News Release - For Immediate Release - Malpeque Bay Moratorium on New Leases

September 30th, 2014

The Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association supports the continuation of the current moratorium that disallows the increase of aquaculture leases in and around Malpeque Bay.

This moratorium was established in 1999. Continued pressure from the aquaculture industry to re-open the area for new leases brings forward a multitude of concerns from the local fishing community.

Any increase in leases will directly impact and displace local fish harvesters who have traditionally fished lobster, herring, crab and eel in the area for over a century. Serious safety issues regarding unmarked aquaculture lines and equipment have yet to be addressed within the current lease capacity.

Another major concern of the fishing community is the unregulated use of hydrated lime. Lime is used to treat aquaculture lines for the control of invasive species such as tunicates. Heavy amounts of lime are used throughout the year, particularly in the summer, when local lobster larvae are drifting and settling in the area. With local lobster populations in Malpeque Bay declining, the question remains whether the increased use of lime has had an impact on local fishing stocks?

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) has an obligation to address the impacts of lime and other tunicate treatments, safety at sea and the displacement of fishers from traditional fishing grounds. The PEIFA feels that there has been no substantive progress in addressing these concerns and demand that the moratorium should remain in place.

For more information on this issue please contact Interim PEIFA Executive Director, Ian MacPherson at 566-4050.

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