Prince Edward Island fishermen mull lobster committee recommendations

Steve Sharratt
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Maritime Lobster Panel members John Hanlon of Nova Scotia, Gilles Theriault of New Brunswick and Lewis Creed of Prince Edward Island look on while New Brunswick Fisheries Minister Mike Olscamp speaks at a press conference to release their 33 recommendations on Thursday in Amherst.

The Maritime Lobster Panel has baited all the right hooks, but the president of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association is wondering if a trap line of recommendations announced Thursday will have any bite in the 2014 season.

The panel released its long-awaited report and made 33 recommendations.

It especially addressed the poor prices over the past few years that drove many Maritime fishermen to tie up their boats and protest last spring.

“My initial reaction is that they did most of their homework and have made some good recommendations ... but whether there’s any teeth is another story,’’ said Mike McGeoghegan from his home in Pinette. “You can say there should be a set price for fishermen but that doesn’t mean it will happen.”

McGeoghegan said he would speak only personally and limit his comments since the PEIFA board of directors is awaiting the findings of the Younker report which examines the P.E.I. industry.

The board said it would prefer to comment on both reports.

The Maritime Lobster Panel spent five months to confirm the industry needs  “wholesale changes” to improve the price, sales and marketing of Canadian lobster.

It says there is financial wiggle room to guarantee a $4 canner and $5 market lobster price after seven years of rock bottom returns.

The panel wants changes from the current practice of high-volume fishing over short periods to a harvest regime matched with onshore capacity to deal with the high volumes, and ultimately, higher prices.

“I think there is a bit of a gap when it comes to price fixing and the glut,’’ said McGeoghegan.

“I don’t believe there is a glut, but we need intelligence on what is being held in storage. I also asked the panel to follow the money trail and they didn’t do


Organizations: Maritime Lobster Panel

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, P.E.I. Fishermen, Maritime Pinette

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Recent comments

  • Just Curious
    November 08, 2013 - 13:55

    Just curious , I wonder how many dollars this company had to invest & gamble with to make this money ??? Another good question would be how much each share returned above the investment made ??? It seems funny that near all the factories in eastern PEI has gone bankrupt even with the price of lobster down . Only ones seeming to do alright is the fishers them selves . Would be interesting to know how many of them went bankrupt in the last few years . None I know , seem to be suffering very much & the number going out west seems quite small compared to year round workers . Just curious . Seeing a study of facts on above questions would be interesting & very informative . Would certainly make feeling sorry for the fishers a lot easier .

    November 08, 2013 - 11:12

    Clearwater reported second quarter earnings for 2013 were $9 Million dollars above the same time in 2012 .(That is Apr May and June) They made this profit while selling less product and attributed the profit to the lower price of fish . There it is in a nutshell ,we are getting screwed while they brag about it . Now we will get screwed again by the many proposed changes . I wonder how many dollars these companies contribute to the political parties .

      November 08, 2013 - 15:55

      How much fish did you sell to Clearwater? 85% of all Clearwate's fish comes from Asia, notably China. I could eat the amount of fish Island fishermen sell to Clearwater. To make $9 million more than the previous quarter is small potatoes for them.Another question is how much lobster does Clearwater buy? The answer, None! Do your homework and don't go sounding like MacGheogan.

    • But we want more and we want more
      November 08, 2013 - 16:40

      Amazed...... kwityerbitchin and become a buyer and a processor. You could become a millionaire. But I guess fishermen are a whole lot happier blaming everyone else for the low prices and waiting for somebody else to cure their problems. And when others try to help it is all wrong. If fishermen had any internal organs they would tie up their boats until a reasonable price was set just like other workers in unions do when there is a wage dispute...Go on strike. Are fishermen too helpless to help themselves????? Unbelievable!!!!!