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P.E.I. lobster fishing curfew survey results on fishermen's association agenda Jan. 21

<p>Lee Knox, president of the Prince Country Fishermen’s Association, voices his opposition to a change in carapace size limits during a fisheries committee meeting Tuesday.</p>
Lee Knox, president of the Prince Country Fishermen’s Association. - File

Votes to be counted later this week

O’LEARY, P.E.I. - The results of the Prince County Fishermen Association’s (PCFA) recent mail-in survey will be released during its annual meeting Jan. 21.

Fall lobster fishermen were asked to provide their views on whether to accept a Maritime Fishermen’s Association proposal of limiting fishing trips in Lobster Fishing Area 25 to between 4 a.m. and 9 p.m., or to fish with no curfew at all as is currently permitted.

The deadline for fishermen to submit their views was Friday, Jan. 11.

PCFA president Lee Knox said he does not know the rate of return, nor does he know the results. The votes will be counted later this week, but not presented to the membership until the annual meeting that gets underway at the O’Leary Legion at 9:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 21.

Knox anticipates strong interest from membership on the result.

Although he is anticipating some discussion on whatever the outcome of the survey is, Knox believes the survey result will be the direction his association will take.

There’s already a fishing curfew in place in LFA 23 in New Brunswick.

Curfew was due to be up for discussion at last month’s Southern Gulf Lobster Advisory meetings in Moncton, but Knox said it didn’t go anywhere.

“It wasn’t discussed a lot, because I didn’t know where we stood," said Knox. "We put that discussion off until we hear back from our fishermen.”

The PCFA held a meeting in O’Leary on Nov. 28 to discuss an MFU proposal that would prohibit fishermen from starting their lobster fishing trips from their home ports before 4 a.m., and would require them to be back in port by 9 p.m. It was decided during that meeting to survey the membership.

Species reports, including the current decline in the mackerel fishery and a four-week fishery for scallops, as well as a discussion on regulations dealing with the protection of endangered North Atlantic right whales, are on the agenda for the annual meeting.

RELATED: Mail-in vote on fishing curfew coming for Prince County lobster fishermen

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