Independent oyster fishermen warn of threats to their industry

Colin MacLean colin.maclean@journalpioneer.com
Published on June 2, 2014

Fishers harvest oysters from Rustico Bay on the weekend.

©Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

BEDEQUE – Representatives from the Prince Edward Island Shellfish Association met with reporters Monday to discuss what they say is the encroachment of big business on their traditional fishery.

A number of issues were brought up, but the most significant was the issuance of ‘add a species’ permits.

These permits allow predominantly mussel leaseholders to apply for the right to add a species to their lease, such as oysters.

The fishermen pointed out that mussel leases are significantly larger than those dedicated solely to oysters and that the more farmed shellfish are allowed to be grown the less marketshare there would be for small independants, such as themselves. 

More to come.