ALBERTON -- The president of the Prince County Fishermen’s Association has no expectations that his membership will reopen discussion on stacking of lobster licenses 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 license, or two fishermen to buy out a third as long as some traps from the bought out license 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 license 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 August 8.
The fall season ordinarily opens on August 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, August 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 $4.00 a pound for markets.