Prince County lobster fishermen not interested in stacking lobster licences

DFO implementing lobster licence buyout in LFAs 24 and 26A but policy change too late for LFA 25 fall season

Published on July 31, 2014
Boats are piled high with traps as fishermen await the start of the fall lobster fishery.

Eric McCarthy/Journal Pioneer

ALBERTON — The president of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association has no expectations that his membership will reopen discussion on stacking of lobster licences now that the Department of Fisheries and Oceans has given the green light for stacking in LFA 26A at the eastern end of the province and in the western portion of Lobster Fishing Area 24. 

DFO is permitting spring fishermen to buy out a second licence, or two fishermen to buy out a third as long as some traps from the bought out licence are retired.

Although they voted down a stacking proposal during a policy meeting last spring, Lee Knox noted PCFA members did vote in favour of a proposal to allow fall fishermen from LFA 25 in P.E.I. to also possess a spring lobster licence in either LFA 24 or 26A.

Knox said LFA 25 fishermen are aware the proposal would have to win favour from the lobster advisory groups in 24 and 26A before it could be taken to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for consideration. He said he recently put the proposal to the neighbouring LFAs for their consideration. Even if they support the proposal, he said the policy change could never be made in time for this year’s fall fishery which opens Aug. 8.

The fall season ordinarily opens on Aug. 9, but, at the request of fall fishermen, DFO agreed to open the fall season one day early. Knox said the early opening is intended to help take some pressure off processing plants as they will have Sunday to catch up after the anticipated heavy hauls on Saturday, Aug. 9.

Knox expressed hope the price for the fall fishery will start out no lower than where the spring fishery ended, at $3.50 per pound for canners and $4 a pound for markets.