For immediate release – Thursday April 27, 2023

The Prince Edward Island Fishermen’s Association (PEIFA) is disappointed

and frustrated by the efforts of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans

Canada (DFO) and the Government Canada which has resulted in licenses

not being purchased locally for the Lennox Island First Nation to fish in

pursuit of a moderate livelihood.

Although there is no legal definition for the term “moderate livelihood”,

agreements have been reached in other jurisdictions regarding this type of


The recent announcement concerning the Abegweit First Nation on Prince

Edward Island is a good example of putting agreements in place to ensure

the ocean resources are protected by not allowing additional licenses, traps

and nets to be added in established area fisheries.

For over a year now, Lennox Island has been seeking additional lobster

traps for this fishery. The PEIFA has been a strong supporter of the concept

that traps not be added to an area and access be obtained by purchasing

existing licenses. (one license in one license out) This position has also been

strongly supported by the Provincial Fisheries Department of Prince Edward


During the past year the PEIFA has also been working with DFO and local

fishers in seeking solutions to this challenge.

Expression of Interest letters seeking interested parties in LFA 24 willing to

sell their licenses, were not sent out until late February 2023. These letters

contained language that was unclear and the results DFO was seeking were

not achieved.

Several weeks later, a revised letter was sent out that included suggested

edits by the PEIFA. With the compressed timelines for interested fishers to

make a significant life changing decision so close to the season start, the

desired results were again not achieved.

It should be noted that the valuation of lobster licenses for LFA 24 were

determined by an out of province assessor and did not reflect local values.

During this process, the PEIFA suggested two viable alternative solutions

that would access local traps and not create any new access to the lobster

fishery. Both solutions were turned down by DFO with a concern that the

new solutions would have been “precedent setting”.

The reality is that any decisions surrounding fishing for a moderate

livelihood are “precedent setting”.

DFO has authorized the reallocation of traps / access from other areas of

the gulf to LFA 24 as a solution. This option will be precedent setting and is

not supported by the PEIFA. This option will put increased demand on the


The PEIFA seriously challenges the efforts of DFO and the Government of

Canada in seeking workable solutions for all fishers to maintain “peace on

the water” while addressing reconciliation with First Nations.


For more information please contact Executive Director Molly Aylward at or Ian MacPherson Senior Advisor