Minister Shea announces Industry-led Lobster Licence Reduction Initiatives in Prince Edward Island A More Economically-Viable Lobster Fishery

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada, announced today lobster licence reduction initiatives in the western portion of Lobster Fishing Areas (LFA) 24 and all of 26A-1 in Prince Edward Island. The industry-led initiatives aim to improve the long-term sustainability of the lobster fishery while improving the economic viability of fishing enterprises.

The initiative within Lobster Fishing Area 24 includes the area which stretches from Seacow Pond to Hardy’s Channel in the northern portion of Prince Edward Island while the initiative in Lobster Fishing Area 26A-1 covers the eastern part of the Northumberland Strait bordering on both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.

The Department will work with the representatives from these Lobster Fishing Areas in the coming months regarding the details on implementing their proposals.

Quick Facts
Here are some of the details of the plans:

The plans allow for a lobster licence holder to buy-out another lobster licence in order to combine licences and fish using a single vessel.
When licences are combined, a lobster licence will be retired from the fishery, along with a percentage of the traps retired for conservation purposes.
Up to 50% of the traps from one licence could be permanently retired.
Following a buy-out, the licence holder would then possess additional lobster traps while holding only one licence, making the enterprise more efficient.
Departmental efforts to foster the long-term sustainability of the lobster fishery

The initiatives announced today build upon the Department’s Atlantic Lobster Sustainability Measures Program (ALSM). From 2009 to 2014, 244 licences were retired from the Maritime Provinces through the ALSM Program.
"The future of the lobster fishery resides in the ability of its industry to ensure its stability and sustainability. I’m pleased to support interested harvester organizations in developing industry driven self-rationalization initiatives that allow for a more economically viable industry. I encourage other harvester organizations to take the lead on making these types of changes to ensure the sustainability of their fishery."

The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada
"I’m ecstatic that Minister Shea and DFO have approved our proposal for change in our lobster industry. These changes will allow our aging fishermen the opportunity to retire with fair compensation for their fleets and will help those fishing enterprises that remain to become more viable by being able to fish more traps. This self-rationalization plan within the fishery comes at no cost to the government or the taxpayer. "

Craig Avery, President of the Western Gulf Fishermen’s Association
"On behalf of the 26A Lobster Advisory Committee, we are pleased with the Honourable Gail Shea’s announcement regarding stacking of lobster licences in LFA 26A-1 PEI. The fishermen of LFA 26A-1 voted on doing this in the winter of 2013. The LFA 26A-1 Lobster Advisory Board worked hard on developing a plan for this initiative. We believe that this will complement the ASLM program that retired 33 licences and allowed in-kind contribution from fishermen that resulted in the reduction of over 20,000 traps. We look forward to working with Minister Shea to have the stacking implemented for the spring of 2015. We believe this will further complement our rationalization efforts. "

Bobby Jenkins, Chairperson, LFA 26A-1 Lobster Advisory Committee

For more information:
Communications Branch
Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Gulf Region

Shawn Driscoll
Policy Analyst to the Minister
Office of the Minister
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

Date Modified: 2014-07-24