For several years, the PEIFA has been holding an annual crab draw to decide what P.E.I. commercial fishermen would get a portion of its allocation each year. No quota can be assigned to any license more than once until everyone gets a crack at quota in the first round.
Depending on the size of the allocation – and there are rumours it could be almost doubled compared to last year – there is a good chance the full list of eligible fishermen will be exhausted this year. In any event, the PEIFA is advising all eligible fishermen to get their names in for this year’s draw as all remaining names will be drawn out. If the last ones on the list aren't used they will get a final crack at the quota in 2018 and would still be eligible for the second round.
So that has the provincial association wondering how to manage future allocations.
PCFA president Lee Knox, told members at his association’s annual meeting Monday in O’Leary of options being discussed, including drawing enough names each year to give successful fishermen $5,000 each, sharing the proceeds evenly among all eligible fishermen each year or staying with status quo.
“Last year, with the high prices, if divided between everyone, it would have worked out to about $2,000 each,” said Knox noting the share would be less than that if the price dropped.
A suggestion that the proceeds be used for a group purchase of marine safety equipment needed to satisfy new Transport Canada regulations did not gain traction.
The choice was narrowed down to status quo versus sharing the proceeds evenly, and 62 per cent of respondents opted for an even share.
The PEIFA’s crab committee will still have to consider all recommendations and come up with a plan of action.