By Andy Walker
It is time for both governments and the Maritime lobster industry to “seize the moment’ and begin to turn the lobster industry towards profitability.
That was how the president of the PEI Fishermen’s Association summed up his feelings on two reports recently released on the state of the region’s lobster industry. Retired PEI auditor general Colin Younker was asked to study the industry by the PEI government in the wake of a region wide tie-up to protest low price in May. As well, all three Maritime provinces appointed a representative to a region-wide panel.
Michael McGeoghegan warned if the parties involved fail to act on the issues identified in the reports “we will only have ourselves to blame” when prices fail to improve. He told a news conference the association supports the idea of a Maritime-wide price setting mechanism recommended in both reports.
“We have been in discussions with processors for some time about the establishment of a better price determining process on the Island,” he said. “At the same time, we are under no illusion the development of such a mechanism will be an easy process.”
He agrees with the notion any price setting mechanism must reflect the cost of production for all parties as well as market intelligence.
“The PEIFA is a firm believer in the need to more aggressively market our lobsters,” McGeoghegan said. “We recognize the value of establishing a levy mechanism so that fishers and processors contribute towards the cost of…