PINETTE — After a five-year term of successive re-elections, Mike McGeoghegan has stepped down as president of the largest fishing organization in the province.
The Pinette-based fisherman has retired from the industry and can no longer remain in his capacity.
McGeoghegan was instrumental in some of the biggest waves in the fishery when it came to low prices and attempting to establish a marketing levy and council for a more controlled marketing system for lobster.
“Effective immediately, president Mike Mike McGeoghegan will be stepping down as he has now transferred ownership of his remaining core fishing licences,” said executive director Ian MacPherson of the P.E.I. Fisherman’s Association in a press release.
Association vice-president Craig Avery will become interim president until the next PEIFA general meeting scheduled for February 2015.
“The board of directors would like to thank Mike McGeoghegan for his significant contribution as president to the organization over the past five and a half years through a very challenging and difficult period in the fishery,” said MacPherson. “Mike will continue to serve as an advisor to the board on the many issues we are facing as an organization.”
McGeoghegan has agreed to remain an extra year as president to assist Island fishermen.
He was both lauded and criticized over the spring boat tie up in 2013 when a majority of lobster fishermen went on strike for higher prices. Almost a thousand fishermen showed up during a rally at the Department of Federal Fisheries in Charlottetown to demand more than a $3 lobster.
That led to government and industry efforts to set a minimum shore price before fishermen set traps, a marketing levy for lobster promotion, and two reports on ways to improve prices.
P.E.I. fishermen are expected to hold a secret vote in October to decide whether to proceed with a penny a pound lobster levy next spring to bolster promotion for higher prices.
The PEIFA represents over 1,250 core fishers on Prince Edward Island on numerous species and fishery related issues.