ALBERTON — Members of the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association voted overwhelmingly this week in favour of a proposal that might allow them to hold both a spring and a fall lobster license in the same name.
The proposal was put out for secret ballot during the WGFA’s annual meeting Monday at the Western Community Curling Club.
The vote was 94 yes to 14 no, an 87 per cent majority in favour of allowing stacking of spring and fall licenses.
Proxy votes were permitted.
The proposal still needs to be accepted by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.
Association interim president Francis Morrissey stressed to members that the vote only applies to spring lobster gears in the part of Lobster Fishing Area 24 represented by the WGFA, and the Prince Edward Island part of Lobster Fishing Area 25.
It’s only a vote to give the lobster advisory and the board here of the Western Gulf permission to move forward to see if it can be done, Morrissey explained to members.
Members of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association, the organization that represents the Island’s fall lobster fishermen, voted last year in favour of allowing the stacking of spring and fall licenses, but that vote could go nowhere unless a spring district on P.E.I. was willing to participate.
There’s still much work to be done, Morrissey explained.
“We have to set up the criteria. We have to have a meeting for the membership, saying they approve of the criteria, and then the next step is to take it to DFO to see if they will accept it.
“This is not going to happen in three weeks, I can guarantee you that. It may never happen, but this is the only way to start the process.”