ALBERTON – The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association has come to the defense of Ron MacKinley, issuing a press release supporting the Fisheries and Aquaculture Minister’s efforts to promote Island lobster and other seafood products.
The group’s release follows criticism leveled at the minister in the provincial legislature over the cost of recent promotional trips.
The association suggested recent promotions in Alberta, China and Japan are, “a step forward in establishing and distinguishing the Prince Edward Island brand as a premium product on the world stage.”
“When he does something right, we’ll support him; when he doesn’t we’ll jump on him,” PEIFA president Mike McGeoghegan said.
The PEIFA also used the opportunity to recognize the marketing and promotion efforts of the Province, in conjunction with the Culinary Institute of Canada in enabling international chefs to connect with Island seafood.
McGeoghegan acknowledged the canner lobster is becoming an important part of the P.E.I. brand. He said the PEIFA is adamant that the minimum carapace size should not increase beyond 72 mm, the size that goes into effect next year.
He noted there is some interest among New Brunswick processors for the minimum carapace size to go up further, but P.E.I. processors and fishermen want it left alone.
He noted that, at 72 mm, the Island lobster industry achieves the desired 50 per cent recruitment rate for lobster sustainability.
“We’re not interested (in further increases) and we’re not moving off of 72,” McGeoghegan insisted.