P.E.I. fishermen cry foul as DFO extends fishing season for New Brunswick

Eric McCarthy
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Boats loaded down with lobster traps jam the harbour at Murray Harbour, P.E.I Wednesday April 30, 2014, which was the openig day of the lobster fishery on the Island's south shore.

Although the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association has condemned a Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ decision to add five days to the end of the spring lobster fishery in New Brunswick’s Lobster Fishing Area 23, a co-chair of the Area 24 Lobster Advisory Committee on Prince Edward Island’s north shore views the DFO move as precedent-setting.

David Lewis noted that LFA 24 was advised no extensions would be considered in the event that the start of the season was delayed by ice or weather. He said Prince Edward Island fishermen were delayed one day at the start of the season and, fishermen in the area gave little thought to asking for an extension.

He acknowledged the situation might have been different had fishermen been delayed five days because of ice like their New Brunswick counterparts were.

The five-day extension has now concluded.

Because LFA 23 was granted the extension on the tail end of the season, Lewis suggested P.E.I. fishermen will feel justified in asking for an extension should weather impact their season in the future.

The PEIFA issued a statement on the weekend strongly objecting to DFO’s handling of the LFA 23 lobster extension, and indicating it would be contacting both DFO and the Federal Fisheries Minister’s office  to express concerns about the change of practice and what it views as inconsistent enforcement of DFO policy. It also suggested the extended season could negatively impact larval drift in neighbouring fishing zones.

The PEIFA notes a long-standing DFO policy of discouraging and refusing weather-related season requests and it points to DFO’s recent refusal of a request by LFA 25 for a one day earlier start to their upcoming fall season.

“DFO cited impact on the resource as the reason for not granting a one day change for LFA25, however there does not appear to be any resource issues related to the five-day extension granted to LFA 23,” remarked PEIFA president Mike McGeoghegan.

The PEIFA also took exception to the lack of dialogue with neighbouring LFAs when DFO considered and approved the LFA 23 extension.

Organizations: Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Lobster Advisory Committee on Prince Edward Island

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Lobster Fishing Area

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • J
    July 08, 2014 - 12:35

    Jerry, I guess you won't need EI for the next 10 months.

  • J
    July 08, 2014 - 11:27

    I can't figure out why these fishermen/women are continuously whining. Why would a business person invest major dollars into a business that only lasts a couple months a year and then the owner and extended family in many cases have to live on EI the rest of the year? Doesn't sound like smart business decision to me. Stop your whining and go get other work for the rest of the year, kick the EI habit.

  • Jerry s
    July 07, 2014 - 16:58

    To all the people talking about us crying fisherman... Im not crying .. I had a good year but will only be able to travel to florida for a month this winter instead of 3 months..i ended up with 26,800 but i blame it on the quotas we had on us... I definately would have liked to get a 5 day extension as I wanted to trade my tractor in n get one with more power n it looks like when i trade my gmc im goin to have to stick to a gas as i cant afford the extra 15,000 to buy a diesel. So by no means am i crying... Im gonna try to make due with what i can afford

    • Good Post
      July 08, 2014 - 09:03

      Very good post , well done

  • northlake fisher
    July 07, 2014 - 13:43

    The PEI fisher are being treated bad once again , we all fish the same Ocean, we should have the same rules ,We are being punished for being great fisherman....end of story

  • Stan Hope
    July 07, 2014 - 12:06

    I tend to agree with WHEN & WAYNE. I grew up on the North side during summer season for over 50 years & have fished & have many friends who fish but come on.I too am growing weary of the fishersmen & yes WOMEN complaining what seems like every season about the rotten deals they get or deals don`t get.I have to work two jobs just to try to pay the bills & one of those jobs is minimum wage & I ain`t cryin`to anyone. I`ve made my choices & this is the result.

  • When Will It Stop
    July 07, 2014 - 11:17

    When will it ever stop , the crying , here they complain about their fellow fishers getting the same amount of fishing day's as them when a lot of them landed two day's early . Just don't get it .

  • WayneDrops
    July 07, 2014 - 11:09

    Wow...the northside has subpar season on their standards and they feel they should have been granted an extension...what did ya's land ?? 20-25 thousand??? I can't believe the whining on the north side...300 traps and they still complain.....if the southside asked for an extension every year they had a bad year they would have been fishing year round...pooor babies on the northside!!!

    • don
      July 07, 2014 - 12:17

      well what about the farmers whining as they can to afford to live , the restaurants whining about no workers, government not getting enough pay? i think we should pay ghiz one million a year, mla's 500,000 a year and all the fast food they can eat,plus new cars every 6 months. fishermen can not afford a new truck or 4 months down south. they are all whining.

    • Easy money
      July 07, 2014 - 21:40

      Ha Waynedrops. Might want to recalculate there. There more like 35-45 thousand. No joke. Ask northlake fisherman.