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Jenkins new president of PEIFA

Annandale fisherman Bobby Jenkins is at the helm of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association.
Annandale fisherman Bobby Jenkins is at the helm of the P.E.I. Fishermen's Association.

CHARLOTTETOWN – The new president of the Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association is entrusting the decision-making responsibilities of the 1,280-member organization in the hands of his board of directors.

“You’ve got to work with your board of directors and take your direction from them,” Annandale fisherman Bobby Jenkins said Monday following his weekend election. He takes over from Craig Avery who did not re-offer following two and a half years at the helm.

“I congratulated Craig for doing the same thing. I felt Craig took great direction from the board, and I said I don’t intend to do it any differently,” Jenkins said in reference to comments he made to membership during the association’s annual meeting.

Craig Avery

A fishing boat captain since 1974, and with hopes of fishing for a few more years yet, Jenkins has been a Southern Kings and Queens Fishermen’s Association (SKQFA) representative on the provincial board for several terms since 1991 and the provincial vice-president for the past seven years.

“I believe in the two T’s, Teamwork and Transparency,” he said in describing his leadership approach. “If we can do the teamwork and transparency thing, I believe we can stay focused on what’s important to all the locals.”

Among the challenges he’s inherited are halibut and tuna allocations and the lobster carapace size issue.

Jenkins said he understands the concerns the Prince County Fishermen’s Association has over the carapace size difference between their fall fishery and the Island’s spring fisheries.

On tuna and halibut, Jenkins feels P.E.I. fishermen are not getting their fair share. “Our job to lobby the federal government to try to get as much as we can for our fishers we represent. That’s what we intend to do.”

Avery, who had taken over the PEIFA presidency from Mike McGeoghegan, says the association is in good hands with Jenkins, “a wealth of experience.”

Avery said he will decide in the next week or two whether he will remain on the board of directors as a representative for the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association. Either way, he plans to continue working on promoting the P.E.I. Fishermen’s brand Master Lobster and was in Toronto on Monday for such a promotion.

The outgoing president lists creation of the Fishermen’s brand, implementation of a penny-a-pound lobster marketing levy, Marine Stewardship Council certification and the sudden increase in lobster prices as some of the highlights during his years as president.

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