Independent group looking into low lobster prices in region 'will just sit around and talk and do nothing': McGeoghegan
© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
Mike McGeoghegan, president of the P.E.I Fishermens Association speaks to reporters after he and other fishermen spoke to Premier Robert Ghiz about the issue of low prices for lobster.
PINETTE — An independent panel to review low lobster prices this year will end up being nothing but a joke, says the president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association.
“They’ll do nothing but sit around having steak dinners and drinking cognac,’’ said Mike McGeoghegan, about the independent panel announced last week to address low prices in the lobster fishery.
“If this was happening in any other province (low prices), the wheels would be flying off the bus.”
The Pinette fisherman was responding to the panel announced by the fisheries ministers of P.E.I, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick who met in Amherst last week to work collectively on marketing initiatives in an effort to increase shore price for lobsters.
The announcement followed a lobster strike initiated by Island fishermen over a $2.75 to $3.25 price ratio for canners and markets. The strike swept through the Maritimes and nearly brought the industry to a standstill.
“Just look at the picture that ran in the paper,’’ said McGeoghegan. “They don’t give a hoot about this … they’re just going to sit around and talk and do nothing. We need a royal commission on the way the lobster industry is operated in this region.”
Fishermen set traps year after year without any knowledge of a shore price and McGeoghegan said it’s a billion-dollar business with little ending up with the harvesters or the Canadian public.
“It’s a complicated issue that needs to be taken apart so those who harvest make some money,” said the president.
The panel said it would reach out to other jurisdictions in the region and talk to the federal government about the development of international markets.
Nova Scotia Fisheries Minister Sterling Beliveau said senior officials will report back to the ministers in two weeks concerning the terms of reference and membership of the panel.