Lobster fishermen hear pitch for marketing levy

Eric McCarthy
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Lee Knox, left, president of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association checks his notes as Jeff Malloy, president of the Lobster Council of Canada addresses the association’s annual meeting Friday in O’Leary. Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

O’LEARY -- The new president of the Lobster Council of Canada had words of praise Friday for the Maine lobster fishery.

“They’re putting a tremendous amount of money into their efforts, They’ve done an excellent job over the last three years..” Jeff Malloy said of Maine’s lobster marketing initiatives.

But Malloy was not trying to fluff up an industry south of the border; he was driving home the point that the Prince Edward Island and Canadian lobster industry must do the same.

“We have to keep up with Maine,” he told the 70 fishermen in attendance for the annual meeting of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association.

“It’s working,” he said of the American efforts.

Malloy pitched support for the penny-a-pound marketing levy recommended by both the Younker report on the P.E.I. lobster fishery and the report presented by the Maritime Lobster Panel. He said the Canadian lobster industry needs to identify a Canadian brand and direct money to market research. He added there should also be room for promotional dollars at the provincial level.

The president of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association, Mike McGeoghegan, backed up Malloy’s remarks.

“Marketing works,” he said. “It just does. It works.”

He painted a picture of a more prosperous future for the industry, telling of fishermen who now have to go west to help make ends meet.

“They should be fishermen and they should be proud to be fishermen and they should be making lots of money to be fishermen,“ he insisted.

They should be able to stand up with professionals like doctors and lawyers, he suggested, “and say, ‘I’m a fisherman and I’m proud to be a fisherman, and we make doggone good money at it, too.’ That shouldn’t be a shameful thing.”

The future of the lobster industry and fishing industry here on Prince Edward Island is good, he insisted.

“We just have to change the way we look at it and how we address the problem.”

Malloy and McGeoghegan advocated cooperation within the industry.

“We have to start working together and communicating much better than we have in the past.” said Malloy who insisted the marketing levy is essential for the good of the overall industry here.

“The amount of money generated in this industry, there’s no reason why we don’t invest some of it back in order to make this a better industry,”he stressed.

Fishermen also heard a presentation on generic marketing - how a commodity can be promoted without endorsing a certain brand.


Organizations: Lobster Council of Canada, Maritime Lobster Panel

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

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Recent comments

  • charlie mcgeoghegan
    January 17, 2014 - 11:12

    Interesting comments from some who no very little about the industry. Maine is allowed to fish 800 traps each for 12 months of the year. Pei fishermen are allowed 250 traps in LFA25, 300 traps in LFA24 and 273 traps in LFA 26A, all of those zones are only allowed 2 months to fish. If Maines levy the last 3 years is working so good, why then did they get the lowest price in 30 years this year ! That would not be sucess would it ? While I think a levy could work, it depends who is in charge of it, and if a clear transparent plan to get the shore/boat price up is paramount. The consumer is paying as much or more than ever for lobster (check any restaurant) online, supermarkets etc. But the fishermen are getting half of what they did 7 years ago. Expences have all gone up ALOT. Unless you walk a day in someone elses shoes, its hard to make an informed comment.

  • Dumbfounded
    January 13, 2014 - 07:24

    Half the planet is in the midst of a fish shortage. Marketing done. Get government hands out of the pot, meet with foreign buyers when they are here and sell them your product. Simple! Buyers have been here yet walked away with nothing! Change the Liberal top of the association to a non political person.

  • Brady Creed
    January 13, 2014 - 06:26

    Fishing my own gear 15 yrs .Leaving tomm for 3 months to work in Alberta .If any of you people who are jealous of fisherman are bored you can come read to my little girls at night if you like .Also you could keep a eye on my boat ,shovel out when it snows .Shouldnt be to bad sense i only took it out of the water on the 15th of dec.And if you have jealous buddies bring them over i got 50 traps to finish building ,rope and buoys to do .And dont be surprised if one of the four guys that fish with me during the year might need a little to get threw the winter .Loan them a little they are good workers .See ya in the spring neighbour.

  • waynedrops
    January 12, 2014 - 20:31

    @end sales based ei manipulation...well since you pointed that out...maybe we should fire all the civil service workers who are unionized as well as the federal workers...all they do is scam the taxpayers out of their money and do little to nothing at work...might as well do the same for those who are unionized...including nurses, teachers, etc. all dead weight who spend a majority of their time drinking coffee and gossiping and waiting for the big money...otherwise they will strike and sulk....that kind of aligns with your thinking

  • ben
    January 12, 2014 - 09:49

    unfortunity, yes you have to market your brand, life changes people change, the adage of if it good enough for grand father is good enough for me, desn't work in todays climate.

  • End sales based EI manipulation
    January 11, 2014 - 15:59

    Doctor's and Lawyers don't spend 42 weeks draining the canadian EI system with multiple maxed out EI claims and selling lobster and scallops for tax free cash after getting their EI started every year . Sales based EI must be ended forever .

    • ya
      January 12, 2014 - 11:49

      if I made doctor and lawyer pay, I would still be fishing not working shift work. Are you at work today?

    • Dave
      January 12, 2014 - 12:55

      I thought that was a very odd comment too, I am with you. Any shame in being a fishermen, comes from government subsidization.......so that is a very odd thing to say. Perhaps he is right though, maybe fishermen should be making much better money. Maybe we should follow Maine's system, allow them to fish all year, but with about a quarter of the fishermen we have now, like Maine does.