are getting $2.75 for canners and $3.25 for markets, are they factoring in the rebate that they receive at the end of the year?

    • Furlottes gang of theives.
      May 10, 2013 - 10:21

      What needs to be done is a basic pie chart on who gets what cut of what, fisher to buyer price, buyer to processor, processor to grocery store, grocery store to final consumer. Who gets what percentage of the final price, from there you do another one on costs to profit.

  • Fisherman's Wife
    May 10, 2013 - 08:15

    Hoping Island Fisherman get the change they are looking for this week. It takes a lot of guts to tie up and stand your ground even if you are just breaking even. Your communities are behind you and hoping this is over soon. (Petty comments about new trucks, 52 weeks of working, EI or nice homes will be deleted - driving by someone's house does not make you an expert on their personal finances or life history - it's irrelevant.) If the fisherman and farmers in our rural communities do not prosper, those communities disappear. So regardless of your occupation, stop for just a moment and imagine what the impact of no fishing would have on YOU personally. I already know that most fisherman I know have not or have barely covered their costs so far this season and that will certainly impact my business (which has absolutely nothing to do with fishing) in a big way. If you live in rural PEI and you don't support fisherman getting a decent price for their lobsters, please take a minute and think about the alternative

  • Curious
    May 10, 2013 - 08:01

    Wondering! Why are Maine lobsters shipped to PEI. When I buy lobster in a store I assume it is a PEI lobster not Maine! Also I read somewhere's, there are still lobsters left in storage from last year, which I am assuming is part of what is causing over-abundance of supply, do these also include the lobsters from Maine. If so why the hell are they even on PEI. Serious answers to this question Please!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cant under stand
    May 10, 2013 - 07:59

    I was shopping at foodland last night . a package with 2 1lb lobster was selling for $17.50 i am not sticking up for fishermen i think they did this to themself"s called greed .but who"s makeing money here $6.50 to the fishermen $11.00 the Irving"s Take note farmer"s greed will get you in the end !

  • Island Jealousy
    May 10, 2013 - 07:41

    Why is everyone harping on what cars are being driven to the protest? The cars purchased are putting money back into the local economy via car dealerships, mechanics, auto body places, auto detailing placs, and gas stations. So quit your whining about what is being driven. Are they suppossed to haul fishing equpment around in a compact? If people want to stuff their face with lobster, someone needs to be paid to go out and get it, and they should receive fair compensation for that.

  • Losinit
    May 10, 2013 - 07:38

    Well Minister Mackinley it looks like there are a few issues now with the fishing industry....just a few weeks ago in the house you were asked about fisheries and you said that it was in good shape....you are a joke and you and your fellow croonies think that people are dumb here on this island....the only dumb ones I see are the ones that were elected and who will not be elected again....people first the hog industry is gone, next is the beef industry and now the fishing industry is in jeapordy...this government just wants yuppies living here and to hell with the rest of us!!

  • Just Wondering
    May 10, 2013 - 07:23

    Adam Smith has the most sensible comment I have read. The European and American economies are in the tank, that coupled with a high dollar and a product that is not a staple means that demand is not as good as fishers would like. Also when millions of pounds of lobster are landed in a short season also has an impact. The north side fishermen have been successful only because of the amount of lobster they have landed. And for those who talk about co-ops being the way to go. There are co-ops that are fishermen owned and do not pay may more than the private processors. There also have been a number of co-ops that have gone bankrupt in recent years. A solution would be to have better promotion of the product, similar to the blueberry promotion that crosses borders.

  • To The Nay Sayers and Might Quinn
    May 10, 2013 - 07:12

    Hey Mighty Quinn - The boat in question is owned by a guy who works in Alberta for 10 months and far from the low end of the pay scale while there. Don't judge all fishermen by this one! Some fishermen are having good harvests others(inshore) are not getting 100 pounds a day.A fisherman cannot change grounds and go where the lobster are.That just won't happen-they would be cut out of the water. Prices for fuel,bait,hired man,wear and tear are much higher then what is coming in. But fishing is a way of life. What do you tell the person who is in their 60's -fished all their lives-catching 100 pounds? Go get another job? I bet they wished they all had easy gov't jobs with PENSIONS! Since gov't is the biggest employer on PEI,maybe fishermen should get a gov't job! 8-4 for 5 days a week, pension intact, and when you reach 60 your body is still intact not crippled from hard work.Better yet they could run as a politician! When Fishermen and farmers are driven out of work we are getting rid of our food source. We could and DO eat fish grown in the cesspools of China (cheap) and beef & chicken from other parts of the world that has been injected with many hormones (but it's cheaper!) When fishermen and farmers are driven out of business, people leave themselves open to purchase *cheap* foreign meat.A few years later the real price will be paid with their health! Time for people to start thinking..common sense (yeah I know...it's not that common!)..This is life..the fishermen are not asking for handouts from Gov't. They are asking for fair market value.They are not asking $10 a pound.but $2.75 doesn't cover the cost . The fishermen need to figure out a way to get rid of the do nothing BROKERS not the processors.The BROKERS set the price ! Now if Gov't wanted a place to start about price fixing go to the BROKERS! Instead of bashing the fishermen (and the farmers before them) why don't you just get behind them and support them. To all the naysayers out there - you show more about WHO YOU ARE then the workers of the land and sea.Get behind your fellow Islanders and support them.If you were in trouble and needed help I am betting it would be one of those *lazy greedy fishermen or farmers * who would be there to help! No I am not a fisherman or farmer or paid to comment by either. I am a fellow Islander who supports hard working Islanders

  • Diane MacDonald
    May 10, 2013 - 07:01

    I for one am very happy to see the lobster fishermen|women stand up for themselves and unite for higher prices! Let's see how many people would go work a job and after paying your childcare, gas and other expenses they have 50 dollars so to speak left over to buy groceries and pay bills. Do you really expect those people to stay working at that job? No, they go elsewhere or go to the welfare office where us taxpayers can pay for them. The lobster fisher might have nice cars, houses etc but that came at a price and they have every right to have all those things as they have worked and earned them like the rest of us! I have heard so much about their vehicles and homes etc that it literally makes me sick for people to assume they should have nothing after all their hard work. Shame on you, it's none of your business as it's the lobster prices their fighting against and cost of running their boats, not their lifestyle!

  • southside fisher
    May 10, 2013 - 06:31

    this is to the lobster buyer..?...how come n.s. are getting more money for there fish then us....i,d say your the one that,s feeling the heat buddy.....come on down to georgtown at 12.30 today...this rally is growing in side ...we have boats in newfoundland an the gasp bay area tyed this morning as well...will see who wins this one buddy.....your guys days are numbered.....fleecing fisherman...all we want is a livable price.....see you in G,,town

  • Who Me
    May 10, 2013 - 05:41

    --"The current shore price for lobster is the same as it was in 1990 when bait was seven cents, fuel was 30 cents litre, and fishermen held free giveaways of their catch to protest prices."-- This speaks volumes. Something isn't right and that something is the middleman. Get rid of him. What ever it takes, get rid of him. C'mon guys/ladies. You've got what it takes to stand up and demand more pay now show some real courage and take on what the middleman does. Get 'er done. Then you can show your middle finger to EI.

  • Chester L
    May 10, 2013 - 05:22

    The View From Martinvale.............Fishers taking affirmative Action 1. Fishermen are trying to protect their career occupations 2. Commodity Business and Market demands, Supply and Demand. 3. All folks and local ecomomies are effected when Fishing activity is disrupted. 4. Fishers need to form an Association to meet with Processors/Buyers to agree on price structure prior to boats sailing to fish. 5. Price discussions can take place over the winter to conclude an agreement prior to next years opening day of lobster fishing. 6. All costs associated with Fishing and Processing should be tabled as in NF on the Crab Fishery so all can share in a revenue, not just one side of the stakeholders in this business. 7. Third party middlemen are taking out their share in the early going and through the season regardless of how the season ends for both Fishers and Processors 8. Perhaps a Coop approach would work here......one advantage of a Fisheries Coop is that all members know and receive financial statements and know the state of their business before Fishing starts and during the season and hopefully the sales components will be right for their Year End...... 9. Their needs to be a new way of doing and negotiating prices between Fishers and Buyers/Processors..........look at models that are working now in other jurisdictions..... 10. Fishers have the right like any other " Harvester " to expect a fair return on their product landed and sold.....full disclosure of all financial transactions from one end of the Lobster business from Harvesting,Processing to Consumer and all the costs in between would show where excesses are.....perhaps an Inquiry Board could be set up by an independant body to have an in depth look at this situation.......ie Price Fixing......back room dealing. 11. Similar work was done in NF on Snow Crab to foster a better relationship between Harvesters and Processors........could work here also?

  • New Fisher
    May 10, 2013 - 05:21

    Hey Lobster Buyer, If it is a global economy how come the same lobster is worth a lot more in NS, NB, NFLD and the Maggie?? I'm sure it's not because we have price fixing on the Island. Everyone knows it and there is enough evidence to prove it. You got to greedy and made too many mistakes along the way. When the first charges are laid I hope it's you.

  • Sympathic Lobster Buyer
    May 10, 2013 - 05:09

    Hey Lobster Buyer, you know as well as I do that lobsters are worth more on the open market then what we are paying. I would pay more for lobsters, but you and the rest of the big lobster buyers won't let that happen. Stop acting like the mophia. Quebec has the construction scandal and we have lobster price fixing.

  • Henry Sow
    May 10, 2013 - 05:05

    Why is the processor in Georgetown importing Maine lobster when there are lobster fishermen fishing out of the Georgetown harbor? Is it cheaper to import from the States than pay the local fishermen, or is Government helping the processor with buying the lobster from away.

  • Mark Sexton
    May 10, 2013 - 03:43

    Go fishermen Go. All 132000 islanders should be supporting these guys. How would all of you like to go back to 1990 wages? These guys risk there lives at sea to make a positive contribution to the PEI economy and this is how you treat them. C'mon, you're all better than that. The more money they make, the more money they pour into the local economy. Simple economics folks. Give them the money they deserve and if they make a handsome profit good for them. The fact that many of them have to work out of province in the off season is another blow to the local economy. Fishing is a large part of our heritage and you all should be proud and support these guys. If I wasn't living on the other side of the world I would be standing along side of all of these great people. Stay united folks.

  • Factory owners have caused many problems
    May 10, 2013 - 00:32

    The factory owners have been accustomed to big gains and lots of profits with little fairness to others. They have abused the foreign workers program which has harmed Islanders who want to work but have been refused jobs due to the great benefits and profits that are to be made with cashing in on the foreign workers program. Then they get to abuse the fishermen with the low price they will give them for their catch. Basic business tactics show that a smart business man can run a business that is fair to workers and those who provide the needed commodities, which are lobsters for these plants to run. If they lack the business strategies to run a successful business then this is NOT an excuse to abuse worker programs, refuse to hire locals, not pay overtime, and not to give a fair price for lobsters. Although these factory owners say they are having hard times too, they were not long hiring lawyers to try to stop the blockade....Now, hiring lawyers or even a lawyer here is a costly expense!!!....Far more costly to hire lawyers to offset or derail the protests than if they were to simply pay a descent wage or travel allowance to all their workers, would not need to cash in and abuse the foreign worker program, and would even have enough money left over to give a good lobster price A strike is not surprising as this type of greed that we have been seeing for quite some time by many in this province, only worsens until people say enough. It appears that the lobster fishermen said 'enough'. Good for them!! Best wishes to the fishermen!! They deserve BETTER, and so do the local people who want to work and need a descent wage and working conditions, and deserve to be paid overtime when they work the extreme hours that the factory owners demand of them.

  • Charlottetown Observer
    May 09, 2013 - 23:59

    I think back to a day I was standing in a bank line up and some one came up to the fisherman in front of me and said "hey i got a job for you for a few weeks" and the fisherman responded "nah, i don't want to screw up my pogie". When fishermen moan about the pay I want to remind them they can include all that EI they get the rest of the year and they do a lot better than a lot of east coasters.

  • Lobster buyer
    May 09, 2013 - 22:42

    I can tell you that we can't pay another nickel for your lobster and that is just the very harsh reality of our global economy.They are your lobster to fish and if you choose to land your gear home that is your choice , but I will be buying PEI lobster guaranteed for $3 .

    • Fisherman
      May 09, 2013 - 23:29

      We could sell directly to the processor for your price and get your cut too.

    • Nope
      May 09, 2013 - 23:47

      No, you will not be buying PEI lobster for $3, obviously you didn't get the memo Lobster Buyer, the fishermen are on strike. You have access to the worlds most demanded seafood, the PEI lobster, and your going to ruin your export contacts. If someone from another province decides to come in and give the fishermen their $5 a lb, I hope you know you are losing these fishermen, the bridge will likely be burned. I hope the fishermen come out on the winning end, and you PEI processors are stuck with your low grade Maine Lobster!

    • Chris
      May 10, 2013 - 06:08

      I have no problem with fisherman earning a decent living for the work they do. But what about all the "under the table" lobster sales for tax free cash ? What about those who dig potatoes for cash in the fall. Come on guys, you can't have it both ways. If your not going to pay your fair share of taxes, don't go crying to the government for help !

    • Commodity Producer
      May 10, 2013 - 07:03

      With commodities (lobster, grain, cattle, hogs, etc.) the individual producer has no choice but to accept what the market offers. The buyer always sets the price. That's the way it's always been. But when a majority of producers gets together and acts in unison the group can set the price (as long as they're prepared to hold out until hell freezes over). It would be great to see the lobster fishermen win the price they want, and it might be just a beginning. Might potatoes, beef, pork be next for a unified approach?

    • Dylan
      May 10, 2013 - 07:47

      They don't even need middlemen if they pool their resources on the docks and sell their catches to the processors themselves, cut you out of the picture, everyman for themselves on the water, on for all and all for one on the docks, means they win, and winning is life.

    • Bill Kays
      Bill Kays
      May 10, 2013 - 09:16

      Well Mr Lobster Buyer, it is time for you to strike also and demand higher prices from the people buying your processed lobster. If they are the ones, not you, making the bulk of the money, because someone along the food chain is making it. Let's identify who is getting what exactly, and make decisions accordingly. Bottom line, if no one is profiting unjustly then maybe the consumer must pay more.

  • Dylan
    May 09, 2013 - 22:17

    Why are people buying from the fishermen and selling to processors? Cut that guy out, what about buyers co-ops? Put as much cash back into your pockets as possible. You guys have trucks and most likely trailers to haul it there. You just need to figure out the system on how to make it work. Maybe pooling money and hiring a professional To crunch numbers and develop the system. It doesn't make sense to sell to middlemen if they sell it to the processor within hours or less, just do that yourselves, pool the resources to make it happen and reap the middlemans cut based on your poundage.

    • Sounds Good But
      May 09, 2013 - 23:52

      People aren't buying from the fishermen and selling to the processors. The processors are buying from the Fishermen and selling to retailers/restaurants etc etc.. It's hard to refrigerate the volume of lobster caught on PEI and truck/export it. It would be bitter sweet if this was an easy task, and I'm sure there would be a way it could be done, but you would have to have alot of people working together, and that doesn't seem to be happening. The processors have left a nasty taste in alot of Islanders mouths, I hope they feel the effect for a long time, and the fishermen come to some conclusion that doesn't include lining the processors pockets.

    • Fisherman
      May 10, 2013 - 05:35

      Most of the lobster processing plants won't buy direct from fishermen and if they do they pay at least $1.00 less per pound. It is a very crocked business.

  • Islander who doesn't fish
    May 09, 2013 - 22:07

    To Jim above, Apparantly you aren't very familiar with the Lobster Industry on PEI when you make the comment about canner lobsters in Windsor Ontario selling for 6.99 each. Most people who knows anything about the industry will know that the average canner weighs half a pound so that would make a pound of canners cooked in Windsor worth 14.00 dollars. seems to me that would be enough for our Island Fisherman to get 5.00 bucks a pound wouldn't you think??? Sobey's in Sumerside 2 weeks ago wanted 10.99 a pound green (uncooked for fellas like you Jim is what that means) so somebody is making a great deal of profit and it doesn't look like the ones who are actually doing the work to me as those people. The margins seem to be pretty wide for the retailer, as someone is making the money but not the fisherman.......

  • Mighty Quinn
    May 09, 2013 - 22:01

    The boat that is in the picture of the blockade in beach point has a bloody 1000 horsepower 18 liter cat engine in it and these guys are complaining about not making money and the price of fuel being to high a cost . well well that c18 cat engine burns about 40 gallons an hour if you go easy . He should change the boats name from catsass to dumbass .

    • Good read Gavin
      May 09, 2013 - 23:55

      Sorry you are losing maintenance costs, sorry these fishermen won't be funding your racino addiction. Thanks btw for pointing out another expense for fishermen, this poor lad likely has boat payments that he can't pay.

    • West
      May 10, 2013 - 05:40

      Out west money! Not fisherman! Wannabe fisherman. and Agreed on Dumbass comment!

    • I'm With You
      May 10, 2013 - 07:12

      Whatever happened to a 292 and 300 gas engine? All these clowns have to have the biggest and best-Yesterday Mike Mcg said they have 200,000 dollar boats tied up-go back to the wooden boats lads and smaller engines

  • COMMON SENSE
    May 09, 2013 - 21:21

    I really like how they put the old ford half ton right up by the microphone. Pretty smart touch hats off to you now nobody will ever comment about the fishermen with the brand new 4x4 half tons. Sure it may be somebody's wharf truck, I had one as well because I didn't want to park my new half ton on the wharf. Must of got that from King's County Chrysler Push/Pull sale. Really seriously? Who would park anything directly by the speaker obstructing the view to the onlookers? Give me a break please just trying a little too hard, guess it matches the simple minds in attendance.

    • Stop making assumptions
      May 09, 2013 - 23:58

      Well thank god for you observent people, I didn't even notice, but then again I wasn't looking for stuff to complain about. My husband has a beater and he fishes, what is your point? Is he supposed to park it until this is all over, or would that bore you and give you nothing to make assumptions about? Get a life Buddy!

  • Jim
    May 09, 2013 - 18:53

    How can they expect $5.00 a pound when fresh cooked PEI canners are selling for $6.99 ea. at Sobeys in Windsor Ont. ???.

    • Dylan
      May 10, 2013 - 07:55

      How much are the processors selling it for, there are a few things going on with this right now, mothers day lobster sales, and new lobsters being landed, more supply, but with mothers day grocery stores sell these lobster cheaper, for a few reasons, they are not trying to get huge profit margins on lobster, grocery stores never try to get huge margins, they have lots of things for sale at small margins. Their profit spreads are in reality quite small for each item they sell, but what they do have is lots of items for sale, thus they profit from volume. So on mothers day and first catches of the season grocery stores advertise cheap lobster, profit from volume, or could use it to get people in the door and even sell it at a loss, this is called a loss leader.

  • Marcel
    May 09, 2013 - 18:49

    If you want to make a point head downtown with 2000 protesters and stand in from of the Leg for a week blocking downtown streets.. Not DFO when have they ever cared.lol Need some leadership in running this strike.

  • Crystal
    May 09, 2013 - 18:48

    "Full coverage will appear in Friday's print edition and e-edition of The Guardian." Hopefully when the Guardian prints the full coverage it will include facts as opposed to made up numbers for # of protesters in attendance and $ per pound fisherman are asking for. C'mon Guardian you can do better than that! Keep the pressure on fishermen! Islanders really need to be protesting more of the injustices such as Plan B, HST, EI treating them like criminals etc.

  • Whitney Chaisson
    May 09, 2013 - 18:38

    I wish I could have been there today...I was thinking of everyone and have my fingers crossed that something changes for the better sooner rather than later. To the arrogant, uneducated individuals making comments on this article and many others, I suggest two things. 1. If you are not a fisherman or woman keep your ignorant comments to yourself and 2. "Grow a set" and put your real name when youre making these comments and stop hiding behind a fake one like "wow" oh "huh" because youre scared. Im a 24 year old from rural Souris, PEI who doesnt have much fishing in her background and im willing to put my real name....grow up and before you made uneducated comments, go ahead and educate yourself on the topic first and then think long and hard before you hit enter. God bless all fishermen and women during this difficult time. Respectfully sumbitted, Whitney

  • shelley deagle
    May 09, 2013 - 18:28

    First of all, not all fishermen/women own 60,000 trucks. Mine cost 3000 and is falling apart. Secondly gas engines are harder on fuel then a disel motor. It is the cost of fuel itself that is the problem. A 10,000 bait bill a season is just one of the many unavoidable costs of fishing, forget the bills for hired help, insurance, payroll deductions remittance,new gear, new traps, boat maintenance, engine maintenance, wharf fees, boat hauling fees and basic breakdowns (which aren't $20 ones by the way) Oh don't forget the $500,000 loan you make payments on when you buy a fleet. That payment can range anywhere from $30,000- $60,000 a season..Also not everyone catches 30,000 lbs. In conclusion I strongly suggest that before you offer an opinion you educate yourself as to the facts. You obviously have no clue as to the costs related in running a fishing business. Also DFO has nothing to do with this issue the location was the ideal for the rally as well as the fact fishermen all know where it is.

  • that guy
    May 09, 2013 - 18:26

    @ WOW... dont forget about the high percentage of fisherman who travel to the western provinces for off season employment thats how we can have trucks etc before you judge us make sure you know what your talking about!!!!!!!!

    • Educated in Aquaculture
      May 10, 2013 - 07:50

      ok lobster fisherman and fisherwomen, Hi I am your educated in aquaculture guy here, previously worked for Lobster Science Centre (AVC UPEI), well versed here in the aquaculture industry. I would like to agree with everyone else here who says tough, too bad, pack it in and get a new job. You fishermen don't get it do you? THE ENTIRE ECONOMY SUCKS right now! Businesses would rather treat you as a slave, pay you less than your worth and as soon as you open your mouth your fired. Get real fishermen if the price isn't there then quit yer whining and do what everyone else has to do. Go on unemployment, hopefully get another job, and if you cant, go get retrained in something that is economically presently relevant. Its called a career change and most of us in a down turning economy are forced into it even when we don't like it. Like me. Wake up, smell the lobster, the world isn't as it was 20 years ago and we are all in the same boat. We all get paid less than we are worth, we all get treated like slaves, we all get tossed like we are nothing when we speak up, we all have bills and loans, and we all have to take new jobs if the one we are in disappears. Welcome to 2013 PEI Lobster fishermen and women. How much sympathy do you want the public to have when we are all in the same boat in one way or another?

  • one day too late
    May 09, 2013 - 18:21

    1 day too late. The Premier was in Ottawa yesterday AND the Legislature of PEI was still sitting. I know he was in Ottawa for different reasons, maybe 1 was looking for a Senate job through buddy Trudeau, but he had the chance to bring it up with the Prime Minister. You nee da new President! 1 who cares more about the fishermen that upsetting the Liberals.

  • sasha
    May 09, 2013 - 18:19

    Well the federal and provincial governments issue licenses such as processors licenses. They also provide funding to these processors. The Province makes fishermen pay into and join the Fisherman's Union but the Processor's are not forced to join the provincial processors's association - and the province won't force them. So the price here is $2.00 per pound less than mainland and the Maggie's. No explanation for this. And the processor's are trucking Maine lobster into PEI to process - with money given to them from our local government - so that it what you should be concerned about. And they are not being forced to attend a meeting. The Fisherman's Assoc. won't bring government up because they are sponsored by government. As usual both levels of government are talking out of both sides of their mouths.

  • DumbFounded
    May 09, 2013 - 17:24

    Is it true that the fisherman in North Rustico are still fishing lobster ?

    • rumor cruncher
      May 10, 2013 - 05:44

      Absolutely not true. The fisherman in Rustico are not fishing.

  • middle class
    May 09, 2013 - 17:20

    I don't pity them for having the ability to fuel up their $60,000 trucks. because that's a small luxury that everybody has the right to enjoy. That's where unions come in. They help you get paid what the market allows, and prevents the people from becoming property of the corporations. despite what the people who've allowed themselves to be brainwashed by the corporations, they don't protect the lazy. Well, not that I've seen anyways.

  • middle class
    May 09, 2013 - 17:11

    Perhaps it's time they join a union, and everyone else for that matter. It's our only chance at surviving this corrupt government. A strong voice/stand for the people!

  • Robert MacCormac
    May 09, 2013 - 16:28

    Maybe that shiny new truck belongs to one of the few employees that work in that DFO building. Your jealousy is showing. Don't be so quick to judge until you try and pay their bills and do their jobs. I don't know any fisherman who work only for May and June - 95% of them have other fisheries and enterprises that supplement their incomes to make up for the shortfalls. And they work 12 months of the year. If they do draw EI, they pay it back when they file their taxes if they make a certain amount of income. I

  • hey
    May 09, 2013 - 16:23

    it costs more to burn gas then it does diesel,why we have diesel engines...diesel can handle the wear n tear lil more

  • Pauline Smith
    May 09, 2013 - 15:59

    Keep up the good work boys

  • janet
    May 09, 2013 - 15:59

    WOW: i was thinking that! the rally looked more like a new truck lot than a protest for starving fishermen, they are self employed would they look to pay back money if they had a good year with 12$ a pound prices? no of course not, fishing had its good days in the late 80s early 90s,now they think they deserve to make 80, 000$ in 8 weeks and if they don't its everyone else s fault and we should all feel sorry for them! TOO MUCH COMPLYING FOR TOO LONG, THEY WILL NEVER BE HAPPY

    • To Janet
      May 10, 2013 - 00:09

      Janet, you can visit your local bank and get one of those shiny new trucks too if you want, hopefully your boss doesn't haul bake you pay to 1/4 of what you now receive. I'm not sure you will be happy then. It absolutely the processors fault if they are rigging pricing, I never seen the fishermen blame anyone but the processors. Please point me in the direction of where your getting your info.

  • Supervisor of Counting Votes,eh
    May 09, 2013 - 15:48

    There wasn't 2,000 people there, Jason, because I counted them.There were 326 men, 312 women, 3 stray dogs, 1 old mangy tomcat and Newt with nasty sharp pointy teeth.. That all adds up to 14, right. And I own the new Toyota Tundra in the video.It was a bribe from one of the political parties, I can't remember which one

  • darrell
    May 09, 2013 - 15:35

    everyone wants more money guys but we do not live a perfect world i do not think u guys know how good u have it and yes i have fished lobsters and i know that you had a good few years but guys i think u all forgot why you fish is it not because u love it i know i did and i would drop everything to do it again yes everyone needs money to survive but guys there is work out there for ya for the other 10 months i am sure of it remember your fathers and grandfathers they did it and they found other ways to make money through the year and u know you can do the same but i am pullin for ya guys dont get me wrong.

  • Factstellthestory
    May 09, 2013 - 15:21

    Obama will be happy today!! Maine lobster will be in HIGH demand!

  • Dave g
    May 09, 2013 - 15:12

    If fisherman can't survive on 3 dollars a pound... Do like everyone else in life has too....get out of it and move on...i have a job where i get 12 n hour and should be getting 18, i wish i was gettin more but thats life... Deal with it...you guys drive 7000 dollar trucks to the wharf to save the 70,000 dollar truck u have in the garage parked next to your cadillac, thats not counting the top notch John deere u have parked in the 50x100 building u keep your shiny fiberglass boat in cause you dont want the color to fade over the winter!!! Get over it folks... Who is really struggling in fishing???

    • R C
      May 09, 2013 - 21:36

      I think you should get your facts right buddy. My father is one of the men on strike. Last time I checked we don't have a 60,000 truck nor a Cadillac. He drives an old pickup that's falling apart, and that's it. The boat is stored outside with just a cover, and we use just a cheap barely running push mower. It's hard times living in our run down mini home ... My father works harder than anyman I know not just two months if the year but everyday all year ... Why don't you come fish and try to do our work; you won't even last a month.

    • That easy eh
      May 10, 2013 - 00:14

      Dave G, do you understand what is going to happen if these fishermen throw in their hats for good? PEI is literally going to go into depression, the average Joe will not be ablt to afford the inflation., think of 1 million x 60 days being lost in revenue into the economy! You are obviously living a pipe dream man, and literally talking out your butt. There really are people losing money fishing. this is a fact. I'm confident you have no facts to back up your pulled out of the air theory.

  • kelva kitson
    May 09, 2013 - 15:04

    It is going to be hard but if you all stick together this might work. Good luck to one and all .here is hoping they see that they are wrong and the fishermen are only doing what must be done .

  • Philip Collins
    May 09, 2013 - 15:02

    One thing that was missed, as WOW pointed out: Each fisherman brought their own 2013 Ram, F150 and Silverado to the protest. Carpooling would have made more sense. Gas is expensive, but not that expensive, it would seem.....

  • Ben Dover
    May 09, 2013 - 14:58

    WHAT A JOKE. TODAY IS THE BIGGEST DAY THAT PEI WILL EVER WHITNESS? IS THAT BECAUSE THE LOBSTER GODS ARE JOINING TOGETHER TO SHOW US MORTALS HOW IT IS DONE?? GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE!

  • Ben Dover
    May 09, 2013 - 14:46

    So let me try to get some things straight here. And I am not bashing nor am i a fishermen. The protest news says they need 5 dollars a pound to break even. Really? So after 2 months of fishing you come out at even. No profit, no loss? I think the problem is that a lot of the facts are not right. I am going to tell you what I do know. What about the guys that are catching 30-40 thousand pounds of lobster? I do know that a lot of places are not near close to this...and I feel for those guys...kinda. But that is also the business you bought into...I want to go back to the 30-40 thousand lb guys. At 3 dollars a pound that is 90,000.00. I used 30,000 for a catch. Fuel 10G, bait 10G, man 10G, misc gear and whatnot 10G. Leaves a guys with 50G. Yes you have to pay taxes out of that, everyone pays taxes. Yes you have to make your boat payment out of that, everyone has to make the payment on the money they invested into their company. That is all part of being in business. Its just the fact that they make 50 grand ( or whatever it is ) in 2 months that bugs people. Or take last years numbers and change that same number to 135,000 lots of guys had 40,000 lbs. 180,000 grand! What people are saying is, thats great that you made that money in those 2 months, but if you want to keep eating and keep living, then keep working. And lots do, lots keep fishing. It's just hard for us the public here on pei to feeel bad for someone that makes more than most of us in 2 months. Esp if you own your own business like I do. I can't collect EI when i don't get a job for a month. I have no back up from the goverment. I dont understand why that is? And i can't protest to anyone? It's just hard to feel sorry for the fisherman all the time.

    • Your not quite right
      May 10, 2013 - 00:23

      I think you have some "fact" not so correct. First of all, you are looking at ONE side of the island, where most of the catch is canners, so your wrong with the $3, lower that # to the canner price. Boat/gear payments can run up to 50k, so with your $50k that was left.. now turns into 0, your off on your #'s, recalculate that. As for the EI, because the fishermen you state above have already made over the alotted amount, they are into a higher tax bracket, which requires that fishermen to repay back the EI he receives, so your wrong again. You likely should've stopped at "nor am I a fishermen". Please don't try to understand why they are protesting, because it's about fairness, not greed. You are yet another confused, ignorant, uneducated, empathy lacking moron.

  • Jason Sheppard
    May 09, 2013 - 14:35

    Maybe this reporter should learn to count! There was atleast 2000 people in attendance at the protest!! The media on PEI has to start reporting the facts about this whole process!

  • A POUND
    May 09, 2013 - 14:19

    They don't want $5 a lobster, they want $5 a pound.

    • who cares
      May 09, 2013 - 17:38

      Does it matter? Shellfish is just junk food anyway.

  • Wow
    May 09, 2013 - 13:27

    Look at that 60,000 dollar Tundra sitting in the background-because every fisherman needs one of those to get to the wharf in may and june. What ever happened to the 292 and 300 gas engines for the boats? Dont cry fuel bills when you all have to get bigger and better engines than the next guy.

    • Not all fisherman
      May 09, 2013 - 15:22

      Not all fisherman are driving the expensive trucks and have a lot of toys, I think you are stereotyping about there! And this has nothing to do with non fish bill payment or whatever... At 2.75/lb a lot of fisherman are not breaking even, when you lose money while you are working that's is ridiculous!

    • Justin
      May 09, 2013 - 17:14

      Maybe you should continue to drive your 1991 Geo Metro to and from work, and sit back and continue to watch TV you uninformed honkie!

    • Fishy
      May 09, 2013 - 17:32

      Go boys go! So what if they drive a 60,000 tundra?

    • Mr.Loan
      May 09, 2013 - 17:57

      Umm...you dont think Mr.Tundra is making payments towards his truck. Yes, the same way you make payments on your vehicle. Its uneducated people like you that just see dollar signs when the word fishing is dropped.. and start whining because someone happens to drive something better than you. These people have the same bills as everyone else.. and a lot are still making payments on borrowed money... which you could do to if you go into your bank and ask for a loan. Get real!!

    • that guy
      May 09, 2013 - 18:02

      @ WOW... dont forget about the high percentage of fisherman who travel to the western provinces for off season employment thats how we can have trucks etc before you judge us make sure you know what your talking about!!!!!!!!

    • island girl
      May 10, 2013 - 09:17

      not to mention the TOWING capacity the tundra has....sure it's an expensive trucks, but if the Tundra can pull a space shuttle around, it can move a boat around. They need to supply their needs including towing heavy equipment around and such. It's a beautiful truck, but it's also a functioning one!

  • Huh
    May 09, 2013 - 13:03

    What can DFO do about it????

  • Adam Smith
    May 09, 2013 - 13:01

    This is a really sad situation, and unfortunately strike actions will do little to change the bigger picture of decreased demand for premium quality seafood, as economies turn downward. If there is not a price that provides a reasonable return for their effort, then fisherman should opt not to take their boats out to pull their traps. Perhaps, they pull their traps every couple days to at least generate some income, and that decrease in supply due to periodic hauling alone should help to at least firm prices. What is really short-sighted however, is to take punitive actions against those fisherman that might want to go out to pull their traps when the majority have opted not to do so. The rumour is that those fisherman that do haul their traps will be "cut out of the water", in other words, the other fisherman will literally cut all their trap lines to sink the traps permanently. Don't expect for a huge increase in price though. Global economies are tanking, and there are ample supplies of other good quality fish and shellfish protein to meet the demands of those that do have money, and lobster prices might possibly be depressed for a very long time.

    • OK
      May 10, 2013 - 05:53

      Ok. So why are they paying more for lobsters in the Maggies and NS? like a dollar a pound more? And shipping them to PEI to be processed? Just asking....

  • bim larkin
    May 09, 2013 - 12:47

    how can you expect a man to live and maintain a home and support a family when lobster buyers are robbing them blind while the buyers themselves are living high of the hog,,the big stores in summerside are charging 9 dollars a pound yesterday so someone is filling their pockets and it sure as hell not the men and women on the boats

  • Joe Citizen
    May 09, 2013 - 12:44

    Hi seas,... well hello yourself!