Top News

PEISPA, PEIFA disappointed with the opening date of fall lobster season

The Hannah Grace joins most of the other boats leaving Miminegash Harbour Thursday morning in sailing south with its first load of lobster gear. Only one boat sailed north with its first load while two sailed straight out to start offloading. There are 711 boats in the fall fishery in Lobster Fishing Area 25, including 225 from P.E.I.
Lobster boats leave Miminegash Harbour in Lobster Fishing Area 25 on setting day in 2017. - SaltWire file
SUMMERSIDE, P.E.I. —

The P.E.I. Seafood Processors Association (PEISPA) has expressed concern about the start date to the fall lobster season in Lobster Fishing Area (LFA) 25.

The opening day is Monday, Aug. 10.  

A media release issued from the PEISPA explains this date will create difficulty for lobster processors to handle the large number of lobsters that will be harvested in the first week. The release goes on to say the fall season would usually start on Aug. 9, but since that date falls on a Sunday this year, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) supported changing the opening date. 

“We are very disappointed that DFO rejected our simple but impactful request to start the fall fishery on Aug. 7,” said Jerry Gavin, executive director of the PEISPA.

The P.E.I. Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) also made a formal request for an earlier start date, confirmed executive director Ian MacPherson. 

“We were disappointed in the decision but hope for a safe and successful start to the season,” said MacPherson, who noted the first couple of weeks of the season are generally the most productive.

“We are hoping everyone has a productive season all around on the harvesting and processing side.”

The release explains an Aug. 7 start would provide an opportunity for the anticipated high catches from Friday and Saturday's harvest to be cleaned up by processors. 

P.E.I.’s lobster harvesters do not fish on Sundays.

The release goes on to say PEISPA processors are concerned that, if landings are as high as expected in the first week of the fall season, catch limits may have to be applied until the backlog from the first few days is cleaned up.

“PEISPA will work with lobster fishers on this issue as well as others that may arise to ensure the fall season goes as smoothly as possible,” said Gavin.

The fall lobster season will run until early October.

LFA 25 consists primarily of the western end of the Northumberland Strait between P.E.I. and New Brunswick.

Twitter.com/JpsportsJason

Did this story inform or enhance your perspective on this subject?
1 being least likely, and 10 being most likely

Recent Stories