© Guardian photo by Brian McInnis
The Sneak Preview nears the wharf at Covehead in this Guardian file photo.
ALBERTON — The manager of the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association believes everything remains on-track for a marketing levy to be collected from next year’s lobster catches.
Ian MacPherson was responding Monday to a report that the provincial governments of the Maritime Provinces will miss their target of being ready to collect the levy by the end of this year.
The three governments still expect to have legislation in place to allow for the collection of the levy by springtime, and that’s good enough for MacPherson.
In a recent PEIFA survey of its members, 69.4 per cent of respondents indicated they were in favour of paying a one-cent per pound levy. About 50 per cent of the Island’s lobster fishermen responded, with 30.4 per cent indicating they were not in favour of the levy.
Reached in Europe, where he is drumming up interest in the P.E.I. Fishermen’s Brand lobster, MacPherson noted the support for the levy by the Maritime Fishermen Union in New Brunswick is contingent on the lobster fisheries in the other Maritime provinces also contributing. He said there still remains some surveying to be completed to gauge interest in Nova Scotia.
Preparations for the levy have been in the works for more than a year. It will see lobster fishermen and buyers splitting a two-cent per pound levy to assist with strategies for advertising and promoting Atlantic lobster.
The PEIFA manager said he knew there was legislation to complete in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia but was “a little surprised,” there was still work to be completed in P.E.I., too. “The Province has to change some legislation so that the processor portion could be collected,” he said. “I guess that didn’t get covered in the fall session, or doesn’t appear to get covered in the fall session.”
MacPherson said the fishermen’s association is working hard to meet all the criteria of the Natural Products Act so that the harvester portion can be collected here.
“I guess from our perspective, we’re hoping that will all be ready by this spring.”